400 Bad Requests Can't all be Wrong

At the age of 14 a sad thing happened. Your father died suddenly, yet not so suddenly. After years of fighting a heart condition, of changing his diet and worrying about increasing medical bills, decreasing coverage, and you and your mother, and your sister – suddenly he's gone. Dead, from a heart attack. He's only 52, and you're only 14, and you're sad, lost, abandoned.

So there's the hook, that you use to justify a descent into drug use that frightens the be-jeesus out of your poor mother. You feel a little sorry for her, but not enough to stop. She seems so soft and caring, and easy to fool. You take her car because it's so fun to drive loaded. The kids in school are in awe of you, when they aren't whispering behind your back. New friends have cropped up. The popularity is so stunning, you don't notice it's a crock. At 52 yourself, will you ever look back and realize they liked your drugs more than they liked you?

Or do you still lie to yourself, that those were exciting times. And anyway it wasn't your fault. It wasn't by design that you lost that baseball scholarship. That you fought at school. That you sold drugs in the parking lot of the really lame drug rehabilitation class your mother found for you. People in the 70's were so silly. So naïve. If they hadn't made it so fun for you, you wouldn't have lied to you.

Anyway, it was your friend who lied to you. Even after all these years, you fail to see a pattern. It is ALWAYS someone else's fault. Let me repeat that, just so we're clear. It is ALWAYS someone else's fault. If you can say this with a straight face, you're an addict. If you believe it more than 80 per cent of the time you're an addict. If you have this as a pattern in your life, you're an addict. Trust me on this one. We can look over some of the events in detail if you don't believe me:

Event #1

Your friend pulled up in a beautiful sports car. He said it belonged to his grandmother, and she loaned it to him. You're already loaded, but you jump in the passenger's side with more pills in your breast pocket because you want a ride. NONE of this is your fault, you continue to protest, a good 30 years later, because you were passed out at the time. Though accused of "stealing the car" it's clearly unfair, because you were passed out. All you did was get in for a ride. How could you have figured out that pretty red '65 mustang didn't belong to his granny? You never met the woman.

So obviously, when the judge gave you the two choices of Vietnam, or jail, you were completely innocent. There is no part of this situation you care to be accountable for. You are just one more sad vet would got done wrong. That's the story and you're sticking to it. Except, you're an addict.

Event #2

Your wife told the welfare people she was married to you. She had you sign where she pointed. So you signed, you didn't READ the paper. She was your wife. How were you to know it was a felony fraud to collect money from the government and lie about your income? You didn't lie, SHE did. You just signed where she told you to sign. You're just one more victim, just like the government. That's the story, and you're sticking to it. Except, you're an addict.

Event #3

Your doctor told you, you needed the pain killers to control the pain you feel in your neck, in your back, in any sort of way. May be it's arthritis, you can't be sure. So what if you crashed into a pole, or fell asleep at the wheel. You were only following HIS orders. You have to drive, you have to support your family. No you can't get a ride, or take a bus, you live too remote – dummy. There is obviously no other choice but to get behind the wheel, after all it isn't your fault the doctor keeps changing your prescription and giving you different combinations of things. These doctors and pharmacies ought to get it together, because you can't be responsible. You're an addict.

The normal among us see another possible interpretation of your life. One that will astound you. We suggest you be accountable for your actions. Regardless of if the car was stolen, you didn't need to go for a ride. You were already loaded, ready to pass out. If you had passed out at home, you wouldn't have car theft on your record.

Or how about you not be loaded? Wasn't that a choice? Because if you weren't loaded, you would have realized how unlikely it was that his grandmother let him drive a '65 Mustang without a license.

You could be accountable for what you sign your name to. You could read the document. Or how about, you not get loaded. If you weren't loaded you might have questioned the validity of receiving welfare when you both worked. It's called connecting the dots. It's way easier to do if your brain isn't addled by drugs and alcohol. A full two years sober is necessary at a minimum to get there – but get there you can, when you want to be a functioning member of society.

Last of all, of my, yes, you could admit you don't need the pain killers. Or you don't need to drive, or both. One thing is for sure, you really really don't need to endanger everyone else on the road. The life you save, might be your own.