And she did.
In her post that I just finished reading entitled "Weight on my Shoulders and Memories Everlasting,"she describes the pain she's endured in her life and why she continued to use heroin to escape a reality she considered worse than that of her addiction.
Reading her post, it was hard to blame her for looking to drugs as a way to escape emotional pain she didn't know how to process as a child. Although there are definitely better ways to cope, when you're young, feel like there's no one to turn to, and no way out of a life you can't deal with alone, drugs seem like a valid option.
But that begged the question, what about Blake? What could he possibly need to escape from? All throughout his life he had an incredibly loving family and more friends than anyone I know. What immense pain was he hiding that he couldn't deal with and needed drugs to numb? Why did he need to run away from us? I just couldn't figure it out.
Here is the conversation we had on her Instagram post immediately after:
Tonight my new friend helped me realize that not all addictions start as a conscious attempt to escape a rough life. Sure, that's probably why many addicts start experimenting with drugs, but not all of them. For some, like Blake, being prescribed pain killers in the first place without proper monitoring is enough to set it all into motion. It's a deadly combination of access, acceptability by peers, genetics, and the artificial enjoyment that makes the risk seem worth the reward. Before they know it, they are in over their head wondering how (or denying that) these behaviors ended up in an addiction.
As my friend put it, Blake didn't start using as a way to escape his life, but rather, he ended up using as a desperate attempt to stay present in a life the drugs were viciously trying to take him from.
Blake had an incredible life filled with so many accomplishments, lasting friendships, and love. It would be a dishonor to him if his family, close friends, or I looked at ourselves as having any blame in his addiction. He wasn't trying to escape us. If anything, he was battling everyday to remain part of the amazing world he belonged in. A world so beautiful and filled with the most amazing people a person could ask to be surrounded by.
I'm resting a little easier tonight knowing this. Addiction was not his choice, it was his disease. Just as you wouldn't blame a person for losing their fight with cancer, I am comforted in the fact that Blake fought bravely every day to overcome a truly terrible affliction.