Selfishness & Addiction

The selfishness of a person who has a physical dependence is something that most of us do not understand. The addiction can manifest itself at any time. The person who drinks becomes another person. There is a total transformation. The person who is an alcoholic will always find an excuse to drink. The story changes, but the outcome is the same: The drunk will be drunk no matter what.

“It’s always everyone’s fault but your own”

It’s always everyone’s fault but your own, there is an excuse to start drinking, someone was mean to me, the pressures of the new job, the demands of the old job, my family hates me. Sometimes we can’t let go of the past; we recollect done-wrong incidents done to us as a little child and carry that anger and pity. Another excuse to drink.

The addicted can drink to celebrate a promotion, graduation from college, finishing a particularly long and arduous project. Using the opportunity to drink and celebrate the occasion. The drink gets out of control, and soon you have a person on a bender for several days. Meanwhile, the family, the job, eating, working, daily tasks, getting up, etc. are meaningless and not needed. This negative spiral can last a few days until the person is not able to function, and someone else needs to get them to stop drinking and sober up.

Woe is me, look how unhappy I am; the addicted can drink to drown his sorrows, to lay blame on loved ones, or anyone else in their lives. He drinks for everything that is wrong with his life. Everyone but he has done something wrong to put him there. Furthermore, the addict probably has an inner voice that is telling her what to say and do, how to act, lie, cheat, and steal to keep getting what they want. To feed the addiction. It’s a self-fulfilling spiral that feeds on itself. Recriminations and laying blame come out, and the people who love and care about the addicted are the ones caught in the crossfire. Drinking is a way to drown the sad voice inside for a little while, at least. Alcohol is a way to escape the hopelessness of the situation. Drinking to shut the angry voice that’s telling me that I’m inadequate and that I will never amount to anything. Drinking because I could. Someone who loves me will always be there to pick me up when I’m done. Loved ones are usually left to pick up the pieces after one of these binges. Loved ones are generally the enablers because they are blind to the situation. And, they feel powerless to do something about it without hurting the addicted.

That little voice can sometimes be cruel and get us to do something rash, impulsive such as driving drunk at high speed, take pills, or try other methods of hurting oneself. These are cries for help that loved ones need to recognize and get professional help for the individual. In the end, the need for getting help must be real. If the person does not believe she has a problem, she will not do something about it.

The person must hit rock bottom and has nowhere to go but up. The individual must accept that she has a problem and needs help. Then, and only then, will the person seek real advice and start the long road to recovery. A person in an AA meeting told me that she only opened her eyes to her drinking problem after her parents kicked her out of their house and their lives. Do you know how difficult that was, how guilty those parents must have felt? It goes against the grain to practice tough love on a child of yours that has this huge problem. But, doing that took courage and left the young woman to deal with the problem by herself and made the problem real to her.

I titled this piece “selfish drunk” and started by talking about the selfishness of someone with an addiction. The person will lie, cheat, steal, blow off friends, family and coworkers, job, school. Anything to get what they want. The loved must be strong and not enable the addicted to continue the pattern of self-destruction. Recognizing an addiction by a loved one is just as important as the person himself recognizing the need to help. Therapy, medication, and AA meetings are needed to get the person to stop this harmful and damaging behavior. Only with a lot of professional treatment and a robust support system does the person with an addiction have a chance to get her addiction under control and manageable. 

My friend John

John is just about finished working on a video for a friend. He doesn’t get paid for this. It is a labor of love and wishes that his friend would pay him something for his work. It took just about the whole day to finish this video. He chose to work out of the local Barnes & Noble where it was warm and he had access to free WiFi, coffee, and he could read all the newspapers for free. and he spends it at the local Barnes and Noble. The baristas are kind and let him stay as long as he wants. Plus, he can read all the magazines and books he wants or work on one of his labors of love.
Today, he was working on this 10-minute video of the life of his friend’s daughter, who had a Quinceanera coming up. The video would be shown at the end of the party. He had done all the work of cutting the scenes, picking the pictures, picking the videos, merging the music, creating the titles and merging them all together into one final product. The final step was to do a video rendering to ensure the final product was good enough to show at the birthday party. There will be lots of family, friends and their kids as it is her Quinceanera party and it is the most important day in her short life. All the birthday girl’s friends have been looking forward to it. And, Tom knows the highlight of the evening will be this short video of her life compressed into 10 minutes by her father’s friend, John.

John checked his laptop one more time to make sure it was still working away making all the components into a finished product that shows his expertise. Creating a video of pictures, video, and text requires focus and a good eye for detail. John checks all the background, history, Google documents, and internet databases to ensure he has the right facts and weaves the relevant ones into the storyline. 

His friends always ask him why he doesn’t get a regular job and make enough money to pay for an apartment, utilities, car payment, gas, insurance, food, clothes, etc. but he demurely tells them that he can’t. He knows deep inside, the reason is much more primal. He has a disability and cannot hold down a job. He owes money to the IRS for back taxes, owes money to a lot of people, and he has a lot of unpaid parking tickets. His life is a mess and he needs to continue to stay below the radar.
Otherwise, the jig will be up and the authorities will come after him. He tried to get a job once. I went to the interview process, the tests, the training; only to have the company tell him that his background check had turned up all these things and I’m sorry but we cannot offer you the job.
So, he lives by working enough to keep body and soul together and depending on the kindness of his friends.

Stay tuned to see if John can break free of his shackles and leave this hard life behind.

First Blog

This is our Foster at Risk Blog

The name chosen to identify us. It is part of our goals and part of our community. Foster Youth At Risk . . . Of aging out of the sytem and entering adulthood without a safety net to ensure they are successful in life.

This is our FAR blog – Foster Youth at Risk. This small post is the first of many to come. We want to make sure a growing crisis in the foster system is being addressed. With the continuing Opioid crisis and more kids being added to the Foster Care system, there is a growing need to make sure those kids are being prepared for life.

This is the same as a young adult (living at home) would be prepared to finish high school, go to college, get a trade, move out, and get their own place and their own first job. All within the safety of a family support system.

This initiative will mirror such a system as it exists within a normal, working household in America.

This blog will be used to document the journey of our “Foster Youth at Risk” That we will be helping to enter adulthood with a set of tools to make their journey easier.

What is our mission?? To provide the very best set of tools to make the transition to adulthood easier. To ensure our Youth make it through the transition from the Foster system to Adulthood. This is through educating, advising, advocating, counseling and monitoring.

How will we contribute: Provide seminars at the local high school, library of community college on life skills such as finances, college applications, resources available, housing resources, one on one mentoring.

Partners in Warwick: Local organizations that provide services or otherwise help Foster Youth at Risk. especially those that have not been adopted yet or are bouncing from foster home to foster home without clear family support.

They are at risk of becoming another statistic


Make sure no youth ends up homeless, addicted to drugs, prostitution, runaway, in trouble, in jail, or worse.

Educate, support, and monitor them to ensure 100% success.

These are the main goals of our new organization. We are in the planning and engaging stage and will update you as our objectives are met. 

Right now, we are developing a business plan and applying for a non-profit designation. Next, I will engage local non-profits and charities involved with Foster Youth and develop a plan to work together. Then, get in touch with foundations and government organizations about funding, resource donations, and sharing, coordination of services and benefits to ensure no doubling of efforts.

Finally, once a quarter, measure the success, what went right, what went wrong. Tweak the model and then, repeat.