CHUCK Sep 19 2023 - What would I do?

What would I do? 

Addiction is a complicated, often misunderstood, affliction. It can tear families apart, end friendships, and lead to a spiral of destruction. Loving someone in the throes of an active addiction is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences one can endure. And while I often find myself guiding individuals on this tumultuous journey, there are moments I'm prompted to ask, "What if it were my loved one?"

I've always maintained, as a cornerstone of my advice, the importance of letting those suffering with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) know they are loved. It is not always about offering solutions or interventions but ensuring that the thread of connection remains intact. After all, as the age-old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink." This underscores the profound reality that ultimately, the decision to change lies with the individual battling the addiction.

Yet, perspective can drastically shift when the situation hits closer to home. I don’t have children of my own, but my niece and nephew occupy a significant space in my heart. Their well-being is paramount to me. And in my past, playing the role of a stepfather has exposed me to the immense love and protective instincts one can harbor for a child. With that bond in mind, I resonate deeply with the sentiments expressed by Devin McGuire in episodes 82, 85, and 104 of the Ashes to Awesome Podcast. Faced with the harrowing reality of his daughter's addiction, Devin proclaimed he would take any measure, cross any boundary, to ensure her safety.

Such raw emotions often lead me to introspect. Would I act similarly if I witnessed my niece, nephew, or any child I cared for descending into the abyss of addiction? I believe, with unwavering conviction, that I would. My protective instincts would undoubtedly propel me to challenge societal norms, popular beliefs about addiction, and even risk breaking the law, all in a desperate bid to save their life.

But herein lies the dichotomy. As the host of the Ashes to Awesome Podcast, a platform that's rapidly gaining traction, I bear a responsibility. My words, my guidance, carry weight. I must tread carefully, ensuring that my advice is balanced, grounded, and beneficial to those seeking direction. Therefore, I continue to advocate the importance of love, connection, and understanding, even though my personal instincts might advocate for more drastic measures.

Watching a loved one grapple with addiction is a soul-crushing experience. It forces one to confront challenging moral dilemmas, question societal norms, and grapple with our deepest fears and instincts. And while I will always emphasize the importance of love and connection, I urge everyone to consider this - What would you do if it were your loved one, trapped in the unforgiving grasp of addiction? Sometimes, that reflection provides a perspective shift, illuminating the depths of our love and the lengths to which we'd go to protect those we hold dear.

In conclusion, the answer to the question is:

I just don’t know.

Chuck LaFlange
Chuck LaFlange