I stopped using more than 20 years ago although in truth, my battle with the demon nicotine, the hardest of all, finally ended only 9 or 10 years back — I really can’t remember exactly — and from the look of things, the struggle with addiction will continue for what’s left of my life.
I’m 71 as I write this, and I have no idea where my continuing journey will take me, and, by default, those I love. Nor do I know how I’m going to get to where I finally end up.
Addicts will go to extreme lengths in denial, and then, finally, after they’ve accepted they’re powerless, they desperately search for the means to stay stopped.
Some go to groups such as the Narcotics Anonymous Alcoholics Anonymous or any of the other AA ‘step’ program; and.
Some, such as British singer Amy Whitehouse, die whn their addictions get the better of them. Some enter rehab units and a very rare few manage to white-knuckle their way through their journeys .
And then there are those such as Timothy Treadwell, who become addicted to a quasi-religious rapture.
He fell in love — in love with the wild grizzlies of Alaska to the extent he became thoroughly hooked on them and their lives, identifying with them totally, seeing himself as their only true protector, setting himself in direct opposition to the authorities.
Then one day hist addiction — killed him, and by default his girlfriend, Amy (right), who stayed by his side quite literally un5il death did them part in what must be one off the most poignant and tragic love stories ever.
They were both found dead in the their tent in the wilds, partially eaten by one of the animals Timmy, at least, had loved almost worshiped, so much.
In the documentary, Grizzly Man, directed by Werner Herzog and co-produced by Jewel Palovak, Treadwell’s one-time girl[friend and business partner, during a highly introspective interlude, he confesses, “ I used to to drink a lot.”
He goes on he has no idea if there’s a God or not, but if there is, “thank you so much for giving me a life,” and he’s close to tears in his gratitude.
But he was also a heroin addict and alcoholic and it could be argued it was his desperate efforts to escape from their ravages, and not those of a grizzly bear, which ultimately and finally killed not only him, but also Amy.
‘I guess I was going to die for it,…’
“I was troubled,” he confesses; I drank a lot… to the point where I guess I was going to die for it, or I’d break free of it.
“But nothing was going to stop me from drinking”.
“I went to programs, I tried quitting myself, I did everything I could to try not to drink he says, aid everything I could to drink. And it was killing me until I discovered this land of bears and realized they were in such great danger they needed a caretaker to look after them, but not a drunk person; not a person messed up so I promised the bears if I would look over them,
“… they became so inspirational, living with them and the foxess, that I did: I gave up drinking.
“It was a miracle and absolute miracle, and the miracle was animals.
“Now I live here, and it’s dangero, very dangerous. I run wild with the Bears; so free. Like the child with these animals. It’s so cool, and it’s very serious.
In the docudrama grizzly Man, Timothy’s father tells us Timothy tried to smoke marijuana in the house, “but I quickly put the kibosh on that.”
Timothy eventually went to California where he tried to get into movies.
His father says he tested for the bartender role in the TV series Cheers losing out to Woody Harrelson and, “that’s what really destroyed him; that he did not get that job on Cheers.” He “spiraled down”.
One of his friends, and actor, relates how Timothy survived a near fatal overdose and “that’s when he changed his persona, attempting to pass himself off as Australian.
it takes great strengths and determination to break fhe shackles of addiction. And no one can question Treadwell’s.
Nor can they doubt the power of his convictions.
In the meanwhile, addiction is now, more than ever, described as a disease. But in reality, it’s an all-consuming affliction — a condition of extreme suffering and distress with no cure except death by one means or another.
Jon Newton — myblogdammit
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