I watched people online making remarks about celebrities using drugs and alcohol. They were trolled mercilessly by people who did not understand how difficult addiction is. I have also come to realize that online spaces are often for arm chair activists who have never really helped anyone and also for people who love misbehaving because of the assurance of false identities.
Its easy to point fingers at people who use chemical substances but there are people who are addicted to shopping, hoarding, binge eating, to people, to movies, pornography and TV shows online, to video games, to gossip, to shaming others….so many things that have been normalized in a capitalistic and misogynistic society.
An addict is often struggling. They need love and support to be able to heal and integrate insecure parts within themselves that they are unable to deal with except by numbing them through habits that seem beneficial. Judgements, trolling, shaming only make it worse for them to look at the pain, it pushes them further into darkness. If you cannot support a person through a process of recovery, healing or integration, the least you can do stay silent and not worsen the struggle for them. My intention is not to support the use of substances that are illegal to use….my intention is to help us understand that when we fall, when we make mistakes most of us are just looking for help to make amends. In the case of substance use, substance abuse and addiction, the realization for the need to change comes much after the brain has become deeply dependent on a chemical and change is often more painful than giving into the cravings. If you do not know how hard that is, at least refrain from making statements and accusations that stunt recovery for another.