I am often trying to lift others up, both as Moonshine Niki, and in my personal and very real life. Using my gift of words for this is extremely important to me and is something of a life goal.
I told a friend today that I wanted to write, but that I needed a writing prompt. Shortly after this conversation, I got my inspiration. I was watching a show about heroin use in America. It showed a few people trying to make an impact in several ways, from court programs, to ministry, to emergency responders that administer Naloxone (commonly referred to as Narcan) to treat overdoses. These people go out trying to make a difference knowing that most of the time, addicts are going to turn right back to drugs.
As I was watching this, I started thinking about the drug users. They are miserable, they are afraid, they feel stuck, and they are a slave to the drug. They don’t want to be where they’re at, but changing it feels like an impossible task. There’s the physical component (addiction), there’s few places to turn to for help, and one aspect I feel that gets in the way the most–judgment.
We have all heard people say something like, “We shouldn’t waste resources on Narcan. Just let all the addicts die,” or, “They chose that life for themselves, why even try to help.” Society tells those struggling with addiction that they are worthless, they are scum, they aren’t worthy of life. To make it worse, those that are involved with drugs are often involved with other things that bring shame. Child Protective Services, theft, even from those that love and help them, prostitution, and other things that bring public shame and ridicule. So, for these people, the entire world is looking down on them, treating them like they’re not real people–just a problem draining society, and there are many roadblocks in the way. This does not make it easy to change.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely not making excuses for people continuing their lives like this. What I am saying is that it is not as simple as just deciding to stop. I’m also saying that the people that are trying to make a difference, the ones that still treat addicts like real people, that provide words of encouragement, and that offer support DO sometimes make a difference. While most turn right back to drugs, there are those that don’t. There are those that are at the end of their ropes and ready and the only push they need is a loving hand extended in kindness. They get clean, become productive members of society, and sometimes even go on to help those still struggling. These are the people that make it worth it to keep trying.
While I’m not working out in the streets, I’m obviously not a medical responder, and I don’t have some kind of ministry, the one thing I do have is my words. If there were more people showing kindness and humility, there might be more addicts wanting to change things for themselves instead of hiding away in shame with the one thing they feel loves them back, drugs.
So, I want to reach out to those that feel broken in life. I don’t care if you have made your own bed, so to speak. I don’t care if you chose to pick up a needle that first time. I don’t care if you have sold your body, lost your kids, have stolen, or have tried and failed repeatedly. I’m here to tell you that you still matter. You are still a human being worthy of love, protection, safety, and a good life. It is never too late to decide to turn it all around. You are never too far gone or a lost cause. I’m here to encourage you, and tell you that you are worth reaching out for help.
This is how I intend to spend my life. I hope to someday make a career out of it and do more, but for now, my words here are what I’ve got. For now, I intend to spread love from behind this computer screen until a new plan comes along.
And just in case you need to hear it again, you, my friends, are worthy.