I am the son who died from an accidental overdose.
It breaks my heart, but I will say it.
I was an addict.
I was, and am, also a valuable human being.
Do not turn away from me.
I am not jinxed. It is not contagious. My presence and influence are no danger to you or yours.
Do not judge me.
This did not happen because I caused it, deserved it, or failed to stop it. I got pulled into something beyond my control, and I couldn’t pull out. I do not know why, and neither do you.
Do not tell me I should have tried harder.
You have no idea of my struggle. You have no idea of my desire. You have no idea how I fought my own body, my own mind, my own brain, my own demons to walk away and be free of drugs. A fallen warrior is still a warrior.
Do not judge my family.
My family was there for me throughout my struggle, and remain loyal to me now. They did not ‘raise me wrong’ or ‘fail to save me.’ My failure to get clean was not a lack of love for them or from them. They did what they could, often after everyone else had given up on me. I would not have stayed alive as long as I did without them.
Do not pity me.
I struggled, and watched my family struggle alongside me. I did not go down without a fierce struggle, and I did not go down alone. My legacy is safe in the hands of those who fought for me with a loyalty and a fierceness that most so-called ‘normal’ kids will never know,
Do not pity my family.
My family does not need pity. They deserve respect and support, but many will not offer that to them because of my addiction. Anyone who knows will understand the strength and character my family showed by staying by my side.
Do not question me.
I did the best I could. I do not know if things would have been different if I had done certain things differently or had different friends, and neither do you. If you have not lived it, you can never understand the intensity of my efforts. Losing the battle with addiction is not a reflection of my desire to win or the strength I used to fight it. Addiction is a mightier enemy than you can ever know.
Do not blame me.
If you have not lived through this, you are not qualified to tell me why I became an addict, why I continued to return to the drugs, or why I could not quit. Your opinion would be based on nothing but your own ideas. I lived this struggle, and I could not answer those questions any more than a cancer patient could tell you why they developed cancer or why it could not be cured. Addiction is a physical and mental disease.
Do not tell me you understand.
There are very few people in my life who can say they understand my struggle or the struggle of my loved ones. Be grateful you cannot. There is only one way to understand, and you do not want to go there.
Do not think that you are more loving/ loved/stronger than I was.
I loved my mom and dad, and they loved me. I loved my sister's and they loved me..they were my life. This is not a problem which can be solved by love. Love and addiction are not connected. You would have to live our struggle to ever understand the love and the effort that were involved on all sides.
Do not congratulate yourself and your family as being better than me or mine.
If you and your family have avoided the demon of addiction, you are lucky. Addiction can happen to anyone, anywhere, any time. It is found in broken homes and happy ones. It is found in the ghetto and in palaces. It victimizes the smart, the ignorant, the strong, the weak, the brave and the timid. It affects male and female, young and old, Black, White, Latino and Asian. Addiction , like cancer, chooses its victims blindly and from all walks of life.
I am the the son
who died from an overdose.
I am a loved and valuable human being..my life matters!
My name is John Ryan Mauer❤
💜 August is Overdose Awareness Month💜
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