Yesterday, I said good-bye to a young man who lost his fight to addiction. An addiction that changed him to the core. An addiction that stole from him his self worth, his purpose.  Corey.  He was 28 years old. He would “leap tall buildings in a single bound” if he could, because that is who he was. That was his heart. Life experiences changed all that. In all my years of psychiatric nursing, I wondered how much of mental health is environmental versus genetic. Why is it that siblings from the same parents, or children raised in the same environment can become so different? Why is it that some of us have coping mechanisms that can handle the most extremes of hardship that life sends us, yet others can’t handle a simple “bad day.”  I feel that a part of that is how we feel about ourselves. What our own reflection tells us as we look in the mirror, look into our own eyes and find our soul. Although they say when we are cut , we all bleed the same color blood, yet some of us require a band aid, and others require stitches.

Life has a way of taking advantage of those who are sensitive, to those who have a decreased sense of confidence in who they are. I guess that is somewhat based on the “survival of the fittest”. I just struggle everyday fighting that fine line of “kindness and weakness”, and watching those who take advantage of the same. Addiction, in my opinion stems from the inability to be “true” to oneself. I personally feel an addiction is a way to cope with the inadequacies that we feel within ourselves, whether it is drugs or alcohol, sex, gambling, shopping, smoking, they all have a way of consuming a lot of our time, burying the “why” to what we do. Think about it. Let last night remind us of our weaknesses. Let us look at our own behaviors and the rationale of what we do, and why we do what we do. Can you do that? I have found that for most people it is very hard to look inward. It is very hard to reach down deep and understand what is broken. Even the priest last night said that we are all broken. Why do we find it so much easier to judge others, to blame others? Fear of being rejected, fear of emotions, fear of change? As his brother stated, this young man is at peace now. Let us take this experience to understand our own behaviors, strengths and weaknesses. Let us work on our own demons and start from within. In this life, except for severe cases, we understand what is right and wrong, we all have a common bond which is that we all just want to be loved and needed. The time is now to “be the change”, to step outside of our comfort zone and take a moment each day to work on what is broken. We are all a little broken.

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