WHO IS SHANNON J
When I think of my Brother and his journey through life, Shannon was always a fighter. He fought to protect my sister and I when we were little-when he himself was only child. He fought to find himself in a world that judged him. He fought his demons that haunted him. He fought his addictions that had him cornered. He fought so hard to make the people he cared about feel loved. He was a friend that would be there and lend a hand, an ear, and when needed shoulder to cry on.
The last several months of Shannon’s life had been very hard on him. However, he was finally trying to get his life back. He had spent the last week of his life staying with our mother while he detoxed from heroin and other street drugs. He talked about and seemed excited about going into a rehab program for the first time.
“No but yes, I’m ready to take that walk! U know the hardest walk or choice anyone can make! U did! Look what you are getting. Does ur spirit feel better, healthier, stronger? Mine broke, hurt, ready to give up on people, myself. Nobody cares about nothing but feeding the beast!!! Addiction! I’m hurting bad, not just for me but also the ones I care about. The Beast got me again, I’ve almost died 3 times in the last year- 2 from the drugs and 1 from the wreak. I don’t want a number 4…” -Shannon J (January 10, 2012)
Shannon wanted to put his addictions behind him. He wanted to take that walk and he took the first step and asked for help. Shannon was placed on a waiting list for a local residential treatment program. With addiction there is a little window of opportunity where a person can find strength and enough resolve to get help. With only time on his hands the disease sunk its nails in him and convinced him to have one last drink, one last time. As we all know life can change in a beat of a heart. One choice can change everything. Leaving your family and friends lost, hurt, and with endless questions.
Shannon’s “One last time”…
January 14, 2012
CHANGE THE STIGMA!
We have all heard the hurtful, judgmental and stereotypical names that are used to describe people who struggle with this disease. Before you judge and criticize–
This disease does not care what race, age, gender, religion or social class you were born into. It does not care if you are the Captain of the football team or the Valedictorian. It does not care if you are from the “picture perfect family” or if you grew up in foster care… This disease does not pick and choose.
The man, covered in tattoos, the “felon”…He is someone’s Brother.
The man holding the sign sitting on the corner…He is someone’s Father.
The young man on the news that was arrested for possession… He is someone’s Son.
The woman in the obituary that overdosed… She is someone’s Mother.
The teenage girl stumbling down the street…She is someone’s Daughter.
If it was your loved one, how would you want them to be treated?
Somewhere there is a parent, a sibling, a child, or a friend who feels desperate and helpless. They are hoping that their loved one will get help. Hoping that someone will show compassion and praying that they will not get “the call” that they fear. EVERYONE HAS SOMEONE THAT CARES ABOUT THEM.
If you must hate, hate the disease but LOVE THE PERSON. As a community have a choice, we can be a part of the problem or be a part of the solution. CHANGE BEGINS WITH YOU…