No Apologies – The Real Ballad of an Addict

If you can spot it, you got it.” – My Counselor

Last night I was over at a friend’s house and we decided to watch the most recent documentary on Kurt Cobain.

It was incredible, disturbing, dark, real, sad, raw, insightful, powerful and just really interesting. We were literally on the edge of our seat for about half of it!

From the first interview until the last I found myself doing something that at first kind of surprised me: I nodded. I nodded my head a lot during those two hours. Not like banging my head to the music (although hearing all the songs again definitely took me back to my high school days). I was nodding because I could see so clearly his path to suicide. Since I knew the end game, his background and journey made much more sense.

Something profound hit me last night that I have heard people say in meetings but never truly grasped until now.

Kurt Cobain was not a drug addict. He was a shame addict.

From an early age he was shamed by those he loved and trusted. His father. His mother. His siblings. His peers. His environment was toxic so it turned him into a toxic, rebellious, selfish addict. Kurt Cobain was an addict since he was a young boy. He didn’t become an addict after discovering heroin in 1987. He was an addict long before that.

Everything about his life reeked of addiction. His isolation. His victim mentality in his writing. His attitudes towards others. His fear. His shame and guilt. His selfishness. His rage. His resentment.

His vow to always be there for his daughter and stop using on his own power.

All of these things are so clear to me as I watched the documentary. If I had watched the documentary two years ago I’m not sure I would be picking out the same things as when I watch it now. I’m pretty certain I would not actually.

I went to bed last night feeling sadness that the disease of addiction claimed a man at the age of 27 that had a wife and a young daughter. He loved both of them but was so consumed with his addiction he saw no other way out.

That tragic tale is unfortunately all too common among addicts all over the world. There is a saying in recovery circles. It sums up an addict’s fate in a very cut and dry way.

You can either get sobered up, broken up, locked up or covered up.”

The fact is the same disease that claimed the life of Cobain is inside me. The only difference is I have found recovery.

I am forever grateful for that because without recovery my options of either being broken up, locked up or covered up don’t have much hope attached.



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