I’m sitting in a room with eight other people, we are all gathered in a circle. Our attention is on a young man; he is in his late twenties. He is dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, the latest pair of sneakers on his feet. He is crouched over with his head in his hands, unable to look at anyone else.
“I know,” he says, “I know you’re right. I have no idea why I do it, I just thought one last time would be ok.”
Seven other addicts and alcoholics nod their heads.
“You have everything to live for buddy,” one of them says.
“You have your whole life ahead of you,” says another.
He looks up, his face a mixture of despair and confusion, “I know,” he repeats softly to himself, “I know, it’s insane.’
And he really means it. He has everything he has ever wanted and yet he still uses drugs and alcohol because nothing else has filled the hole inside of him.
To an outsider it would look insane.
To an addict it’s the only thing that makes sense.
Addiction doesn’t care if you have a promising future, a good family, a great job. It doesn’t care that you have a beautiful and talented girlfriend or millions of fans around the world.
It wants you, and it wants you now.
Which is why it is telling you, that one more time won’t hurt.
And this is why Corey Monteith died.
Because he lied to himself that one more wouldn’t hurt.
He died of a lethal mix of alcohol and heroin, alone in his hotel room.
With the world at his feet.
There are so many Corey Monteith’s all over the world. Some may be lucky enough to get a shot at some kind of treatment. Some of those may be even luckier and get clean and sober and some of them may even be lucky enough to stay so.
But not Cory Monteith, he had his shot at treatment, but still thought one more would be ok.
Cory Monteith’s death wasn’t just shocking because he was young, what shocked most people is that he died of a heroin overdose.
Because he just didn’t look like your average junkie.
He was 31 years old playing someone who had just graduated high school, the epitome of the good looking, clean cut Midwestern kid. Someone you would take home to your parents.
The image people have of a heroin addict is someone homeless, with bad teeth, dirty clothes and a gaunt face. Corey Monteith was the complete opposite of that. The reason that heroin addicts can often look so ravaged is because of the side effects of the taking the drug, rather than the drug itself.
Having money makes addiction a lot easier and the consequences much less severe.
Which is why he could fool everyone. He didn’t fit the stereotype.
So despite ‘having it all’ on a night out he decided to do something insane.
Take heroin alone.
He took the hit and never woke up.
Unless you deal with the real underlying reasons of addiction, for every addict there will always be a call for ‘just one more.’
The insane idea will always win out.
Addicts use drugs and alcohol beyond any sane understanding.
Drugs and alcohol promise oblivion, numbness and escape. They kill pain and wrap the user up in cotton wool so they don’t have to feel anything.
Behind his Midwestern, clean cut good looks Cory Monteith was hiding a darkness, that only drugs could fill.
I wonder if he battled, I wonder if he argued with himself. I wonder if he remembered sitting in treatment with his head in his hands as he faced up to the reality of his addiction.
I wonder if he knew he had crossed over to the place where the insanity of using seemed like the right thing to do.
I guess we’ll never know.