Thank you, Phillip Seymour Hoffman.


Infactorium

I’d wager a hundred people a day die in this country from overdoses and addictions. Too many go unmourned. When someone famous dies it always restarts people’s compassion for addicts. We wonder how someone so talented and so successful could succumb. How could they not get the help they needed? Meanwhile, the everyday addict remains subject of scorn and derision for failure of morality and fortitude.

Neither of these narratives is much like the truth. Getting help doesn’t necessarily get us sober. Doesn’t get us clean. Nor can our own efforts of will. I am an alcoholic because I love alcohol. Because there is something wrong in my brain that makes my relationship to alcohol different from a normal person’s. I’m an alcoholic whether I drink or not. As active alcoholics, the amount we drink doesn’t define us. Nor the frequency. How we define ourselves may vary, but the one…

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