Philip Seymour Hoffman has left the world in an all too common way. Haunted by an addiction for the better part of his adult life. This past weekend he finally succumbed to the demons that haunted him for so long. It seems all too often that we hear the headlines about an artistic addict. Amy Winehouse, Bradly Nowell, and Cory Monteith just to name a few.
But why does it happen? I’m not sure I have the answer. Some people blame the parents, the media or, the person’s friends. It’s all too easy to reflect on another person’s life and blame a series of misfortunate events. Even those among us who seem to have it all, rarely do.
We like to compartmentalize the war on drugs. We think of it as a problem happening far away, in Chicago, Las Vegas, or New York. We look at it as a plight of the homeless, jobless, and the fatherless. But most of us here in Suburbia feel safe. We drive our Prius to our job, our school, or our churches and never think something like this could happen here. But it does. Addiction is no respecter of persons. No community is safe from its reach. The epidemic is happening everywhere and it doesn’t distinguish between class or creed.
Like with anything else, sobriety is ultimately choice. Life in the end is just a series of choices. To find sobriety one must look inside themselves and find hope. All they need is a reason, one truth, they find that matters more to them than the strength of the addiction. If a person in the midst of despair and chaos can find one thing that means something to them, they can follow that truth out into freedom.