Sunday, November 10, 2013

"My life is not my Fault"...?

After a weekend of work, I decided to just flip on the TV tonight.  I was just letting it be "background noise" as I was busy doing other things.  My ears perked up when I heard the name Bruce Jenner, because I do like his history as an Olympic Gold Medalist.  I found it interesting that he was hitting the spotlight because of his "controversial comments" about drug addiction and how it's a choice.  The program then shifted to others saying how drug addiction is something that people don't chose and there's nothing they can do about it...then the spotlight shifted back to Bruce Jenner saying that it is a choice to take drugs.  I understand that the program was simply showing both sides to the argument,  and the program wasn't necessarily endorsing one side or the other, yet just showing both sides to the issue. 

I was very taken aback to learn that some are now excusing personal accountability in the world of drug use and drug addiction, and shifting that accountability to something other than the very drug users' own personal choice.  Were they always addicted to drugs?  Doubtful!  If they are now, who's accountable for that?  The drug user!  That IS a choice, and I personally agree with Mr Jenner in his stance!  (Although I do not agree with the judgmental remarks that were added, like calling someone "stupid"...) yet I still agree with the fact that we make choices, and we are responsible for those choices that we ourselves make.  If we aren't, then who is?  I just do not subscribe to any level of mentality that points fingers elsewhere for our own lives.  We are where we are, because of the choices that WE, ourselves, have made. 
If people have made choices, and are suffering from addictions, then should we have compassion and understanding and assist when and where possible?  YES!... and No, I do not profess to know and understand all individuals who suffer from drug addiction and each individual situation...but I do feel that regardless of how you look at at it... Drug use IS a choice. 

I also find it interesting how a drug user is praised for CHOOSING to enroll in a rehab program and take corrective measures. That was their choice and society allows them keep and own that choice.  But if they don't choose corrective measures, then "it just isn't they're fault" that they're addicted....??  I don't agree with that.  "Still a choice" is what Bruce Jenner said... (for which he was being accused of saying something controversial?!?)

Will society continue to excuse ownership and accountability, and shift blame elsewhere for choices that are made?  Will we buy into the story that "my own life is not my fault"....? 
!! I WON'T !!



  1. Matthew , thank you for this very honest exchange and reflection !
    Here are my thoughts on ADDICTIONS IN GENERAL ...
    I agree with the fact that it is now a choice to take or not take , to do or not to do ... and I also agree with you that we must also help sil they request it, because when the trap closes foreign aid is essential. I've seen extremely difficult to live with young times ... which opened me compassion when needed help .
    During my school nurse have reminded me that several factors are involved in the development of dependence : neurobiological factors, psychological factors and socio-cultural factors (or environmental) .
    Yes , addiction is so strongly linked to the environment, the object ( the slot machines , for example, a very strong addictive potential ) and the individual.
    We are not all equal in terms of our ability to control and our ability to accept frustration, limits and postpone pleasure.
    In the context of addiction among young people, I think the parent is a reference to the child and the quality of relationships and communication will strengthen the parent in the child 's SELF-ESTEEM , which is the MAIN ASSET against the use of drugs.
    For example your children bathe in a society in search of pleasure and " ALL RIGHT NOW " ... A child who wants a new toy, gives way to desire and instills them delayed gratification . If any wish of the child is satisfied for the moment, we might think a teenager, it is more sensitive to the direct pleasure after taking a drug whatsoever.
    Education and communication is the best solution and refers to the responsibility of not only parents , but all around as friends. , To EACH OF U.S. ! Informing , by transmitting values, (the parent) makes free and responsible choices .
    But take risks and test the limits of authority are natural stages in adolescence for example. Yes, they can show defiant , provocative or moody ! ...
    Finally, take risks and test the limits of authority are natural stages in adolescence , YES! they can show defiant , provocative or sullen, NO! what and what the parent said (or done ) a child does not prevent him from certain experiences , and it is in this choice , but sometimes being unconscious violence effects when push the limits their feelings ...
    For me it is like the speed that can get drunk and shoot to take risks ... but nevertheless aware TEMPTATION is so strong !
    What about yet one who refuses to give up a relationship doomed to failure , or will heartache by heartache , despising which would suit him to insist on appeal that does not want him ...... Is not it as a ' drug ' for him? the AMBIVALENCE IS STRONG ! The addict hates between "shoot " the product on which it depends . Hatred component depends on the person is often denied or minimized by fear of destroying a relationship seen as vital , but nevertheless remains active , often back against itself, thereby joining the self-destructive component to work in any addiction.
    I found that :
    - The patient is suffering , and he knows he has moments of weakness
! Yes , it is true that he knows he is "not like everyone else ," the proof is that it starts in camouflage strategies ...
    - Often , almost all around him knows nothing ... or does not want ! But everyone will be accountable to God , is not it ?
    For it is when we are rejected that suffering is the hardest to bear !

    Maryse CANOVAS

  2. Every Minute of every day, is a choice! A few favorite quotes come to mind ( I love a good quote!)

    “But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I choose otherwise.”
    Steven Covey

    "We ARE our choices" Jean-Paul Sartre..... And

    “Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.” Dallin Oaks

  3. "My own life is not my fault"....
    This kind of speaking point is disastrous to discuss in society today. In society today, when anyone talks about "accountability" or "being responsible for their own life", that is forbidden. People are not responsible for their own choices.

    One of the things I have witnessed, is the creation of new illnesses for every little thing that is out of the normal. Instead of someone committing murder being help accountable for their choice, they are now pushed to claim mental illness as the cause for their actions. That they were hearing voices, or someone else took over their body and actions and did these horrible acts.
    It is exactly like people blaming the gun for the crime that was committed instead of the person behind the gun. It is not as if the gun that was sitting their behind the vault, unlocked the vault from the inside, loaded itself, walked several feet or even miles away from its resting place, and pulled its own trigger shooting off several rounds. I mean, people blame the gun, not the person who is holding the gun for the crime.

    Society has gotten to a point where "accountability" is not allowed to continue. It is everyone else's fault. For example, the surroundings someone lives in is to blame for the choices someone makes, if they choose to become a drug dealer. They blame it on the fact that the person had no choice but to become a drug dealer, INSTEAD of choosing to move out of that life, or choosing something else. In the case of abortion, which I am completely against, women are now given an out. They are given plenty of options to not be held accountable for their actions. Women and men KNOW that the ONLY 100% way to not get pregnant is abstinence. IF the woman or man chooses to have sex than they are taking the chance that a baby will be there. Women now though are given the option of abortion, taking away a woman and man's accountability from them, and allowing them to continue their charades.
    I know this is very touchy for a lot of people, but it is true. Society today has become so backwards in their way of thinking that nobody is held accountable for their own actions. They are told to blame anything other than themselves for what choices THEY are making. The key word in there is "they".
    I like what Bruce Jenner was saying, but I do agree calling people names is not the greatest in the world.
    I wish that the world had better morals, respect, and were able to trust like we have before, but unfortunately greed, lust, and power is in full force.
    Anything to explain away God is there. Something I strongly believe, is that the reason why God is being explained away, is because of "accountability". Think about that one. If we had to be accountable of our actions to God, then we would not be able to do the evil that is within our hearts. The temptation to do wrong is powerful, and for people to be able to continue with their infatuations they have to explain away God so they 'think' they do not have to be accountable for their actions.
    Anyway, these are my thoughts. I truly respect you putting this talking point on here. I hope that what you have said touches many, and if it helps at least one person all the more better. Thank you for your time.
    God Bless.... Sara

  4. I WON'T, either!
    Our life is ours exactly because we CAN choose what to do and how to do it.
    The dictionary of Contemporary English reads: "to choose - to decide to do something because that is what you PREFER to do".
    So, YOU follow your wishes and take your OWN decisions. No matter what is your choice it will affect other people. For that we need to be held accountable for our actions.
    Nowadays many people are not thinking! They are just following "the trend", the stream or whatever it is. They don't like taking things into deep consideration.
    We are great consumers, spoiled for choice. We have somehow become "limitless" in our choice. We can't stop ourselves from using, abusing, hurting each others. We always want more than we really, truly need. That's the problem. This is one of the things that leads us into making choices. Sadly, some of them are the wrong ones.
    What should we do? I guess we should be more selective, more considerate and thoughtful. We should look for OURSELVES, take a look INSIDE. All changes start from inside. There shouldn't be anyone else to blame but ourselves. It's always up to us. Always! Even when we say the usual: "Sorry, I didn't have a choice!" That's just an excuse for not taking the accountability of our deeds.
    Take good care, Matthew and thank you!

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  6. Hi Matt ! Again the frenchie... Originally, I wanted to take my breakfast quietly, reading the news (just to get back in line with the world) and, instead, I opened Google+ and I came across the link to your blog... :D. Well, it won’t be the news but Matthew Reese in the text !....And now, here I am , saturday morning at 7 am, thinking, translating & typing, with my coffee & buttered toast... & « My life is not my fault. ? » (the wheels in my brain are spinning at the speed of light, there, Matthew... a saturday morning, I must be mad ! Lots of things to say, yes in french (it's so simple for me). And now, will I be able to translate in english what I think ?)
    « My life is not my fault. ? » I don’t buy it either. Life is full of encounters, circumstances and of course choises. If we hasn’t power over encounters and circumstances, we have a power over our choices. Choices construct our life, whether good or bad, because we also learn from our bad choices. We are responsible for the decisions we make... or not. Anyway, at each moment, we are faced with a decision to make. This is the prerequisite to advance in life. We have our own responsibility for our personal development and happiness (although it takes us to know ourselves and know what we want because a decision is a complex mechanism that’s not innate but acquired through a learning that, first, our parents gave to us to be able to choose). From the most minor choices (how will I dress this morning ? - though for me, girl, that’s not so simple, some mornings, it even seems to me an insurmountable choice ;)) to major elements in our existence (the person I am going to let share my life , to have children or not , employment, political involvement, religion... ) we choose, freely (well, without going into the philosophical details of free will and freedom more or less conditioned, at 7 am a saturday, philosophizing is still a bit hard for me, especially since I'm only at my first coffee). So, everything is always about choice. And it’s normal that we are accountable for our actions, especially when these actions are the result of choices made with full awareness (and even if the act is unintentional because we remain the perpetrator of that act which expresses our deepest thoughts. So we are responsible for our intentions). Thought precedes action. In the same way, a person chooses to enter into an addiction. Consumption or the will to stop, both are the result of a choice. We doesn’t fall into the drug inadvertently, right ? (or I've missed something ?). I do understand that several factors may be involved (genetic predisposition, social environment...etc), but well, at some point , they made an initial choice, lucid and thoughtful, no ?. They chose to initiate the process. And even if they would have given the first time in curiosity, challenge or need for freedom, nothing required them to start again. If the real desire to get out is not there, no family or other support, no center, no drug substitution can lead to stop their addictions. I’m not very understanding with people who use drugs because it’s a weakness, drug-induced euphoria don’t solve problems (am I too tough ? Well maybe. Why some people never choose that way ? Because of their strength of character and values (weakness isn't my standard so... Well, It said. That's me. Facing a problem, I’ve a motto: "if plan A doesn’t work, there are still 25 letters in the alphabet". I don’t give up easily. I don’t want to get into any bond of dependence. I have my difficult moments when everything falls on me, but in these times, I rather think it should pull myself together and I think I have to play an active role in order to restore a more relaxing surroundings. Ok, I have too a great ability to let go, which I use in abondance and which saves me). Okay, here is an extract of my thoughts, a glimpse of who I am, it's not bad for a first attempt... :D
    Matthew, congratulations for all these texts, they are very well written and inspiring

  7. Obviously it is your choice to post my comment or not. As far I am concerned I am ok with what ever you choose.
    Although I am unfamiliar with the Jenner interview this is a reoccurring topic in my family. I recently had a conversion about the subject of addiction with my sister. We were discussing the stress and pressures of having the do it all as single mothers. She asked me why I don’t have a glass of wine at the end of the day to mellow out. I am very cautious talking about this subject with this particular sister. She easily takes offense to things and I am very proud of the great strides she has made in her life. So I proceeded with caution while giving her my explanation. Our father was an alcoholic, our oldest brother is an alcoholic that introduced cocaine to this particular sister (she is now in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse), our little sister is an alcoholic, little brother does heroin, and I am not sure about the youngest. To me this says enough but to her it wasn’t. She thinks marijuana should be legal. One drink at the end of the day doesn’t make someone an alcoholic, but if you are drinking as a way of coping no good will come out of it. The debate then continues. Alcoholism is a disease…..wait what? You choose to drink people don’t choose to get cancer. I have then set off a chain of emotions. She is now upset which always leads to a discussion about the things that happened in our childhood. She gets quiet and her tone saddened. She tells me about her therapy sessions and how she is trying hypnotherapy. She has recalled something from our past that she has questions about. I take a deep breath and steady myself, I know what is coming. Our step brother had sexually abused when we were younger, we rarely talk about it. Tonight it’s important to her so I want answer her questions. Recalling an incident she says “you said you knew, you told me not to tell anyone and that you would handle it.” She wants to know why I would tell her not to say anything. Honestly, I don’t know I was only 11. Fear, shame, embarrassment, there were many times I tried to tell someone. At this point I am hoping for an easier question. To my relief the next question I can answer. “What did you do to handle it? I just tried to make sure I wasn’t around when he was there but you still hung around him?” Life is about choices. Every choice we make impacts not only ourselves but our family, those around us, and even strangers. I made a choice that day. I would do what he wanted as long as he would leave my sister alone. I made sure that I was around when he visited. It was the only way I could make sure she was safe. My sister was quiet. I tell her that I love her and that I am sorry that she felt like I had let her down. We all choose how we cope with the things that happen in our lives. Some choose to abuse drugs or alcohol. I choose to handle it sober, I need to. If I numb it I might not be able to feel the good things that life offers me. It might sound strange but I am thankful for my past. It gives me courage to not let it define me.

  8. I completely agree!!! I actually said the exact same thing when my cousin had said something on facebook about Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In comments everyone jumped down my throat like I knew they would saying it is a disease. I told them in my opinion it is a choice and not a disease. I watched my best friend die from breast cancer- she fought hard- she didn't have a choice to live and he wanted to. People have a choice to live and not do drugs. They make the choice to do them knowing they can and will possibly die. Period.



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