As life goes on, whether you’re sober or still suffering from your addiction, you will face different people from all walks of life. It is important to remember that each and every person is different, uniquely and wonderfully made, despite what their characteristics are. What one person is facing could seem easy to you, but it could be crushing the other person from the inside out. When thinking about different people, it is important to remember a few things before you judge.
Always evaluate yourself, your thoughts, and your character.
When listening to someone’s story, are you sitting there in judgment or are you sitting there actively listening? If you’re listening, are you listening to hear or listening to respond? Even through your judgement, what is your motive? What are the reasons behind your thoughts or response? Are you standing there judging the person or are you scared that you are going to say the wrong thing? The old saying holds that you haven’t been in someone else’s shoes. Even if you have been through the exact same thing, due to the uniqueness and individuality of each person, it was not the same experience. The next time someone is standing in front of you telling you about their day, evaluate your motives or your purpose of being there.
Do not judge what you do not understand.
Addiction is one of the most misunderstood and misjudged issues. People who have never used do not understand the power of addiction, the power of filling a void, feeling like life will be okay. There’s judgement against those who are searching for love, for life, money, numbness, or maybe even ignorance. Yes, addiction is a selfish disease. However, it does not give anyone the right to judge or sit on their high horse of righteousness. Until a person has experienced such a low, depressed, lonely, and painful spot that nothing seems worthwhile, you have no right to judge their decisions. Even if you are an adult child of an alcoholic or a current child of an addicted parent, you may still not know what it is like.
- Have you ever felt so sad, miserable, alone, or angry that you felt like ending your life?
- Have you ever been so attracted to a feeling, to an idea, or an emotion that it consumes you from head to toe, every ounce of your being?
- Have you ever been so engulfed by a feeling that you continue to think about it, even when you are in the moment?
If you answered no to all those questions, then chances are that you do not know what it’s like. If you have experienced this type of sadness and emptiness but didn’t turn to drugs, then it still wasn’t the same. The sorrow and sadness a person feels is typically too much for a mere mortal soul to feel. If a “normal” person felt the pain, even for a moment, they would not be able to stand it. Being able to experience what an addict is experiencing is far greater than experiencing the rush of the high, rather, feeling the deep and sorrowful emotions, a person is feeling. If you could experience this, you may forget about the judgement. Instead, you would be encouraged to take the pain away, to find out what you can do to support and help those who are suffering. In today’s day and age, there is an infinite amount of resources. Being ignorant and blind to this never-ending issue is not an option. Just don’t assume that someone else will take care of the issue, take charge and be a leader. Remember, each person you face is someone’s daughter, mother, father, or brother. What if it were yours?