There are diseases and then, there are diseases

Country singer and drug addict Mindy McReady commits suicide, leaving behind two young boys. We're supposed to feel sympathy for her because she was 'sick' like, say, my father who died of cancer. My take: my dad did not invite his illness into his life, and he fought like hell to stay in this world with his five children and wife. I have no sympathy for a mother who creates her own disease and then succumbs to it, abandoning two souls she created.

Perhaps I'm heartless. Perhaps I only have enough space to grieve for those little ones left behind. But if one more person says that a drug addict is 'sick' like a cancer patient I will have blood on my tongue from biting it.

The fact is that while there may indeed be a genetic component to addiction, you do not become an 'addict' if you don't engage in prohibited or dangerous activity.

Which means that if you know you  have a propensity to over-medicate, you stay away from the bar, the medicine cabinet, the street corner.  It really is as simple as that, despite the high-minded philosophizing of addiction specialists.  And if you are the mother of young children, you do not cry a river about the problems in your life, and then put an end to that same life because it's easier than doing the hard work of surviving.

I have known what it's like to be left behind after a loved one commits suicide, and as I said before, I have known what it's like to lose a loved one to cancer.  There is anger toward the first, who throws away a salvageable life.  There is regret for the second, who fights to remain.

And if that is intolerant, so be it.

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