By Moonyeen King
President of the Board for Tepehua
This column visits the Rabbit Hole again briefly to try to understand why all addictions are so hard to break; how the initial problem forcing one to find escape is lost in the struggle to survive not only the problem, but also the addiction. A survivor of every drug, except that which needs to be delivered by a needle, a young man explains it is never over. The cost for him having been two marriages and watching the childhood of two sons slip away...one child now knows his Dad, the other still bitter, hurt and estranged. A huge price to pay. His only vice now is a cigarette, and that is a needed crutch when that little pain starts again for a fulfillment promised that he now knows can never happen. The first euphorias are so great, the memory of it hurts for the repeat pleasure, which can never happen again, not even if you double up on amount. It can only take the user down into the rabbit hole of no relief. All desires are removed like the natural pleasures of good food, sex, sunshine and relationships, laughter and love. One overriding need takes the world away.
Once clean, when natural desires return, it gives a false sense of security as the sun does return to view and you think just one little snort won’t hurt because you have proved you can quit, but it is an immediate slide back down the rabbit hole.
Another survivor confessed to falling off the wagon numerous times until he finally got it right, with the love of his wife and children threatening to leave a home in poverty because supplying his habits cost too much. He was killing the love of his family and they resented their struggle because of his dubious pleasure. He changed all his friends and habits and stayed away from places where he knew the temptation was present. Another addict, clean for two years now, is woefully sliding and looking half the man as his health is giving up to the beast. He’s in despair now as all his family have left him, again. Addiction is a lonely fight.
Women are addicts too but not in the same numbers. They get addicted faster and their trip to hell is complete as they suffer indignities a man never can. At Lakeside we have facilities for addiction for men, but not for women. They are jailed and go through the same abuse there as they do on the streets.
Some of us are fully aware we have an addictive personality and can limit and control our addictions, or we think we can. And some of us can afford our pleasures regardless of whether it is passive suicide or not. For those in poverty to begin with, like the people of the barrios, once hooked, there is very little help for them as their problems and despair grow bigger.
Although it’s not a pleasant subject, and we would prefer to read about puppy breath and butterflies, it is a public health subject like hunger and lack of clean water around the world. It is a problem in the poor districts of the world and needs to be addressed. Especially for women.
For ex-pats there are meetings for Addiction or Alcoholics Anonymous...don’t ever be nervous about reaching out. There are the same for Mexicans in organizations like DIF, and other local government agencies to help the people, but it doesn’t reach to the barrios where it is needed the most. It again boils down to fixing what´s broken in the first place - get people above the poverty line by giving them the tools of education. Then if they choose to visit the rabbit hole, it is through choice and not desperation.
MOONYEEN PATRICIA KING
Column: Profiling Tepehua
Settled in Mexico 13 years ago. The intention was to retire into the arts as a writer, poet and painter...that didn’t happen. Beneath the smiles of the peoples of Mexico there was such a great need for change, especially for the women and children of the barrios, Moonyeen has dedicated these years to change the face of this little corner of the world. The work done by the volunteers of the Tepehua Community Center is teaching that change is possible anywhere. Moonyeen was portrayed as “Woman of the Year,” also two Paul Harris Rotary awards for the work done at Tepehua. “Life in Mexico is very fulfilling. The Mexican people give so much more to us immigrants than we can possible return.