Cory Monteith’s death took me by surprise, so much so that I was pretty much shocked and I am having a difficult time getting it out of my head. There has been something that has been haunting me since Sunday morning when I woke to the news that Cory Monteith had died. I am deeply saddened by his death. I thought it was because he was so young and in the prime of his life but then I realized that it was something more. From the moment I heard of his death, knowing his history and that he was in substance abuse recovery, I feared the worst; a relapse. Unfortunately, I was right. Today the coroner report confirmed my fears, Cory Monteith died of a lethal overdose of alcohol and heroin.
I found it odd yesterday when I read a report in which one of Cory’s acquaintances, who had seen him a couple days prior to him being found dead, said that Cory was doing great and even though he was in recovery, a few days ago he had three beers. This ignorant statement infuriated me. What the fuck is so great about someone who is in recovery for an addiction drinking alcohol? It was a great big giant red flag and instead of saying hey buddy let’s get a meeting, this asshole thought it was great that Cory could throw back a few beers. He was relapsing, falling off the fucking wagon and everyone around him was too fucking stupid to notice or care. And the ones who did care or would notice, weren’t there to stop him.
I’ve known people with addictions. I have a father who has been a recovering alcoholic for the past 13 years. There is nothing I would not do to keep him from ever drinking another sip of alcohol. The thing is you cannot force an addicted person to quit the addiction. Addiction is the hardest thing they will ever have to quit, so recovery is something that the addicted has to want for themselves because they are who will have to do all the heavy lifting; every single day for the rest of their lives. It’s not easy. It is very hard and anyone who has ever moved past his or her addiction and learned to co-exist with his or her demon is stronger than you will ever know.
Anyone who has ever had an addiction of any sort and living in recovery knows that there is always a little tiny part of us that hides away with that behavior and feels broken for the rest of our lives. Having the addiction makes us feel like failures and the only thing that can relieve that feeling of failure is giving into the addiction, feeding it or completely conquering it. Making peace with ourselves and forgiving ourselves for failing is the only way we can peacefully co-exist with our addiction because when you quit an addiction, you piss it off. I know it’s crazy that I am talking about an addiction, a weakness, like it is a being but in many ways, it is. It is an all-consuming, make you its bitch and torture your soul for all eternity asshole.
And it doesn’t matter if your addiction is to food, alcohol, drugs, sex, exercise, gambling or even to restrictive behavior or sadomasochistic tendencies if you are consumed by your craving, it is hard to enjoy your life because while all that great shit is going on outside of your body, in your life, inside your body, there is a battle for your soul going on and you can only half pay attention, only half live in the now. It’s like distracted driving but with your life. It’s hard and you have to make a choice, do you want to spend the rest of your life battling to stay in recovery or do you just give in?
I think Cory was tired of fighting and he may have even thought, I will do it this one last time and then I will stop forever but this one last time was one time too many.
My heart is truly with Cory Monteith’s family. I pray for them and for his girlfriend, that they might find peace in their life and one day move past this devastation and the hole in their hearts that his passing has left. But I suspect, like most people who love someone with addiction, they were saddened by Cory’s passing but not entirely shocked because when you love someone who is addicted you always know that there is a very real possibility that one day their addiction will take them from you.
May your soul finally know peace, Cory Monteith. Your time here was too brief.