Learning the hard way

Addiction is a terrible thing. In Life of the Party, we watch as Mackenzie slowly becomes addicted to the drugs she does. Having the time of her life, she’s completely oblivious as her addiction takes control. And then suddenly, it’s too late. Suddenly, she needs the drugs, she can’t function without them, and they’ve become her life.

“Mom, don’t!” I tried to pry my arm from her grasp but her grip was surprisingly strong. She pushed the sleeve of my sweater up until all the skin was exposed. Her face went bone-white at the sight, at the clusters of tiny red dots that covered my skin. I felt the heat in my cheeks, the warm blush of shame that spread across my face. I looked down at the floor. “Mitch. Mitch, look. Just look at what she’s doing to herself.” Mom’s voice held horror now, and I understood that my dad was there as well, taking in the awful sight. I dared to look up at his face. It was hard. Rigid, even. Colorless. He looked at me just as my mom had, like he’d never seen me before. Not before now. Now that they knew my terrible secret. I was addicted to heroin. Yes, I knew it then. There was no more denying it, no justifying it, no excusing it. I was a heroin addict. And I couldn’t hide it anymore. All the happiness from earlier slunk slowly from my being. Because all of it had been a lie. All of it. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t me feeling happiness, acceptance. I couldn’t feel happiness, not real happiness. I couldn’t feel anything. Not anymore.

 Addicts are not bad people. They just can’t help themselves.

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