Seven days ago Scott Weiland was found dead on their tour bus as a result of an overdose.His ex-wife wrote a letter on RollingStone.com regarding his addiction and requesting not to glorify his death. I’m not a huge fan of Stone Temple Pilots, other than singing along to their songs on the radio growing up, but I am someone who is all too familiar with addiction.

She opened with stating December 3rd is not the official day Scott Weiland died. I instantly knew what she meant. Once someone gets lost and deep into the rabbit hole of addiction they are no longer the same. They are not the person you once knew or the person you have fond memories of. It pained me to learn that he had two young children and missed out on their lives because of his addiction.
I do have more sensitivities to this than others, mainly because my younger brother died due to his addiction a little over a year ago. My dad is a disabled man due to his addictions and will not admit the reality of his poor choices. Honestly, I feared that some of my brother’s friends were going to get stickers made and put on their cars regarding my his death. It’d be a constant reminder in my face when I would visit my dad and see those individuals. I’m over that now, but I didn’t want his death glorified in sticker form on someone’s car. Especially on the car of someone who knew my brother was facing rough battles, but encouraged a night out of excessive behavior.
My mom and I had discussed this event and the letter Weiland’s ex-wife wrote. I told me mom that, while reading her letter, it hurt understanding everything as an adult child. Knowing and remembering what it’s like to have a parent miss out on your life due to an addiction. My dad missed graduations, birthdays, holidays, and everything in between for over 10 years. I was only acknowledged by the child support my mom had received. I grew up with my brother having extreme stress and anxiety over the fact that my dad knew it was my birthday or my graduation day and it went unacknowledged. My brother and my dad were buddies, with their own addictions and realities, which brought them even closer as my brother grew older. Over time, my mom and I have learned the false reality my brother lived in and . He documented it, told stories to his friends about things that never happened and we have had numerous conversations with people who seemed to have known a different Joe than we did.
My brother will always be my brother, the Joe that I grew up with and punched in the arm every day. The relationship with my dad is a work in progress. I respect that he’s my dad and I can only say so much to him, even as an adult. More than enough times I’ve said, ‘actually dad, this is what happened,’ and, ‘well, you made your choices and you can only move forward from here.’ I can clearly recall the month and year that both of them had radically changed due to their addiction. After that time so much changed and occurred

Sadly, addiction has become the norm. I can meet someone just as stable as me and it doesn’t surprise me that they know someone who has suffered from an addiction. Several of my best friends have a parent with an addiction. One of our normal conversations  is updating one another about the status of our parent, the latest incident, or an outlandish conversation that took place. Sometimes we laugh, because it’s all we can do. Sometimes we cry, because there are no words to express the sadness that someone chooses to live this way.
“I don’t share this with you to cast judgment, I do so because you most likely know at least one child in the same shoes. If you do, please acknowledge them and their experience. Offer to accompany them to the father-daughter dance, or teach them to throw a football. Even the bravest girl or boy will refrain from asking for something like that; they may be ashamed, or not want to inconvenience you. Just offer – or even insist if you have to.”

My brother had both parents available to him; however, I didn’t live in the same world my dad did and so my experience growing up was much different. I am convinced I have the greatest mom in the world, she did everything she humanly could as a single mom. I’m not a bashful individual, so if I needed to ask a dad related question I asked my mom and whichever friend’s dad could provide the best answer. I didn’t get to father/daughter events, I didn’t have any of those growing up. But, I did have questions about driving, owning a car, parental inquiries where dads have a different answer/perspective than moms… I even asked a few colleagues who were old enough to be my dad some questions. They knew my parents were divorced, at least, and are loving people who the time to answer my questions and have conversations with me. In some ways, I missed out, in other ways I just had to ask for help and reach out to others. A great lesson to learn in life!

My heart breaks and I’m sensitive to learning about anyone who has been effected by addiction. It’s a shame it runs rampant in this world and is easily fed. Let’s not forget about those kids who experience the loss of parent well before their parent has physically passed.
(I just needed to get these thoughts off my chest)
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