I get it. I was sheltered, blah blah blah. I haven't ever spiraled into worldly darkness at the mercy of a bottle nor have I ever hung out with people who have.
Maybe that's what keeps a steady hope hanging out under my eyelids. Maybe that's why I'm pushing against the callouses people wear around like fashion in this line of work.
"Go to rehab? She's not going to rehab - 100 bucks says she used this morning and she'll use tonight."
"He used once? No, he's an addict. Addicts don't just use once."
"They've been clean for 10 years, they said? Still addicts."
The conversations are circular because I want so desperately to believe that people can change, that they can tell the truth, that they can love their kids more than they love their addictions. But people in this line of work have watched people never change, never tell the truth, and always choose their addictions over their children.
So, experience says I'm foolish and green and too wide-eyed.
I get that.
And I don't want to be foolish about my hope. But, there is one thing I wish was more culturally acceptable to introduce into conversations about addicts.
"...but, she's an addict." "But, have you met my Jesus?"
And so I pray. I pray that things work out differently - for softened hearts and humble spirits. I pray for the addicts who are helpless against their vices. And in them I see me. I see the human condition. I see that we need Jesus. And so I pray.