**Alcoholism, drug use and abuse, and psychological disorders are a debilitating element of this culture. In America, we are told to isolate ourselves. "Be the Best!" "Pull Yourself Up from your Bootstraps!" "Rugged Individualism!" As a result, we end up with a broken society that lacks community and love. My mother was not a bad person. She was a depressed woman who turned to alcoholism to cope. I am also depressed. The difference is that I turn to creativity to cope. These things don't stop until we stop them. We stop them by being courageous and telling our stories, learning that our stories are, in fact, the stories of many others. We build community from our pain. This post is not intended to vilify my mother. It is merely my story. I will not sugar coat my story inasmuch as I will not lie to make myself look "better" than I am. There is no such thing as "better" or "worse" humans. We are all one.
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,
So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.
You are the way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
-Khalil Gibran on Crime And Punishment