Martine Moutou

An addiction is a player holding its victim hostage. It does not rear its ugly head only in the drug world, but ramps in gambling, alcohol, food and sex among others. What is that engine that drives humans to indulge and engulf in these addictive behaviors? Three related words: SUFFERING, PAIN and EMPTINESS!

A quick remedy acts as a quick solution dissolving so rapidly that it emancipates itself within a broken soul who longs for a radical pain killer. The world is currently in deep suffering and most go for an instant gratification. Talking about one’s pain should be a normal trait of life but the more life goes, the more people choose, because of subtle social pressure, to suffer in silence.

Judgment is so rampant, especially in our beautiful little island. With eyes wide shut, people run to a quick exit plan to soothe their pain and suffering which actually intensify through repeated ventures to any type of addiction. Drug is the main concern at the moment. Mauritians count on the government to exert measures, thus reducing the amount of tragedies occurring.

Why do we expect so much or nearly everything from the government? How about our responsibilities? Cutting off drug dealers is like cutting off weed without uprooting them. Any problem needs a binocular look at its root. People are scared to face their inner demons. People fear their reputation would get scarred. People cannot digest their own mistakes and prefer airing all their trash to other people through different means. People fear rejection and many opt to bury their true selves for a fake personality to suit society. People prefer wearing blinkers, setting their lives at stake rather than going through a dark tunnel which definitely and eventually would light up further away, with inner strength as a plus.

Let’s imagine the government wipes off drug dealers, would the number of addicts be reduced? If the real inner issues are not being addressed and endearingly dealt with, then drug addicts would turn to any other subtle and rapid appeasing solution. What are our responsibilities as human beings? Do we give a chance to people to voice out their pain? Do we give a chance to people to speak about their mistakes without laying a heavy coat of judgment? Are we practising compassion or soul pollution? No one is qualified to judge and criticize yet we all do somehow, thinking we know better, thinking we would do and act better. Both attitudes stem up from two main powerful and destructive forces called PRIDE and INSECURITY!

Reading about drug addicts has enlightened my initial poor knowledge of this dark world which turns vulnerable people into outcasts and a threat to society. They are knocked off course and emotionally pull their surroundings down their track. One thing which links most drug addicts is their wish to be shoveled out of this dirt but they are so hooked on this temporary yet relieving and extraordinary feeling drug induces within, that most keep keeping on till biting the dust.

Encouraging and enabling people to freely speak about their issues with an open heart without spreading elements of their lives through any type of gossiping method, would soften the blow. Practising forward-thinking rather than cheap shots would enhance merciful attitude rather than egocentric ones which cast more souls to gloom and doom. It’s fashionable, nowadays, to post unprocessed opinions behind one’s screen, spitting bad comments, criticizing whoever and whichever. But are we making the least effort to contributing to help save people or to bring any kind of improvement for the world’s betterment? I am first to state that I personally need to jump from speaking to moving. Words are void without coherent and concrete action.

Choice is a big element which one ought to respect. There are some people who are so ingrained and entangled in their addictive habits that they became blindsided and refuse to even blink at a rising chance of emerging out of the muck and mud. But it’s not outside our league to bring help and especially love and understanding to those who are genuinely willing to be saved from the evil hands of ANY addiction. It’s funny how this phrase « Forget your past, start fresh » keeps showing up and is commonly uttered out of so many mouths. But we keep labelling people with bad stickers, reminding them of their past and failures as if failures make us who we are. Are we willing to give a second chance to people? In any area of one’s life, one could be longing for a second chance.

Recently, I read about a former drug addict, one of ours, a Mauritian, who went through the process of rehabilitation, wanting to have a rewrite of his life, but society wouldn’t allow him to. He would not be accepted for any job and finds shelter in abandoned houses. And the main song sung for the 50th anniversary of the country was “Lame dan Lame!” How ironic! Perfection is a myth and mistakes and failures are no monsters unless one allows them to be so. No one is immune to them, so why wasting our energy in demeaning others? That same energy could be a positive input to anybody’s life.

Loving from a distance is compulsory sometimes to avoid being dragged along a detrimental path. Yet, learning to keep our tongue from wording our judgmental and critical thoughts, (which by the way are superficial), is of great importance and I’ll push it further by stating that it could be soul and even lifesaving! Let’s take the ocean as a figurative example here; rubbish lies on surface level, but true treasure is found deeper. Training one’s mind to go the extra mile would honor values at large.

« A street cat named Bob » is a movie, based on a true story, about a homeless busker, former heroin addict who genuinely wanted to pull through and was given a chance by a support worker who found him a place to live and prescribed him methadone. He faced opposition but what gave him an inner power to be completely unglued from any substance addiction was love from an animal, a cat! If love from a faithful animal can help save souls, how much more can a human do?

The answer is yours.