Friday, December 01, 2006

Dirty Little Addictions

A friend of mine was arrested this morning on charges of sexual assault. I should've seen it coming. He'd been hanging around in cyberspace for years, trolling for "adults-only" types of friends and relationships.

He's a recovering junkie/drunk. He has a lot of time in the fellowship. Like too many of us, though, once he put the cork in the bottle and threw away the syringe he thought he was "done" with recovery. All he had to to after that was just "keep on coming" as they say in the biz. I doubt if he'd done the Steps. His last known sponsor was some guy who lived 40 miles away whom he never called or saw. He would often "take my inventory" regarding my recovery, offering direct orders on what I should, or should not, be doing.

He also has a heart of gold. He befriended me when I was pretty friendless. He let me hang around his place of business while I was "between gigs" from the temp agency. He would let me spend hours playing on his office computer, so I could keep my skills semi-fresh while I tried to stop shaking from fear and detoxing and was once again employable. He never asked anything in return, except for the occasional loan. I happily gave it to him, not really expecting to ever see it again. He has a heart of gold, but he's a lousy businessman. His wife and kids often treated the till like it was their personal ATM. He never cared.

His cavalier financial attitudes started catching up with a year or so ago. The IRS came to call and he started missing some payments on long-term debt. The hole got deeper when he got suckered into some on-line "equity financing" schemes which were little more than on-line loan-sharks.

He took more and more solace in the make believe world of "hot lesbian chicks want to get it on with you now!" type websites. He started losing touch with mundane realities. I confronted him once or twice and was rebuffed with "don't tell me how to run my program" type responses. I backed off.

Then, this morning, I got an e-mail from someone who doesn't like him very much. It was a reprint of an article in the local paper regarding my friend's downfall and arrest. The sender added a little postscript bascially gloating over my friend's misfortune.

All I can think of is how easily it happened. Denial and addiction are cunning co-dependents who love to work in unison to bring about the downfall of the sufferer.

My friend never saw his addiction to drugs gradually transform into an addiction for sex. He would've been shocked if anyone had ever suggested it to him. He was (and still is, as far as I know) a happily married man.

I don't know what I can do to help him, but I intend to at least try. I'll begin by praying for him and his family.

Meanwhile, though, I must constantly remind myself that...

There, but for the grace of God, go I.

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