It’s amazing how people treat other people. Now I know we all judge people, I get it… but why? Do we boil it down to that’s just what our brain is wired to do? Or are we really that judgmental as human beings?
We don’t know what other people’s lives look like. You may see an addict at a bar or on the street and say “Wow look at that drunk.” And treat that person like crap because people are so ready to judge others. Maybe, deep down it stems from our own insecurities. Maybe, it’s something we should all try to fix.
I’ll give you my own personal first-hand experience of people judging others, and it’s not the first or last time I’ll see it.
On one of the more uglier nights with my Dad’s drinking, I came home with my friend only to pull up to my driveway and see cop cars with their lights on. Not one cop car, but multiple. I turned to my friend in a panic and said: “Stay here! Do not come in!”
I rushed towards my house jumping over bushes to get to the front door. I was terrified, what the fuck could have happened???
When I walked into our home all I could see was my Dad drunk and bleeding from his hand all over the floor. My dog Strider, freaking out trying to lick at the blood and at my Dad’s wound. I stood there in shock for a moment until one of the cops started to ask who I was. I told my Dad to sit on the stairs while I talked to the cop. The cop said my Dad had fallen onto a lamp and cut his hand pretty good and that they were waiting for an ambulance because they could tell he was extremely intoxicated.
Who called the cops? I Have no idea, maybe in a drunken stupor he called them, not fully understanding what would happen when he did.
I tried to process how this happened, of why now? He promised he stopped drinking, it’s why I moved back in with him THREE days earlier. During my talk with the cop, my Dad tried to stand up. He was so drunk he had absolutely no idea what he was doing. The cop quickly and I have to say aggressively pushed my Dad back down onto the stairs and started talking to him like he was some piece of trash.
I lost it. Who the hell did this guy think he was? And to do all of this in front of his teenage daughter!
“Don’t fucking touch my father! He is a fucking human being! He wasn’t doing anything wrong! He doesn’t even know what is happening right now!” The cop stepped back, he didn’t freak out that this girl was screaming at him but he gave me this look. A look I so badly wanted to slap off that guy’s face.
I told myself to breathe and I turned towards my Dad. “Please sit Daddy, I’ll sit with you, but I need you to sit.” I tugged lightly on his arm as he looked around as if he didn’t know where he even was and sat him down next to me.
It wasn’t long until the ambulance came, you could see the fear and sadness in my Dad’s eyes as they began to put him on the stretcher. As they took him out of the house he started crying. Crying out for me. And all I could do was drop to my knees in shock, in pure sadness, part anger but at that moment mostly sad. My friend saw me and ran from the car to me and just held me as the cops left never saying a word. Never asking if I would be okay, or had anyone to help me or take care of me.
For all the chaos that had happened, even with my friend there hugging me, it felt so quiet and I couldn’t have felt more alone.
There’s more to this night and I’ll touch upon that another time but at that moment I felt terrible for my Dad. It’s wasn’t the first and it wasn’t the last time someone treated my Dad like he was scum. But they didn’t know the true him. They didn’t care that he had a disease, that when he was sober he was an amazing person who touched the lives of others, a Dad, a human being.
But I want to dive more into how we are treating others, and I’ll give you a prime example.
I had someone I knew on Facebook and she posted a post that went along the lines of “If you die from addiction I will not be sad for you or their families, they chose to live this way and good riddance.” I wrote a whole argument to send back “You have no idea what you’re talking about, not one person says ‘YEAH! That’s what I want my life to be like! And you don’t care about the family? How sick is that?” My rant was a lot longer than what I just wrote but in the end, I deleted it, and I deleted her from my friends. I knew what I wanted to say would never change how she felt, and that made me sad.
When someone famous relapses or has a problem the whole world says “Oh praying for you! Be strong! We all love you!”
But in real life that’s not how people truly act. People say “These people are scumbags.” “Look at that loser.”
It’s hard to understand if you don’t truly understand the problem. I just beg of you the next time you see someone struggling, know that, that person has friends and family who love them. You don’t know what others go through, and you may see only one side. But there is always another side. A side where someone who is in pain, needs help. We all struggle with life. Let’s stop judging and start caring.
It doesn’t even have to be addiction we are talking about, it can be just about anything. People are struggling with depression, anxiety, health issues, etc. But people choose to see what they want to see. Try looking deeper.
A lot of people can’t afford to get help or don’t have the support system they need. So try to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes; don’t just assume. Be lucky to live a life where you don’t have those demons or have an addiction. Because not everyone has that luxury. Some people are born with a chemical imbalance or grew up in poor environments. No one ever chooses that life. We don’t know what other people are going through, so let’s treat people like we would want to be treated.
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”-Jan Maclaren