I’ve been following the news about the death of Cory Monteith, not just because I’m a Glee fan but also because I’m a fellow addict. While his death is a tragedy for obvious reasons-a great-looking guy with all the talent in the world and everything going for him dying way before his time-I think an additional tragedy is the thought that his life could have been saved if he had gotten the right kind of help.
When I read the headlines and heard the news reports about his death, all the memories of my own addiction experience came rushing back to me, full-force. It was like I was living my three-year addiction nightmare all over again. I started thinking about the fights with my family and my boyfriend, the horrible withdrawal periods and the belief that I was going to die every day. I also remembered how amazing my treatment program was and how much love and support I felt when I was in recovery.
I really was under the impression that Cory Monteith already had won his battle with heroin and alcohol addiction. He just looked so vibrant and full of life on Glee, and I thought to myself: “Finally a star that was able to put his demons behind him.” During the height of my addiction, I had the strong support of a few amazing people and that was enough for me; but he had millions of fans praying for him to get better and a girlfriend who loved him and continues to, well after he’s gone. The turning point for me was when I finally learned in my behavioral therapy part of rehab treatment to love myself. After six months of continued sobriety, I know that all the love in the world won’t save you if you don’t love yourself.
I feel terrible that there are people like Cory, and anyone else for that matter, who don’t get what I got out of treatment. For me, it was a chance to start over and rebuild my relationship with my family. This guy had everything in the world to live for, and I think he would have recognized that if he got the right kind of counseling. I’m not saying his death is anyone’s fault or that his doctors and therapists didn’t do everything they could, I’m just saying that this was a senselessly tragic tale of a promising life cut short by heroin and alcohol.