The Hard Way

cory-monteithThere aren’t a whole lot of television shows that I really get into.  Once upon a time, I was (and still am) an X-Files fan.  24 was among my wife’s and my favorite shows as was Lost.  I’ve gotten into Arrested Development lately after watching it on Amazon.  All in all, I can probably count on both hands (at most) the TV shows in recent years that I have really enjoyed and gotten into.  Glee was no exception.

Glee aired after my wife and I had been in Virginia for about a year and a half.  Some of our friends got into it and I think we both gave it a try.  Being a big music fan, I was drawn to the performances, but the story didn’t grab me.  Some might say I needed to give it another shot, but I didn’t.  I really just watched enough of the episodes to recognize the faces of the actors who starred on the show.

When news broke the other night of Cory Monteith’s death, it was a scene that I felt I had seen played out too many times in my life.  John Belushi, River Phoenix, Chris Farley, Corey Haim, and countless others had fallen victim to addiction and met their demise from the abuse of alcohol, drugs, or both.  All of them died before they had turned 40 and Monteith was no exception.

According to the media, it was no secret that Monteith had struggled with addiction.  He had been in and out of rehab, yet he continued to do what he did.  The tragic part of it seems to be twofold though.  At one side is the tragedy of dying at what many would say was the beginning of his prime years.  But the other side is that in the midst of his addiction, his struggles with rehab, and everything else, we continued to watch him…..and seemingly do nothing.

But what could we have done?  Right?  I mean, it’s not like we found ourselves in some kind of friendship or close relationship with him.  While some of us may have known his character on Glee, we probably didn’t know him in real life.  Could we really have helped him?  How about his friends?  What did they do?  We will probably never know that.

But how many other “Cory Monteiths” are in the world?  How many people around us are struggling with addiction?  How do we respond when we see it?  Do we see it, or do we turn a blind eye towards it?  Does our care, concern, and love win the day or is it our own sense of guilt and fear that we may be ruled “judgmental” for trying to help someone out?

I can honestly say that there are people in my life who I trust.  I trust that if I should ever find myself in a place of addiction and abuse, they would come alongside me and do their best to help.  I trust that they will be willing to shoulder my wrath in order to save me from digging myself an early grave.  I trust that they won’t turn a blind eye towards my glaring issues.  Maybe I trust too much, but I doubt it.

Like I said, I don’t know what kinds of things Monteith’s friends and family did.  I don’t know how they may have tried to help him.  All I know that at the age of 31, he is no longer here.  His life was cut short and there is no way to get it back.  But there are plenty of other people who can still be saved.  They’re in the throes of addiction or at least knocking on the door and we might be just the person to come along and help them out.  How will we respond?

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