Science has proven that addiction is not a choice but a deadly disease like any other. Think of it this way, some people are allergic to nuts, every single day one in ten of these people choose to eat nuts even though they could get an allergic reaction.
Yes they made a choice but do they deserve the suffering that comes later? Others choose to sunbathe even though they know it can cause cancer. They made the choice but should we shame them for having cancer?
Madelyn Linsenmeir, those close to her called her“Maddie,”is one of these persons whose struggle with opioids lead to her untimely death. Maddie’s family published an obituary in her honor on“The Burlington Free Press.” – They sheds new light on what it’s like to watch someone you love battle addiction.
Their story urges others to practice compassion rather than pass judgment by looking beyond the addiction to the soul beneath that is suffering
Maddie grew up in Burlington, Vermont. Her family describes her as a competitive person, light-hearted, loved to sing, dance, and swim.
Her family moved to Florida when she was 16, and in high school. She went to a party one day and for the first time tried OxyContin. This was the beginning of her life long relationship with opioids.
As time went by, Maddie became a single mom to son Ayden in 2014. Being a mother, she tried so hard to stay sober than she ever had in her life. She would take her son on long walks, sing to him, and swim together. She relapsed later on, lost custody of her son and spent the next two years trying to get sober.
After her death, the family saidshe was much more than just an addict.
“To some, Maddie was just a junkie—when they saw her addiction they stopped seeing her. And what a loss for them. Because Maddie was hilarious, and warm, and fearless, and resilient. She could and would talk to anyone, and when you were in her company you wanted to stay.
In a system that seems to have hardened itself against addicts and is failing them every day, she befriended and delighted cops, social workers, public defenders, and doctors, who advocated for and believed in her till the end. She was adored as a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, and mother, and being loved by Madelyn was a constantly astonishing gift.
If you are reading this with judgment, educate yourself about this disease, because that is what it is. It is not a choice or a weakness. And chances are very good that someone you know is struggling with it, and that person needs and deserves your empathy and support.
We take comfort in knowing that Maddie is surrounded by light, free from the struggle that haunted her. We would have given anything for her to experience that freedom in this lifetime. Our grief over losing her is infinite. And now so is she.”
Thefamily offered encouragement to addicts out there, reading Maddie’s obituary to get clean and stay that way.
“If you yourself are struggling from addiction, know that every breath is a fresh start. Know that hundreds of thousands of families who have lost someone to this disease are praying and rooting for you. Know that we believe with all our hearts that you can and will make it. It is never too late.”
Even in their grief, they saw an opportunity to help remove the social stigma and encourage empathy towards those who are fighting every single day.
Rest in peace, Maddie.