So this woman lays bare her most embarrassing episodes and you can't empathize, it's a first world problem like your keyless entry not working or wearing a watch so you don't have to take your phone out of your pocket to read a text. You read two hundred pages about a person struggling with a mental illness and your takeaway was in part "I kinda don't care." This is the problem with addiction. Mitch Hedberg said, "They say alcoholism is a disease but it's the only disease people can get mad at you for having. Dammit Otto, you have lupus. Dammit Otto, you're an alcoholic. One of those doesn't sound right." This is why people end up homeless. Their families can't or won't help them. They don't care because it's a choice to feel like shit all the time. It's a choice to wake up with a black eye you don't remember getting. An intervention a family saying if you don't fix this now we're going to throw you out to the wolves because we can't understand what you're going through. How is that for therapy? We don't abandon late stage cancer patients and Alzheimer's patients but every day this bullshit tough love approach forces people already with deep psychological problems against a wall. A&E even makes it into spectacle. Not for cigarette smokers, they aren't fun to watch stumble around but I digress.
Hepola never got so down low that it was horrifying and pitiful and her writing style was more like a long blog post to me but she had a real problem that people who haven't been through it have zero empathy for. But even if she had been through life threatening withdrawal like I have she'd probably get no more thoughtful consideration as to the broken mechanism that causes addiction. "Well, you made a bad decision. Repeatedly and in the face of massive evidence that your behavior is going to kill you. You deserve scorn at the least because I certainly can't imagine waking up in a pool of vomit and diarrhea after realizing that was a possible consequence." I go to meetings, I hate AA, it's a cult, but it's effective because you have to live through it to understand it apparently. And at every meeting someone mentions the type of people they meet in treatment. It's fucking everyone. Doctors, lawyers, clergy, executives. Someone you know and when you find out you better remember this book and the struggle Sarah went through before she found sobriety instead of saying you have no empathy for a person in this position. "Really moving" but "Hard to empathize," wait until it's one of your friends.