In Hope, Indiana Erika Hurt is hurting and out of hope.
Erika is the flavor of the week in this recent trend of filming and photographing overdoses.
In my opinion, if you want to go viral… eat some cinnamon or put an iPhone in a blender.
If you see someone overdosing, use the 911 feature on your phone instead of the camera.
Erika is obviously going to need to take responsibility for her actions. This young mother is clearly struggling with addiction and anyone with even a sliver of compassion is first going to think about the crying baby in the back seat.
Nevertheless, we don’t know Erika’s story. We don’t know what Erika is trying to escape in her life or what kind of emotional trauma led her to the needle.
One thing I can say for sure, is that Erika doesn’t need the help of people like these to feel worthless about herself:
My only hope is that the people who think like this can open their eyes and hearts before it is their son or daughter in the next overdose picture… or coffin.
I’ve got no hate of my own for these people. I’m sad to say I once thought the way they do. It took suffering my own addiction to grant me empathy and humility.
What Erika did was wrong. Using drugs in front of a child or while caring for a child is obviously reckless. I’m never going to condone child endangerment.
However, like I’ve said before, there is nothing nasty or hateful you can say to Erika that she isn’t already saying to herself. Unfortunately, the fear and shame associated with addiction prevents a lot of young parents like Erika from opening up or asking for help.
Showing empathy, hope, compassion and love… that’s how we meet Erika with open arms. It’s not too late for Erika to be the best mother she can be. It’s going to take some work and the road ahead will not be easy. First we need her to utter those three little words:
“I need help.”
Just try to keep in mind your worst moment in life. Try to imagine your face plastered all over every social media and news page.
Now try to bounce back from that.
Does this young woman need to be kicked while she’s down? Or, maybe, just maybe… is it time to reach out our hands and help lift her back up?
(If you or a loved one is seeking treatment, feel free to email me:)