FanPost

An Open Letter to Justin Blackmon and Fellow Jags Fans

Friends -

What an exciting weekend! I loved the draft and where we went with it! Bortles, 2 receivers and great steals like Colvin and Storm. Having said that, a consistent topic of discussion was Justin Blackmon's continued suspension due to alcohol and drug abuse. I have read comments ranging from support for Justin to calling him "weak" and "an idiot." Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I wanted to say the following.

Life is bigger than football. I really feel for Justin Blackmon. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic myself, and know EXACTLY the hell that is addiction. I know the thought process of picking up a drink thinking "I can control it this time" or "this time it will be different." I know that thought of picking up a drink will "make things better" - either add to a good time or dull emotional pain. I am very aware of the intense embarrassment felt after waking up from a blackout, after letting down your friends, your family, your colleagues (or in this case, teammates). I am aware of the thought that no one understands my situation, that I am somehow unique. I have been through all of that. Through not imagining a life without pills or blow or alcohol. But somehow, I sit and write this as a sober, happy, young man. Why am I writing all of this? On the incredibly small chance that Justin happens across this, let me say this: You are not alone. Your experience is not unique. You want to know why you can't stop drinking or using? Why you have the thoughts you do? Why your in so much pain as a result of all this?

Alcoholism. That's it my friend. Pure and simple.

Its a disease, a defect of the mind and an allergy of the body. Certain types of people can't drink. I fall into that category, and I have a feeling you do as well. But there is good news, brother. You don't HAVE to live like this. SO many people who are recovering alcoholics are successful. CEOs, athletes, everything. Things can get better.

Its not easy, but it is simple. Find an AA meeting. Get a sponsor. Take advice. Be humble. Listen to people who have more time sober than you. Help others. Be of service. Remarkably, at least for me, once I started doing these things, my life drastically improved. I am better brother, son, worker, and person now. Its worth it.

So thats what I wanted to say. I doubt you will ever see these words, but maybe someone will who is struggling with drugs and alcohol like I was. Maybe it will help. Justin, or anyone who relates to what I just described, just know there is a different way.

Good luck.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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