Tuesday, February 04, 2014

What Do Philip Seymour Hoffman and I Have in Common?


On Super Bowl Sunday, my heart fell and I cried. It had nothing to do with the beating the Denver Broncos took at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. I don’t care about football. It was that moment when I glanced on Facebook and saw that Philip Seymour Hoffman had died. I remember clicking over to news sites and reading two horrible words: drug overdose. I said aloud, “Oh no.”

I really enjoyed him in “Capote” as well as “Doubt.” His talent had a certain depth that I recognized as different from many actors. My heart hurt to hear of his passing. But not because of his artistic talent but because of his killer. At the hands of addiction, another person lost his life.

So what do Philip Seymour Hoffman and I have in common?

Of course it’s not fame or money. I am a normal gal living in a suburb of Denver. No entourage or fast paced schedule. But just like Philip Seymour Hoffman, I am an addict.

I’ve never done drugs. I drink, but rarely. My drug of choice is overeating food or sugar.

The comparison might be dramatic to you, but it’s not to me. I think that’s why I cried on Sunday. I feel for Mr. Hoffman. See, I know what it is like to compulsively do something that is inherently bad for you. I know that feeling of being controlled by a desire.

A difference between Hoffman and myself is that his drug can kill quickly. Addiction to food/sugar kills but often it takes years. So although the murderer uses different methods, it is still lethal. Addiction kills. James Gandolfini, another wonderful actor, died last year of heart disease caused by obesity. Please hear me - not all obese folks are food addicts. I don't believe that. But I do believe addiction often leads to obesity. Addiction kills. 

I am in the process of desperately trying (and have been for a couple of years) to find a new way of living that doesn't involve overindulging in food or sugar. I don't have a lot of answers. My husband is a recovering addict, so I've seen firsthand the freedom one can have in recovery. It is possible. And I know the only way out is reliance on God. 

It’s ironic that most addicts like myself, have a stubborn strict that says, “We will not be controlled.” God, the One who loves each of us no matter if we are addicts or not, truly will not be controlled. But as addicts, instead of choosing to rely on God for freedom, we choose our drug of choice, which in fact, does control us.

I’m not talking about diets or weight loss plans. I’m talking about allowing the love of Jesus to fill that empty space that we all deal with most every day.

Philip Seymour Hoffman filled that space with drugs and died. I am so sorry for his death.

Today I have the choice to fill that empty space in me with food or Jesus’s grace and love. What will I do? I don’t know. But I hope, I so hope, I’ll choose God’s help.

I wish, I so wish, Mr. Hoffman had made that choice.  


Melinda said...

Oh how I love you, Robbie. Your words gently bring truth to the surface.

Robbie Iobst said...

Thank you Melinda. It's difficult to live in that truth, isn't it? Thank God for GOD. :)