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There is an image in my mind that I know will never disappear. It was a rainy night in autumn or winter. I was around 16-17. There was a young man who wanted to cross the street . The cars stopped to let him pass. I was with my father. He stopped the car too. I was looking at the man, he was young and it seemed that he was walking on the clouds. He looked at the cars with the eyes which had been beautiful someday. I thought to myself “He is looking but looking at nothing”! He was one of the victims of the monster of Addiction. One of those who had been forgotten, humiliated and overlooked by many.
In the streets of Tehran you can find hundreds of images like the one I have still on my mind. Many of our people spend their days and nights in the streets. They do not have a roof on their heads. They are rejected by the whole society.They have not spoken against the supreme leader or the President of Iran’s regime to be put in prison. But they are prisoners too, the prisoners of their habit, a habit which is nourished by smugglers.
People have different reactions towards them. Some look at them with pity and go about their businesses. Some turn their faces away when encountering them. And there are some who humiliate and disrespect them. In Tehran, I have even seen police officers who shout at them call them bad names.
But the good news is that: There is always hope … Each prisoner of the habit can find freedom and the only condition to attain this freedom is “willingness”.
A few years ago , when I began to work in a center which worked in the field of recovery from addiction, I learnt many precious lessons from the former addicts who had found sobriety by following twelve steps of freedom.This programme is called the Twelve-Step programme, a unique spiritual one. The programme is like a door to love and happiness. A door that showed them to light . A door to a new life , to a Rebirth. They always remind me of the Phoenix . Like the Phoenix which is reborn from the ashes, they find a new life. Their lives turn to ashes, burned by drugs, and when “Hope” steps into their lives, they turn their will and lives over to the care of GOD of their understading.
They get together from time to time, and share their stories and experiences. They seek help and avoid loneliness and, yes, at last they find freedom and sobriety. The energy of the whole group gives them one by one more hope to stay sober and free from drugs. Knowing that they are no longer alone and rejected is one of the most important factors in continuing their new and decent life style. You can then find them as the good and active members of the society. Even after years, sometimes as I look at the starry night sky, I remember the young man crossing the street under the rain. I see those once beautiful eyes with that empty look among the stars…Then I ask myself, “what happened to him?” And he will never know that someone still remembers him…