Two Sides to the Story
“Being born a twin is probably one of the greatest gifts I could have started with in my life. From having a best friend to hang out with or having an accomplice to help get to the stash of cookies in the cookie jar mom hid, every day was an adventure. I had something most people wish they always had and a gift that kept us different and unique, no matter where we were at in life. We shared everything, birthdays, parents, Christmas, first vehicles, and everything else you can think of. Except for one thing. I became an addict.
“Growing up we were the youngest in the family. We had an older sister and an older brother, who gave us hand-me-downs. We weren’t spoiled but definitely didn’t suffer either. We had a normal childhood and got in the trouble twins get into growing up. Everything was good until high school. That’s when we went in different directions.
“You see, we both did the usual experimenting with drugs and alcohol, high school parties and stealing dad’s whiskey, replacing it with apple juice. It was something we bonded over, masterminding our weekend shenanigans together.
“When we smoked marijuana for the first time together, I was hooked. I loved it. He didn’t like it as much as me. So I continued while he didn’t. I remember going home with only one thing on my mind, food. I walked through the door and there was my mom. She knew I was high and my brother was nowhere to be seen. That’s where it all went down hill.
“The interests we used to share slowly started to diminish. He wanted to go hunting and fishing and I wanted to get high. The same friends we shared also started to dwindle. I went a different way and he stayed on his same path.
“Slowly, the secrets we used to tell each other, just became mine. I was hiding everything from him, my family, even my girlfriends. Everything revolved and focused on one thing, when I could get high, where I could get high, and how I could get high. It was something I thought was hidden but was so out in the open, everyone knew.
“He would be bartending and I would come by in the same clothes I’d been seen in 3 days prior with dark circles, pale skin and ask for a drink. He would respond ‘It’s on the house. Are you ok?’ I would say the usual and I’m ok. He would do what brothers do. He was glad to see I was alive and ok, but worried about me. He hid how he was feeling, but being a twin we just knew what the other was thinking. Even though we were fraternal and not identical, we knew each cared and loved for each other more than anyone in the world.
“Even though drugs had put a space between us, our bond was much stronger. He has seen me at my worst more times then he has seen me at my best, but never judged me. He was just always there.
“I’ve been through treatment numerous times and it was only until this last time I started to question and wonder, why am I the addict and he isn’t, why can he say no and I can’t. We were twins, same genetics, same parents, same upbringing, same environment, but why am I the one with the problem?
“It wasn’t until I started to think about the numerous people I met in and out the rooms and facilities that I began to realize there are a lot of twins going through the same thing. Out of all the facilities I’ve been to; 3 different inpatients and numerous outpatients, I can remember 10 sets of twins where one was the addict and one wasn’t.
“One could say no and one couldn’t. The majority were all brought up in the same household except for two who had divorced parents and they would switch out, one with the mom and one with the dad, but regardless one was an addict and one wasn’t.
“I wondered of all the things I shared with my twin why couldn’t we share an addiction, or better yet, share not having one. The other people I met all wondered the same thing. Why couldn’t they be like their twin brother or sister who was sober?
“I personally know my parents raised me the same as they did my twin brother. Yet I took on this battle and even though I came out on top, why the struggle?
“Sure blows a hole in the ‘addiction is genetic’ theory, doesn’t it?”
- Colen H., Narconon Graduate