There but by the grace of God go I

Two & Out
By James Peters
December 9, 2016 - 4:59pm

KAMLOOPS — There but by the grace of God go I. 

Even if you're not a believer in the man upstairs, you recognize the significance and truth inherent in this popular idiom. 

It's a phrase that denotes how little humans can be in control of their own circumstances. 

If not divine intervention, then perhaps it's fate, or the environment, or even just the clash of wills between people that can influence one individual's circumstances and life choices. 

It's a phrase I often hearken back to when thinking of the opioid overdose crisis hitting BC's streets right now. 

There but by the grace of God go I. 

Growing up in a relatively sheltered small prairie town, I certainly could have tested my luck as a teenager. 

I could have decided to stick a needle in my arm on one occasion. 

After all, it would only take one occasion. 

Before long, I'd be hooked, caught in the intense gravitational pull of chemical addiction. 

And then, as we've seen in BC, scoring drugs off the street is like Russian roulette. 

Or I could have suffered a debilitating and painful injury at some point in my life, and have been prescribed an opiate by my doctor. 

Not knowing the dangers, it might have led to another addiction. 

I have made good choices, so far, and I have had extraordinary good luck. 

And knowing how quickly and easily addiction can take hold is what keeps me up at night worrying about my own children, hoping that they make good choices and have good luck, too. 

It boggles my mind that there are those who approach the overdose crisis from a position of self-righteousness. 

They blame the addict, and intimate those who die are getting what they deserve. 

To some degree, of course it's the addict's fault, but that doesn't mean that person doesn't help; doesn't deserve to live and to try to get better. 

It could have been you, Mr. or Mrs. High and Mighty. 

It could have been me. 

There but by the grace of God go I.