What happened to Tom?

I spoke with Tom in a coffee shop. An interesting thing about Tom was that he appeared a man on the outside but a very aggressive, hurting gay person on the inside. He was living in with a boyfriend. He was also hooked on marijuana.

I came to know Tom well enough to know that he came from an abusive family. He had a lot of painful things to cover up in his life.  And he's "performing well" doing it.

The tragedy in Tom's life was that he was trying to self-medicate his earlier childhood and family pain that weren't his own doing with drugs and homosexuality. His drug use and homosexual relationship helped him cope with what he's going through inside. They work - temporarily.

The reality is, coping with pain or problems isn't the same thing as resolving them. Always, the inner demons return. The coping is just a temporary postponement of pain. And, in the case of Tom, he needed more or a better coping strategy because his old supplies weren't working any more. He discovered that they were just making him feel worse and self-destructive.

Tom's intolerable becomes tolerable if he chooses not to endure it alone. Seeking help is the best thing that could happen to him.