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What is the cost of being free? Freedom - does it exist? Read - and find out.

Updated on May 10, 2012


Freedom? What is freedom? Are we really free people? Have you ever questioned yourself:" Am I free person?Do I have real freedom?". What is the upper limit, the limit until you're ready to go - to gain your freedom? Are we really free, even if our country is not occupied or even if we are not in some kind of causticity?

This is a hell of question, and I've met a person that's living now on street - homeless man - who's left everything and everyone, just to get his "part" of freedom. If you think well, nobody has "freedom" in its real meaning! How's that? Well, heres an perfect example. Average man/female. Living in...let's say...Denmark. (That is one liberal country, and by latest survey "most happiest nation"). He/she has a job.He get up every morning, from Monday 'till Friday, to get on time for his work. So, he claims that he is "free" and that he has his "freedom" in full meaning of the word. Well, HE DON'T HAVE! Take a look at the fact that he HAS TO GET UP ... IN THE MORNING ... EVERY MORNING ! Now YOU tell me, is he free ?

There are thousands of examples, where human right of being free is actually compromised - and we are not even aware of it. The mentioned man, doesn't have a clue that he isn't actually free, and that his "getting up","every morning", and other duties that became, over the time - routines - are actually taking its freedom. So, are we free? What is freedom for You?

Let me tell you one story, that left a man without nothing because he leaned on his PRIMARY HUMAN RIGHTS: freedom, freedom of choice, and freedom of life.

Living on the edge

So, the question is now - should we feel sorry for him? Should we feel some kind of empathy...?

I don't really know, but somethings are sure: His battle for freedom has just began, but if you ask me - he is one of those that live REAL FREEDOM. He doesn't have anyone to tell him when to get up, what to do, and where to go.BUT - what is the cost of freedom? - Being homeless and living without roof-top? If that's the price of feeling free, than I think most of us will say:" No, thanks!". But, we all should have a right to choose the way of living. If he choose to live a life of an drug addict - then proper attention, monitoring, and heath-care should be applied to those. Am I right? The quality of being on life lasting treatment with methadone, can't be the same as life of those in Denmark( example from above) that HAS to get up IN MORNING, and HAS TO go to job...

In bottom line, I feel also stuck. I am highly-educated, charismatic, communicative, young man currently on M.M.T. I've grabbed that chance. I have SOME perspective - but... Do I feel same freedom as that homeless guy ? - No. Does he envy me, in a meaning that I have two meals every day and roof above my head (what is normal) ? - Yes. So, what should young man like me - and thousands,millions like me should choose? FREEDOM or DEPENDENCE ? Stigma says that being on M.M.T (Methadone Maintenance Treatment) is going in to new DEPENDENCE (beside non-freedom that we aren't aware of), and people on it, are switched from heroin addiction to methadone dependence ... So, should I go back to the heroin, than go trough withdrawal, then in that state - go to the drug-dealer, buy some H, and overdose in withdrawal - WILL I BE FREE THEN? Freedom, freedom, freedom - what is REAL FREEDOM?

The man without home

In a small city... In a small country called Serbia... There is one fairly-young man, that lives its battle called "life" every single day. He lives his life by pattern " just to survive this and next day, and everything is good". Is his homelessness and his current way of living his fault ? All he ever wanted is his freedom. As he says: " All I want is to be independent, free, and live life that I want, on the way I want.". It is important to say, that before his tragic life began, when he decided to start use drugs. His drug of choice was heroin, mostly, after using several types of drugs. He was flamboyant water-polo player, but that wasn't what he wanted. He said that, that desire, desire to be water-polo player was coming from his mom and his cousins - NOT him.

The former flamboyant water-polo player, now homeless man is now an drug addict, without primary health care, without proper treatment, without - ANYTHING. He was living, without a roof, in several cities. His mom died ten years ago, and after her death, his health significantly dropped. After living in Kikinda, he moved in to smaller city, where he used to live - when he was one of those who everyone liked.Now, he says, he doesn't even get primary health care or basic things for living from country. The alarming thing is that, within his years of heroin use, his got infected with Hepatitis C. Now, without proper monitoring on him (or on thousands like him), the society in general is in danger.

The thing is, that he have had an house that his sister bought to him. His sister, bought him a house, with normal bathroom, normal living room,his own room, normal kitchen...everything what one person needs for normal life.Additionally, his sister, signed him (with his approval) for "social help" - that is, honestly, in Serbia - ridiculous.(around 30-40eur. PER MONTH). Now, that period of his life was really promising.He was promising everyone that now, when he has a house and living on his own, start an new life without drug.That was really-short lasting.He was getting his medicines, once per month from his sister (because his sister was holding his health-card ID) that lived in Kikinda (different town from one where he was situated in) and all his medicines were coming from Kikinda - also, because all his health-records were all there.
Now, the crucial problem was next: He was an opiate addict, and he needed PROPER health care, and once when he had his own house - conditions were perfect to get an right long-lasting treatment. Medicines, that one 15. year lasting heroin addict, was getting were ; anti-epileptics,anti-depressants,and some benzodiazempines...Which was obviously really,really weak therapy - if you take in mind that he used opiates like heroin,methadone,tramadol,tillidine (Valoron),morphine, poppy-tea along with benzo's - FOR FIFTEEN YEARS. In that time, when he had an really perfect "roof" above his head, he should sign and go for methadone treatment - which was and is the only available treatment for those kind of addicts. His sister was strongly against it, with argument that he will , in lack of money, sell part of his therapy - methadone. If they've done it then - he wouldn't be now an "fighter for a life" without primary things for living , and he wouldn't be a threat for a community in that small town now.

All he wanted is freedom. Doing drugs is a matter of choice. Matter of how, individual, wants to live.His sister was aware that he was an long-term opiate abuser, but nobody knows why HE didn't want to go just 55km away to the closest Methadone Clinic to ask for help. After a while, he wanted - but it was too late. His health-card ID expired, and there was no time to get him help. Everyone around him were tired from his lies,stealing,drug based stories and junkie lifestyle.Nobody could reach him. Changing of location was a "piece of hope" for his sister, and him.Actually, he haven't use opiates for couple of weeks.Then, he stared to buy methadone. He got really hooked on it - and in lack of it, he would buy really huge amounts of dried poppy plants. He was master of cooking poppy-tea. Then, he got hooked up on really strong opiate (47 active alkaloids) poppy-tea. He was buying really big bags of dried poppy plants from villages around that small city for price from 1-5eur. for 10kg bag! Then, it became obvious to everyone that he returned to his old life-style. He started to IV drugs again... Methadone, heroin - all intravenously. His veins were ruined. He haven't anywhere to shoot anymore... When he was "convicted" to DRINK, take orally, opiates - he started to buy and DRINK methadone BUT along with about 50-100mg of diazepam (Valium),

Now, that little life is on the street. He sold everything, and went to Orthodox Commune for Rehabilitation. After a year, or so he ESCAPED form it. He came back to "his" small city... IN SEARCH FOR FREEDOM and RIGHT FOR HIS WAY OF LIVING - he knew where he is coming. He thought that he will get more attention from local administration, in meaning of social help and proper health care - but nothing. Nobody wants him.. The small city is "afraid" from him, in a meaning that he looks like some walking dead man. I was thinking... Should I feel sorry for him? He had his chances... In one hand ... He had more than "second chance"... But, something HUMAN is always waking inside of me - and I always want to help him BUT - I know that if just ONCE, I reach for him he will reach for me hundred times more and I really don't need another stigma to be attached to me (I am one of those who grabbed his chance).

What is the cost of being free? Is it the cost of being free being homeless? If it is, how will those, who decide to life "free" survive winter ? Winter is the worst enemy of homelessness.
Sometimes, I wonder - is there a way to gain total freedom, but not being homeless? And, is there REALLY - that human right that says that we can choose AND LIVE the life how we want it ?? What is THE COST OF PRIMARY HUMAN RIGHT ?


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    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 

      7 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Great hub - I enjoyed the depth of which you think and ask this question.

      I like Bob Dillon said about success "Success is getting up in the morning... then going to bed at night having spent your full day doing what you want"

      What is Freedom?.. is a fascinating question to ponder.

      Thank You

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hello lafamillia. you've really touched on so much of the cruel reality of drug addiction and homelessness. The ideal of 'freedom' is not an absolute and, sometimes, while seeking the perfect expression of 'freedom' (according to our own individual needs or drives or concepts), we can run into a major, life changing, situation altering existence, such as the young man you've described in this hub. Very thought provoking. To answer one query you've put forth; if one enjoys their daily life and feels joy, happiness and contentment while NOT feeling negatively (such as "having" to be somewhere, do something, perform tasks, etc.) then, I would surmise that such a person IS free...conversely; if one lives a life of endentured slavery, or hates the way in which their hours are spent, or who feels that they must 'answer' to another or a "superior," then; I would say they are NOT free. It is all in perception and actualization.

      My definition of freedom will not, nor will it ever be, exactly the same as another's idea of what it is to be free.

      Society, culture, the constrictions of our physical selves, ideology, religion, political view, environment, and more influences, philosophies and points of view, all play into the question; "what is freedom?"

      I am very sorry about the character you've described in this hub, la famillia...he is in dire straits and in need of intervention. I have no real answer for you...I have a similar situation w/a family who has had every opportunity, every chance and the mental capacity to soar but, rather, he has fallen to the depth of despair and hurtful behaviors.

      This is a very well thought out and communicated hub, la famillia...and I wish you strength and the very best - and hope that you take care of yourself first..before you risk loosing your well being while trying to lift up the lost one you've told of in this story.

      Bless you and thank you for sharing this very personal and unfortunate hub.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image


      7 years ago from Europe

      I think you can be free from a lot of things, but it's total freedom when you can fidn happiness in the balance of light and dark. Usually we sway one way or the other when it comes to relationships, success, materialism. You can swing between the polarites of life one way or the other. The victimhood is what traps most people because they never detach themselves from the past, and hang on to it drowning in addiction, materialism, relationships that aren't good for you. Maybe even jobs. Until you conquor the inner demons no matter what it is you are never truly free.


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