The stigma of alcoholism and addiction and the hatred and ignorance behind it have forced many of us to hide our addictions behind walls of denial. We hid them (and our drugs), sometimes quite cleverly (a chef I once worked with hid his bottle at work in the toilet tank).
"Why doesn't he just stop?"
And when we finally got clean and sober, we met behind closed doors because some of us had to protect our dirty, little secrets.
"You'll never be anything but a drunk."
BUT... the scabs that are the stigmas of addiction (and recovery) will not heal by retaliation. A well-placed "Drop Dead!" simply won't do. The stigma of addiction is slowly being undone. Being in recovery becomes more than a state of being when it is shared with others, admitted, discussed. The cloak of addiction is unravelled and revealed by the evidence of science and acts of kindness. A few kind words go a long way in bridging the gap between hatred and understanding.
AND... there is a certain backlash occurring in the political sector from which I presently recoil. I don't want to see any progress made in the recovery movement lost to a changing political climate. Whether it be progress ON addiction or the progress OF addiction, I realize that progress is never straight forward (or straight downward).
SO... as a member of the recovering community, I feel I have to dig deeper trenches, strengthen my foundation in recovery and continue to speak out against stigma and in favor of greater progress and social acceptance for the recovering communities.
WE and THEY, US and THEM, will one day be ALL of US. The Common Good will eventually triumph. I've seen so much positive change in my own lifetime that I feel the future holds great promise. We need to air our thoughts and feelings, not to stuff them. For me, personally, anonymity is an old, old shoe which no longer fits the person I have become after well-over a dozen years of sobriety. "Yard by yard, it's hard. Inch by inch, it's a cinch" is perhaps an overstatement, but I, for one, truly believe that the butterfly effect will be realized as millions and millions more emerge from their cocoons of recovery from addiction.
Millions more will become the fulcrum that will move the world. History is on the side of progress so, from where I sit, things are looking up.
"These people don't deserve... "
"These people can't... "
"These people won't..."
13 years sober and I continue to heal.
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
History is on the side of the Common Good.
HOPE: Our Most Renewable Natural Resource