Stigma is a petty little creature lurking behind every person who struggles with mental illness on a daily basis and anyone who has struggled with addiction.
The media portrays addicts as junkies laying in a gutter, women selling their bodies for sex, men violent on intoxication. Addicts are depicted as bodies with no depth and no self control.
We’re dismissed in society. “Just another addict.” But we are so much more than that. We are human beings. We are someone’s child, someone’s loved one, someone’s best friend. We are complex human beings with emotions that drive us to drugs in the first place.
Addiction is more than lacking self control. Addiction is an undiagnosed mental illness and self medicating. Addiction is pain.
Behind every addict is someone hurting, someone is screaming for help, someone is drowning.
Truth is, everyone is susceptible to addiction, from that first drink of vodka when you were 14 to the first time you bought a scratch ticket.
Don’t give up on an addict. Recovery is possible. I’m living proof of that. I grew up with parents that shot up meth. I promised myself everyday that I wouldn’t be like them. I experimented but meth was far from my mind.
I was 22 and the opportunity presented itself. My exact thoughts were: I wanna know what’s so great about this drug that my parents chose to destroy my family over.
For years I would smoke on the weekends for fun, for energy, for the rush that mimiced my hypomania. Then one day I picked up the pipe to avoid the constant physical pain forming in my body from the fibro and to fight the mental pain clouding me everyday from bipolar disorder.
It felt like the answer, it felt like the cure. In the long run, it made my world worse. I was as functioning addict for years. I even became store manager under the influence of the dope pipe. Internally, I was falling apart.
But on June 1st, I’ll have been sober for 3 years. The mantra “one day at a time” is the truest string of words you’ll hear during the road to recovery.
I have my parents to thank for my recovery. They saw the signs, they had been down the same road. I have my boyfriend to thank for my recovery.
We had been friends for 3 years and started dating 3 months after I got sober. He held me every night I would cry myself to sleep because I wanted to numb myself from the mental anguish that come flooding in 3 fold during sobriety. He stayed up with me the nights I held fast to insomnia because all I could think about was dope.
We are complex human beings. We are just like you.
If you love some with an addiction, don’t give up hope. If you are an addict, don’t give up hope.
If you are interested check out my other posts regarding addiction:
**I rarely enter contests but when I saw Addict Chick was having a contest I was beyond excited to enter for a chance to win her book or a signed guitar from Chevelle, a band I have loved since I was 14. I was lucky enough to witness them on stage when I was 16.
But more so, I’m entering this contest because I’m tired of being told who I am by others opinions because of my addiction. I’m tired of being dismissed. I’m tired of the stigma surrounding all drug addicts.
I’ll leave you with my absolute favorite Chevelle song, Send the Pain Below: