Monday, August 22, 2011

Am I handicap?

Last night I was reading my church magazine and they had a lot of stories about handicap and/or disabled persons and how they overcame their physical abilities to do great things with their lives.

Some of the people were talking about how people would talk down to them and not let them do anything because of their physical ailment. Thus “society” was handicapping them more then they were themselves.

So that got me to wonder. Do people consider me and other addicts that are clean handicap? Please do not take this post as comparing my being an addict to people with disabilities. Just here me out!
When we are in our active addiction we try to remain clean and sober without avail. We might make it a minute, an hour, or even a day without using. Then something comes along to make us hurt, sad, upset, etc and we can’t deal so we go back to using.

So when we are truly clean, {some} people think that they need to keep us sheltered from bad feelings, bad things happening, etc. So they treat us as if we are fragile and not able to deal with things on our own.

Now I realize that at first we can’t deal with things on our own but we have to learn to cope, deal, and feel or we will never be able to learn. When we are sheltered to all the bad things it is worse for us then letting us learn on our own. If after being sheltered something big really happens it is way worse then all the others things. If we don’t have those skills that we {should have} learned on our own then the chances are that we more then likely will go back to using.

So my question is; is “society” handicapping recovering addicts? And if they are, what can we do to get this to stop?

When an addict fully commits to recovery, wouldn't it be better to stand beside them instead of over them?  


  1. To me it deserves celebration.

    I don't get it. Addiction is classified as a disease just as alcoholism and cancer and diabetes and heart disease and on and on. But it is OK in society to stigmatize addicts, when they are using and when they are in recovery.

    I know one day with the way I eat and not exercise there is probably heart disease in my future but when that time comes I will have a heart attack. If I am lucky I will survive and have bypass surgery and I will join a big club known as "SURVIVOR". I will have biblical turnaround in my diet and exercise and I will be commended for my effort. There will be walks and marathons organized for my disease and thousands will show up to raise money to improve heart surgery. Us survivors will lead the walk and get special banners.

    My wife will be a breast cancer survivor. After all nearly every woman in her family has died from breast cancer. Her sister already has had it and she has survived. There will be a big walk/marathon and everyone will get pink t-shirts. SURVIVORS will be given special status and interviewed on TV. Thousands will show up to prove they are fighting this disease. Men will walk because they "Love Boobies".

    What are you asking? Aren't there thousands of people walking and running for Recovery? Aren't you given special status because you fought a life threatening disease and won? Don't you see almost monthly new breakthroughs to treat addiction highlighted on World News?

  2. I guess what I am trying to say is that just like people who have physical aliments society thinks that we should be protected! When we clearly can not. If society, and ourselves as well, would get out of our paths then, just like the stories in my church magazine, we could do wonderful things in our life.
    That’s what I was trying to say, I am not sure that I explained what I was thinking that well.
    I don’t think that recovering addicts need a walk or a special status, I just think we need to see that just because other people put titles suck as junkie, meth head, etc on us that does not make us who we are.

  3. I knew what you were saying. Treat me like a person.

    I am sorry I should have used the "sarcastic/ironic" font when I responded.

  4. Oh good, I was worried for a minute. Sometimes I wonder if I am explaining like I want to

  5. I hate those labels and I know they've hurt my son. He says "everyone sees me as a junkie, a drug addict, like that's ALL I am now". I'm glad you wrote this because it will help me remember to stay out of his way, I know I've tried to protect him from certain things for the reasons you listed...fear of him using...Do you think there is a time frame of when a person is more capable dealing with difficult issues? Like when they have a certain amount of time clean for example?

  6. Barbara- From my personal experience (and this is just me) I really don't ever think there is not a right time. I would think that even if they are 2 weeks sober they need to learn to cope with bad things. I do know they need a support system to help them though not shelter them. I still relay on my support system to get me though and to be honest if I didn't have them I would not be sober right now!

  7. This was excellent. I find that at times I still find myself standing over my son instead of beside him. God help me to change that.