Most addicts and alcoholics felt different and unusual their whole lives. Many of them would pretend to be something or someone else in order to fit in and be normal, but usually felt like they just were missing something. They would even go as far as to avoid admitting they had a problem with drugs or alcohol. If they admitted that, then they would have to admit they were not normal. I mean, who wants to be mentally different anyway?
What Is Normal?
If we are going to make such a bold statement like “how to be normal,” then we really should follow up with what the definition of normal is. Normal is defined as something that is usual or common. Let’s look at some statistics and see if we can find what’s “normal” as it relates to mental health in our society.
There are over 318 million people in the United States today. Of those 318 million, 1 in 5 suffers from some kind of mental health disorder that does not include drug addiction or alcoholism. In 2010 an estimated 23.5 million Americans suffered from drug addiction and alcoholism, and the number was rising. So, although you may think drug addiction, alcoholism, or mental health disorders are not normal, statistics are starting to show that it just might be the new normal in America.
Normal Is Boring
The good news is (and yes, there is good news) that there are over 23 million Americans that are in living in recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism today, and many of them are living in silence. The stigma that has also been associated with addiction has been preventing those struggling from drug addiction and alcoholism from getting help. The fear of not being normal or being judged by society has to be smashed. There are millions of our fellow Americans that need our help so that their voice can be heard without shame.
Whether you are in recovery or struggling with addiction, stop worrying about what is normal and start focusing on what is right. Recovering from the disease of addiction is more important than trying to fit into the stereotype of being normal, and it starts with you. If you are in recovery and you are willing to speak up and share your story, then do it. If you are a loved one of an addict or alcoholic, speak up and share your story, too. If you are suffering from addiction, ask for help. We are not going to see a change in the world and how we view addiction if we keep trying to be normal and not speak up about addiction. Recovery is possible and it’s OK to be an addict or alcoholic – you are not abnormal and you are not alone!Tags: Alcoholics Anonymous, stigma of addiction, the anonymous people