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Motivational Meditation Monday: Keep Calm And Break The Stigma

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break the stigma“The idea of the "homeless addict living under the bridge" isn't accurate; your typical drug addict is actually the guy next door who has a family and a career… all precariously balanced, and slowly ruining their loved ones lives the longer they wait to get help.” – Watershed Beth

Break The Stigma Meditation

Watershed Beth recently wrote an article, The Misunderstood Society: Breaking The Stigma Of Addiction, which truly captured the stigma that is still associated with addicts and alcoholics (out of recovery and even in recovery) throughout the world. Most addicts and alcoholics who are active in their addiction are ashamed to tell others or even get help, and it’s because of what society thinks about whom an addict is and what defines addiction. Addiction is viewed as dirty, corrupt, and a moral dilemma; but this is just not so. Through advancement in science, research, and people’s experiences; we now see that addiction is really a disease. This means the alcoholic/addict is suffering from more than just willpower issues or a bad habit, they are struggling with a mental illness and physical allergy to drugs or alcohol.

What if those in recovery shared their experience with others without shame? What if we could be honest about who and what we are because we know it’s just a part of our life, and it no longer defines us? Millions of lives could possibly be saved by just breaking the stigma of addiction.  If you are saying to yourself “even if we wanted to be honest about our recovery, we can’t because we do not want to break the traditions of our 12-step fellowship” then please take a moment to read this article about anonymity. There is a strong difference between breaking anonymity about being clean and sober and saying you are a part of a 12-step program.

For years I suffered with my alcoholism in silence, I just couldn’t believe that I was an alcoholic in my early 20’s and was scared to talk about it. I kept it a secret for a long time because I hated how I was treated when anyone did find out. I went to therapists, doctors, and even checked myself into the hospital a few times (not an addiction treatment center) begging for help; the best advice I would be given is to just stop. The problem was, I couldn’t. I didn’t know I was suffering from a disease and nobody was able to help me. Why? Because the stigma (even in the medical field) is that most addicts/alcoholics can stop if they wanted to. This is why I work in the addiction treatment field, I wanted to help bridge that gap so that other addicts/alcoholics suffering knew that there was help for them. I made a promise to myself that when I got clean and sober, I would help break that stigma by being honest that I am an alcoholic in recovery.

Hi, my name is Ashling and I have been clean and sober since 07/01/2009. I am not ashamed! #changeisgood


Want to walk with others on the road to happy destiny? Whether you are in recovery yourself, or you know someone who is, you can join Heroes In Recovery 6k run. Find a run in your area today.  

Written By: Watershed Ashling

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