Unfortunately, there is much stigma that surrounds those in addiction recovery – and even amongst people within it. As a 2017 study published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry states, shame placed on those with addiction can often translate into self-stigmatization, which only further perpetuates negative feelings such as hatred, shame and guilt. Of course, both social stigma and self-stigmatization serve as domino pieces when it comes to social aspects of daily life and they can affect the way people form connections with one another. Stereotypes are often informed by misguided movies, television shows and generalization as a whole and this creates a harmful cycle that only tears us all apart from one another.
In 2016, The Mighty, a website dedicated to sharing individual’s stories related to health, addiction, disability and more asked members of their Facebook community to share one thing they wish others understood about addiction and recovery. Here are a few that were listed:
“What we want most in life is to feel good about ourselves.”
“It’s hard to recover if you don’t work on your relationship with yourself, too.”
“Don’t bring up the past of a person who is trying to improve their future.”
Perhaps the biggest dividing factor is ourselves. Maybe we’ve been holding back from others because we assume they are more different from us than they really are. We don’t understand, so we criticize. We criticize ourselves and others. When we do this, however, we forget the fact that we’re all human beings who want to feel loved and cared for. We’re all people with pain and struggling – just in different forms. The more we can come together and find strength in something greater than us, the more of a fighting chance we’ll have against stigma, fear and hatred.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.
Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.