STIGMA – Are You Willing To Have a Stigma and Can You Live with a Stigma!

Definition of stigma: A mark of disgrace or dishonor. Merriam‑Webster

What is stigma: A strong feeling of disapproval that most people in a society have about something. Cambridge-English Dictionary.

A stigma is something that takes away from one’s character or reputation. An example of a stigma is an actor not getting work because of past … . Dictionary.com

Note: I think you get the point. Whether you become an addict by choice or get it as a disease, stigma comes hand and hand with your name and it is a REALITY. You will have to deal with stigma if you go down the path of addiction. And alcohol and drugs are at the top of the list of stigma.

As I mentioned in, “The Real Shit You’ll Experience,” I quickly learned that race, gender, age, nationality, and financial background do not make any difference in what you experience as an addict. The chemical control of the brain and body do not discriminate!” This fact holds true if you are moving to a better place or staying where you are.

I, personally, am working to get to that better place. Whether I can get back a small percentage of what I was Author – Brian Masters, unfortunately depends, to some extent, on others; as it will/could you!

Real examples:

  • After a year of completing every requirement,  to reinstate my license, I went “hat in hand’ (and my check book) to the state license officer. The response was, “I do not want your kind on the road! I don’t drink and I have 3 children that I drive”! STIGMA
  • I volunteered to be on the board of a local church society that was starting up; the society helps the homeless and the needy. At each meeting, I received a kind of cold shoulder recognition from the leading clergyman. I knew that I was then, not like the other members. I felt that “stigma”. See, the first thing I did when I came to town, was go to that clergyman; he knew of my  homelessness and being destitute. STIGMA

Proof of what I am saying can be seen in a law just set by the Governor of Massachusetts.  The law now will now allow “drug offenders” to have their licenses reinstated. New Law Ends Automatic Driver’s License Suspensions For Drug Crimes.  Why did this law change? Because drug users suffered from “stigma” no matter where they went. THINK! WHAT CAN ANYONE DO DAILY WITHOUT A LICENSE?

As a young adult, you may have done something due to peer pressure and experienced a stigma attached to it! The same feeling will be there as you become an alcoholic or user of drugs. The only way to dodge that bullet is to not bend to peer pressure; don’t allow your friend, girlfriend, or boyfriend  bend to peer pressure. Help them stay strong and you could save them from the “stigma” of addiction for the rest of their lives.

For those of us who have experienced addiction, we’ve also experienced stigma in many forms:

  • the eyes of people when they look at you
  • tone of voice when people speak to you
  • no voice–what they leave out
  • the smirk: when they let you know that they know and/or are better than you

Note: Stigma of this kind is unnecessary. By not allowing yourself to choose a path of  alcohol and drug disease, this kind of stigma is prevented. If you have gone down that path and seriously abstain, you can focus on the future and hold your head high.

 

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