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  • Addiction Doesn't Discriminate

    This is a space visited by peer workers who have a lived experience of addiction and recovery and is an opportunity to relate to and draw hope from those who have been through similar things as you.
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 147
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Addiction Doesn't Discriminate

    Thu May 20, 2021 12:40 pm

    When I got into recovery, I felt so different from everyone else around me who were getting clean because of how young I was. I was 18 and had decided I wanted to get clean because I was completely defeated by my addiction and it was too painful using against my will any longer.

    I noticed that, even though almost all of the people around me had very different stories of addiction, had been in addiction for very different periods of time and had a myriad of different life experiences, there was still a common problem that we all suffered from. I was able to identify with peoples internal experience of the thoughts and feelings that come with suffering from addiction more so than the physical using stories themselves.

    Because I was so welcomed in the recovery community I was a part of and so encouraged to keep coming back, I was able to focus on the similarities I shared with people instead of the differences. A crucial part of coming to the place where I was able to see those similarities was being so constantly reassured that I was in the right place and that it was never too soon (or too late for that matter) to find a new way to live and choose recovery.

    In my time working with people I have also met people from almost every walk of life I could possibly think of. Young, old, rich, poor, all different ethnicities/backgrounds and all cultures. I have come to realise that addiction is a chronic health condition that does not discriminate and can touch anybody.

    My question to the community is, has anybody here had an experience where they have found a way they can relate to somebody who has a completely different walk of life to them? What have these experiences been like, and how has focusing on what you have in common with people helped you on your journey?
    4 x
    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 155
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Addiction Doesn't Discriminate

    Sun Jul 18, 2021 1:57 pm

    Hey @ScorpionPW,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and bringing up this very important topic. Coming from a different country, I can tell you first hand that addiction looks the same everywhere. Just as you've described, addiction affects people from almost every walk of life you can possibly think of. And the suffering it brings to friends and families is experienced the same regardless of age, social class, ethnic and/or cultural background...

    It's really important to reinforce what you've point out. Just as you were perhaps told to be too young at 18 to be in recovery, it's also never too late to decide to make a change regardless if you're 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 80, 90's years old....

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic @Gizelle @pdm411 @Simply me @Exfitspo @PnorkelPW @dperry586 @Dontknowatall @Belcalis @MrC @Deyfhob @Katiee
    1 x
    Simply me
    Member
    Posts: 69
    Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:51 pm

    Re: Addiction Doesn't Discriminate

    Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:45 am

    Heylo @ScorpionPW folk,

    Addiction can indeed be a very isolating experience, make you feel so alone. Journeying with / alongside others in Recovery an antidote which lends the strength to approach shifting habits, which often have lifelong roots. I believe we all look after ourselves the best ways we can in any given time, and for a while the numbing out for me was a rather ungracefull, short term vision, attempt to do so. Bit like disassociating really. Being absent, while and until developing other tools for daily living....still am...

    I would have to say, several experiences with my Grandbea and Grandpa, were opportunities for healing, messages that took some years to sink in. Of a different generation, they were both part of evolving AA in their place n time, well before I was to arrive on the scene. First Granbea through Alanon, working in hospitals aswell, then years later my Granpa entered AA. While the addiction as disease way of perceiving isn't really for me, when they spoke of it, it eased my feelings of shame and being a bad person for it. My Grandpa took me to my first meeting, put his arm around me proudly and in love and said 'this is my Grandaughter, she's an alcoholic', amazing flip in perspectives for a 17 year old! Say what?! They were never pushy, just presences living their style and by example....no self righteousness included. It must have broken their hearts at times to watch my path through trauma, mental dis-ease and addiction. Particularly in the 8 or more years I remained silent about its roots, in fact pretty silent about everything. Now some days there's no shutting me up! In their day, and on, they were literally lifesavers.

    I'd also like to, perhaps going on a tangent, recognize the people, that chose their creativity over addictions at a given point, and continued to create. Busting the myth of the tortured artist can be huge. Musicians, actors, artists, writers, some well known figures others more low key, that made me think when I heard / hear their stories spoken. They say vulnerability is the antidote to shame, and putting your creativity out into the atmosphere sober is definitely this process at work. Anyone who follows their passion's muse whilst juggling the temptation to do otherwise really, whatever that may be. I'm not talking see the light overnight shifts, but folk who's lives made me go hhhmm.....

    Thanks for allowing me to remember and reconnect to some of the inspo....
    4 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 95
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Addiction Doesn't Discriminate

    Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:18 pm

    Great topic @ScorpionPW ……..I identify with people from all walks of life every day. Fortunate enough to work with those trying get into recovery these days . Like you said………listen to the similarities and not the differences.

    I think what I focused on most was that we were all trying for the same goal……..abstinence from our addictions. Whereas once I looked at everyone else and thought I wasn’t as bad as they were or that they weren’t as bad as me, I started to realise that there were people in those rooms who had what I wanted. They had managed to string together days, months, years in recovery. I started to look at what they had done and started having conversations with them. Suddenly I was listening to what had worked for them and I had become willing to try it because whatever I had tried had never worked for an extended period of time.

    My thought process had switched and I was hearing solutions. I was hearing that people had turned their lives around and I had hope for the first time in a very long time.
    3 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 147
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Addiction Doesn't Discriminate

    Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:47 pm

    Boy do I relate alot to both of you @Simply me and @PnorkelPW.

    I grew up with my parents in and out of the rooms of NA and they too, never pressured me into seeking recovery. They allowed me to reach my own place of willingness and desperation. I suppose because they knew that it wouldn't work unless I made the decision for myself. But, as a result of being exposed to 12 step all my life it meant that when I was ready for help I knew where to go and I was able to get recovery quite young which is something I will always be grateful for.

    I love what you said about getting hope for the first time too @PnorkelPW. Such a powerful thing, something I was perplexed by when I first went to the rooms. That the people in front of me looked healthy, shiney and happy yet were sharing stories of when they were in the grips of addiction and I couldn't put the two together. It was such a powerful experience that helped me to start believing things could really change for me.

    I'm keen to hear other peoples experience of relating to people from different walks of life on their journeys :)
    2 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 95
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Addiction Doesn't Discriminate

    Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:46 pm

    @Simply me .................."vulnerability is the antidote to shame"...............that's been resonating since I read it last week

    Some things just hit home



    @ScorpionPW @Simply me having rolemodels of recovery so young is lucky. The approach they demonstrated is interesting too. Letting you discover when you were ready to attempt recovery on your own can't have been easy for them but as you stated............it's gottta be the decision of the individual
    2 x

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