9.7 I am not ashamed to be an addict in recovery

I am not ashamed to be in addiction
treatment

The stigma surrounding addiction is great. From the offset, a lot of people seem to be of the opinion that treatment is only available if rich and famous. I thought in order to get access to a facility that I would need to go on “Love Island” ! I now know that there is access to care for anyone in need. Start with your Primary Care Provider/GP

I have been fortunate to find a very good hospital with an Addiction stream/focus. My residential treatment began only 7 days ago on 2 July. The stigma surrounding addiction for me began to crack as soon as I unpacked and nervously went for a walk and saw all walks of life(excuse the pun). What I see here are people just like me, in situations that they unfortunately became intertwined in, for example -alcohol, gambling and many more addictions than mine, but I see people progressively getting better and being granted leave on the weekend etc.Hope is instilled in me, and what the people improving here have done is they offered me hope. That’s an incredible word-Hope. For each letter, think of a word, I get “Hold On Pain Ends”.

This is what keeps me alive today and fighting hard. The support on Social Media too has been nothing short of astonishing to me. I have said that it is like oxygen to me, it really is. Friends and strangers are rallying behind me. The support would make you break down in tears . It would give you hope for the future of humanity.

I would have never guessed where my life would be today. I’m saddened by being here at 37, all my friends who went drinking with me in my 20’s are probably happily married. I have beaten alcohol and gambling before. 4 October 2010
and 31 March 2014. I feel I am perfectly aligned to carry out another purpose and passion in life, and that is to be a giver of hope for those struggling with addiction.

Some of the most fulfilling moments have happened giving a little hope when someone reached out with mental health and a chat or encouragement gives them a little hope/a little rise. I have been doing this for a year on endthestigma_ie on
Twitter, endthestigmaofficial on Instagram (Close to post 1000!!) and the big one endthestigma.ie (my website) When people are struggling and they reach out, that means that I am their light in a time of darkness. That means that they aren’t giving up, and that means that their hope is still alive. That’s special. That’s unique.
Breaking the stigma associated with addiction, is something that I will fiercely advocate for until it becomes something that is no longer thought of negatively in a single person’s mind. I am an open book, and not afraid to share my story, no matter what. I am not embarrassed, ashamed, or silent. I developed an addiction to Tramadol, Tylex, Diazepam (Valium) I am fighting each by tapering. We have started hard and so far, so good. Am I scared as time goes by. NO. I am proud, and I will continue to fight the good fight. By choosing not be to anonymous, it is my hope to shed light on the fact that addiction does not discriminate.
I have had people say to me “Well, you don’t look like a drug addict!?”  That very response is associated with the stigma, and that response is what I am trying to break.

I have 3 aims as of now, 9July
A-Break the stigma associated with addiction,
B-Give 100% to my recovery including my detox which will (may?) be very messy as it goes on . By staying committed to my recovery, I am aware of how difficult this Detox will be.
C-Be active on Social Media (between classes, treatment, lectures and sleep!) I must continue to be a point of hope for others

I HOPE you got something from this blog..

AOC