Monday, August 13, 2012

Eff the stigma

I am Betsey DeGree, and I am a drug addict and an alcoholic in recovery.

Watch this.


THANK you Greg Williams.  I am so glad that this is happening and people are talking about it.  This is exactly what made me go forward with my story, and share it here, on TV, in Renew Magazine and with whoever wanted to hear it.  And also share it with people who wanted me to shut up.    

People closest to me, who are bummed about what sharing my story might do to my immediate people, (my kids are totally cool with us), and even people not so close to me, THIS is why it is important to me to do it.  I understand it is uncomfortable for people not in recovery, to hear me say, "I am a meth, alcohol and anything else you have addict," but it is so important that I say it.  My kids and family might not have been so ashamed to learn about my story, if shame wasn't attached to the disease of addiction.

The more people say it, the less it will make people uncomfortable to hear it, the more we can get help.  WE NEED HELP and to remove the stigma of addiction.  We are good folks, who love our families, who have a medical condition.  Why else would someone like me, do something like that?  

If addiction is a brain disease, which it totally is,  then why hide how people recover?  It is like saying "Shh, I have cancer and I'm getting treatment for it, but don't tell anyone about how I am getting better."  When Wellstone started and his people carried on the "Wellstone Bill," they had a hard time getting people to share their stories of recovery because of anonymity.  I believe it is time to speak up. It has less to do with humility, than it does about helping people get treatment for a medical condition.

I have a beautiful life in recovery.  As hard as it has been, it is so much better to have my problems sober, than it was to fight that battle of getting high every day.  I will tell everyone how I did it.  I feel like we who recover, are the strongest people around.  And we have nothing to be ashamed of.  The disease of addiction sucks.  But recovery is beautiful.  And it should be told to everyone who needs it AND it should understood by everyone who doesn't need it.  (I am talking about the normies.)

If people need to remain anonymous, because it is their only path to recovery, to keep them safe and get their lives back, then they need to do that.  I will not call anyone out, of course.  I want recovery for EVERYONE.  But for those of us who feel like this is our path to help ourselves and others by speaking out and removing the stigma, then this is what we need to be doing.

I am not asking you to contribute to this movie.  Although, if you want to be a part of this, do it.  I am just saying that his message is a good one, and it sums up exactly why I am here, telling you my story.

10 comments:

  1. A-freaking-mazing!!! I love it!!! I will be supporting the movie. I will forward it to all I know to support it as well. It's time for this. It's JUST TIME. Eff the Stigma is right. Great job, Betsey. I'm so thankful, once again, to have stumbled across this blog! It's a true gem of laughter, reality and honesty. Happy Monday... This was a great way to start mine.

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    1. Thank you Keely!! Honestly, I am so excited about all of this. You have no idea. I am glad you stumbled across this blog too!! Thanks for your encouragement. It is really awesome.

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  2. This is fantastic. I will definitely become a supporter. You're a courageous woman who is doing what is best for you and your family. I am so proud of you as a new blogger friend.

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  3. What a wonderful thing to be a part of! I'm pulling for you, and all other people who are struggling to break free of their addictions.

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  4. Congratulations to you!!! You are so brave to share your story and you will surely help many others in need. YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!

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  5. Thought this movie clip was absolutely fabulous and so important.

    And good for you, Betsey. You are awesome. Always remember that. :)

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  6. What many people don't realize is that it takes incredible strength to break an addiction, courage to face the world, and faith in yourself. You are an amazing woman Betsy. Keep up the good fight.

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  7. I am new here, and this is my first comment on your Blog.

    This is sooo important. Not being an addict but having been a significant other (my ex is a recovering heroin addict) for several years - and continuing to be one since I still care about him - I can relate.

    In a way family and partners do live through and with the stigma, too. Whenever I mention(ed) his addiction and the battles we fought I am met with the judging look, the judging words and the "good advice". And whenever I tell people that he is clean now I see the doubt in their eyes. And I barely hear any positive feedback. But I am incredible proud of him and thankful that has the strength to stay away from the drug.

    Thank you for your Blog. And thank you for this post! This movie is something to be shared!

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    1. It totally is!! Thank you for your words and for supporting your ex's recovery. I think we are on the edge of a big change in how people view addiction. There will always be doubters, but it is changing. Thank you for your kind words and WELCOME!!!

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