Saturday, September 14, 2013

What a world

I had another chance to see the film The Anonymous People.  (I know, I have limited topics in my head)  But I am lucky enough to see it and keep the sight of hope.

The reason I bring this up is this: I am so green in the field of recovery, like the newest. So the emotional stuff that comes along in this field is felt so strong for me. As I learn in the real setting of a treatment facility, I feel so strong about everything. I know this will lesson. But for now, it's an eye opener. 

Obviously I'll get used to it. And I hope that I may I never get TOO used to it. 

What I've learned about this field, and what might make the old-timers in the field want to patronizingly pat me on the head and say "oh sweetie" is this: The saddest thing in the world is having a person not be able to get services they need. Which means extended care treatment or transitional housing, because there aren't enough beds OR they have no insurance to cover it OR their insurance won't cover it. Because this disease is so grossly underfunded. The counties pick up a lot of the slack. But you have to fall pretty far for that to happen. 

Especially when, as the film points out, we have this small window of opportunity to help them, and the window where they might be as open minded about changing as they are ever going to be, before they are let out of a 28 day program, with just the beginning of the set of tools they need.  

Another thing that can happen is that if a person believes they need an inpatient treatment to get better and be introduced to recovery, they may not get it in if their life hasn't fallen apart enough. Insurance companies need you to really fuck some stuff up, lose control a lot, be sucked into a deep hole of addiction before they will pay. They need other people's lives to have been grossly effected, families have to be messed up, jobs lost, legal problems, housing lost. They need you to fail an outpatient program first.  All of that has to happen before people are deemed sick enough for residential treatment.

I am sure that the insurance companies master plan, is to have this criteria, so that the person loses their job, and their insurance, so that the counties and the state will pick it up.  And even then it is often times  denied due to not enough funds or beds available. You see, each county is given a set amount of funds a year for treatment.  And it is my understanding that when it is gone,  it is gone.  

Does that make any fucking sense?

So by the time they get to that point, they are judged, called losers, looked down upon.  Because they couldn't keep their job. Because they lost their kids. Because they drove drunk. Because they lost their home. 

You can't walk in and say, "my life is feeling out of control, and I think I have a substance abuse problem.  I need some help before my disease possibly destroys everything I hold dear."  I doubt many people do this, because they are ashamed.  But you have to destroy some shit first, then you can get help.  

If they had cancer, or had another illness, there would be help, support, money. But because there is still such an idea that this is a moral issue, and not a health issue, they are left to maybe die. 

So when I see this happening in real life, to real people, not just articles I read or movies I see, it is hard not to get angry. It is hard not to cry. It is hard to not want to stand up and scream HELP US!  I am so grateful I get to try to help in anyway I can figure out how to. I just wish there was more to do and a faster result.

When the seed of recovery is planted at a 28-day residential treatment center, that is just the very beginning. Not even long enough to get a 1 month medallion. (Well...maybe in February.) The support need after they leave us where it's at. So if inpatient treatment isn't always funded, you can imagine that aftercare is very often out of the question.

You can get a screening of The Anonymous People in your town. Just click here, or HERE.  It doesn't cost you anything except your movie ticket to host a screening. They will help you promote it.  Get it to your town, it is totally worth it.  And bring everyone you know. This is serious shit. We all can help.

Also, if you are a treatment center, school, whatever, you can purchase the community education version of this film HERE  Please buy it and show it.


  1. Betsey, what a powerful post...thank you..debbie

  2. Your blog has helped so much and it is about the only"treatment" I get. I may be developing some problems (AM developing) but so far I have not been sick and destructive enough to get any prophylactic care. A small bit of that would go a long way to giving me whatever it is I need to get myself together. Can't bear the shame of the whole 9 yards for hubby, kids, etc. though so continue to just soldier on.
    The kicker is, I have insurance but nowhere to use it that "gets" it at this stage.

    1. Thank you for saying that this helps you. There are many ways to get well. You could try a meeting just to hear what other people are saying about their recovery, and see if you can relate. Or, when you are ready, you will figure it out. Hopefully that will be before there is destruction. People shouldn't have to fall completely apart to get well. Thanks for reaching out and commenting.