Society has created a stigma when it comes to drug addicts. Many people assume that someone became addicted to drugs because they were weak or because they have something mentally wrong with them. As an addict, you know that this isn’t always the case. Many addicts become addicted to drugs accidentally after they are involved in an accident or surgery that left them with intense pain.
Proving to society or even just those around you that the stigmas aren’t true can be hard to do. If you want to be able to have the best life possible after addiction recovery, use the following guide to learn what steps can be helpful.
Know that You Can’t Change Everyone’s Mind
You first need to realize that it isn’t possible to change everyone’s mind. Many people have been affected by drug addiction in some way and many times it has been very negative. This causes people to have a preconceived viewpoint that can be nearly impossible to change. Try to be the best version of yourself that you can be and you may be able to invoke a change in the way that some people view you, but don’t feel beaten down by the fact that you won’t be able to convince everyone that you aren’t the same person you were when you were in active addiction.
Know When and Where to Share Your Addiction History
You should never be ashamed of the fact that you had a drug addiction, but you do need to know when and where it is appropriate to share the fact with others. When you first recover from addiction, it’s common to want to share the good news with any and everyone that you meet. This isn’t always the best idea though. Knowing that you had an active addiction in the past could limit your ability to be hired for certain jobs. This is because it could put you or the company that you plan to work for at risk.
Companies have to worry about their image to society. If you were in active addiction and did things that could make their business look bad, they more than likely won’t be able to hire you for a position because it is a conflict of interest for their company. If you have a criminal record because of the things that you did when you were in active addiction, you do have to divulge them to a company, but if your addiction was kept in your personal life and there is no proof that it occurred other than, with your friends and family, you may not want to tell an interviewer how many days clean you are during the interview.
Attempt to Become Debt-Free
One of the biggest stereotypes of addicts is that they are always in debt, cannot budget well and do not own anything on their own because they spent all of their money on drugs. Take the time to try to get out of debt as quickly as you can. You want to be able to show that you are a responsible person who has their life together. Being able to live a comfortable life that isn’t based on a paycheck to paycheck way of life can be very comforting for you and show the world you are more than just a recovering addict.
If you owe a lot of money to numerous companies, consider negotiating down the debt so that you don’t have to pay as much. You can do this by saving up as much money as you can. When you have enough saved to pay off one of your bills in a lump sum, you can contact the business and ask them if they will take a few hundred dollars less than you owe if you pay the rest of it off that day. Many companies will. The sooner you pay off your debts, the sooner you can start living a calmer lifestyle.
Don’t Surround Yourself with People in Active Addiction
Believe it or not, there are many recovering addicts who make the mistake of surrounding themselves with the people that they hung out with when they were in active addiction. This is because they are the people that addicts feel most comfortable around because they know that they won’t be judged for their past addiction. This isn’t a good idea though. You’ll be far more likely to relapse if you surround yourself with addicts and you’ll give the rest of the world the image that you never quit using. The old verbiage “birds of a feather flock together” fits well when it comes to drug addiction. Drug addicts typically hang out with other drug addicts. This is because people who don’t use often feel uncomfortable and unsafe around people who are high.
Learn to Love Yourself After Addiction Recovery
If you want to overcome the stigma that comes to drug addiction, you need to learn to love yourself. Take care of yourself first and it will show that you don’t fit into the stereotypes that people have about addicts. You won’t look disheveled, malnourished or unequipped to handle life. Seek counseling to ensure you are always in the best mental state possible. Go to regular meetings with other addicts in recovery so you can talk about the way that you are feeling and get advice for how they handle the stigmas that are held against them. The more you love yourself, the more you will be able to show the world that you are more than just an addict.
There will always be stigmas about addiction within society. There are people who are open minded out there and realize that addicts are so much more than just the addiction that took over their life for a period of time. Seek out people who are willing to look past your addiction and give you a real chance to show who you really are and the stigmas that others have about you won’t seem nearly as important to you.
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