I re-watched Anonymous People last night. Is it just me or does it need an update?
It reminded me of the conversations I have had recently with folks who are new to sobriety and full of piss and vinegar. They talk about how they plan to tell the world they are sober and proud. I always say, “Make sure you think it through before you get all chatty about your recovery. Not everybody needs to write a blog.” As you all know, I am an open book, but at this stage of the game I don’t have a lot to lose. As someone said to me on Friday, “You are exempt.”
I work in a treatment center, I am almost three years sober and I write about all the naughty things I did while I was drunk. It’s like queue-jumping; before anyone can say anything bad about me, I sneak right in and say it myself. However, when you decide to post your 60 day sober anniversary on Facebook, think twice. Or get a second opinion. Especially those of you who are young and not independently wealthy.
Later, when you apply for that job, or make a career decision that is not conducive to speaking up about your addiction, you might be sorry you were so open. I wish it were not so.
In 2012, William L. White said, “[There are] …millions of people who would not be recognized as individuals in recovery, until someone challenges this vanguard who are in the unique circumstances that allow them to confront the stigma that they will confront when they step forward and put a face and voice on recovery. That vanguard has begun…”
Four years later, things have changed for the better – there is more dialogue, more acceptance of those in recovery from addiction. But not enough. We still need to make a conscious decision whether we are prepared to confront the stigma and join the vanguard.