Before I came out about my alcoholism, I was terrified to be discovered. I literally had drunken nightmares about friends doing “an intervention” on me.
The shame pushed me into a corner, eventually I ran away to Haiti rather than admitting I had a problem.
But I’m not just a victim of mental health stigma, I was often its cause.
I just posted an article on Daily Recovery Club about how my religious beliefs made me a mental health hater. It’s been a long time since I thought that way, but tonight I’m turning those outdated beliefs over to my higher power.
- No more judging others to make myself feel superior
- No more joking about these problems to hide my own feelings
- No more keeping silent because to protect myself
That’s one reason I want to smash the stigma around mental illness and addiction – because I remember how the shame made my problems worse. The isolation was fertile ground for my struggles to flourish.
I was part of the problem, with God’s help I want to be part of the solution.
End the stigma. Keep talking mental health.