Innocuous Stigmatizing

I’ve learned pretty quickly that circumstances and situations I’ve encountered throughout my whole life haven’t been “healthy” in many people’s opinions. I also realize that me laughing as I share a crazy experience indicates a lot of desensitization on my part. Humor isn’t a self defense mechanism for me in this case, but I honestly recall some events that others find gravely disturbing truly hilarious. It takes a lot to shock me, but all of my own behavior, independent of my environments and relationships, is nothing I am seriously humiliated by : once your immersed in an addiction, your crazy behaviors and demeanor become part of your maintenance lifestyle or your  tragic downslide into an incapacitated state. The desperate lengths and actions you do or what you ingest become a thread in the fabric of your addicted existence.

Tonight, I learned, feeling very defensive, misundetstood, and slighted, that some people can’t bear to hear the ins-and-outs of that part of your past because it drastically disturbs them, and they strongly suggest I erase all of that era from my existence and maintain no associations, even saying hellos, to anyone I might encounter from a rehab. He wants to maintain his values and image, and doesn’t want to start perceiving me as a former junkie/alcoholic for the sake of preserving our friendship. It’s an ego-shield, but also a sincere, innocuous effort to help me improve myself as a whole.

I just feel slighted. Sharing life happenings, even scary ones, propel my determination to never resume that dependence on substances and suffer really traumatic consequences that always manifest. I also never want to succumb to that helpless state of accepting that lifestyle and it’s associated awful consequences as my subsistence. Remembering the horrors keep me from creating them again through the madness of chemical dependence. I also don’t want to have to censor my speech to appease another person whom I didn’t know until now, regarded these topics with such revulsion and disgust that he associates them as components of my identity. Especially since it’s in the past (a year and a half later). I just feel insulted despite

this friend’s lack of intent to cause that effect. I like being transparent with my thoughts, feelings, and history. I also like not feeling image-conscious or negatively judged because I’m in the company of another person that could be perceived as “different.” These are two radically different perspectives that I didn’t know existed until now. With limited friends, I don’t want to lose one because what I stand for is in direct contrast to another person’s. ESPECIALLY when it concerns putting stock in protecting one’s image by sacrificing ethical kindness/acceptance of differences. The person isn’t shallow, but his expectations and preferences for image-protection are superficial, and I HATE that.

What happened to we are the “sum of our experiences,”  and the permitted expression of gratitude in commencing and continuing such a radical change for the better?


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