Detox was hell. Rehab tested every ounce of willpower in your blood. You’d think that recovery alone would be the ultimate triumph: you’ve finally achieved sobriety. You’re ready to lead a healthy, productive life.
Then come the questions, the stares, the rumors. People might know you were a drug abuser. You want to embrace your future, you want people to see you as an accomplished person with potential; however, the stigmas you face from peers, neighbors, and friends can be a major obstacle to getting your life started again.
Hateful accusations, assumptions, and judgments can take a toll on the confidence and focus you were able to build up in rehab. It sounds exaggerated, and in many cases it is, but this is how it really feels for many recovering addicts trying to fit into society once they return to their previous lives. Discrimination against recovering addicts is real, enough so to spawn organizations like the Legal Action Center and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which combat such discrimination in the workforce and housing sector.
Your best defense against discrimination and how it may affect you is to be adequately prepared. There is no easy solution to the ignorance or hatred of others. Recognize that people who aren’t familiar with the realities of addiction and recovery may not understand, and they may say hurtful things. Just keep moving forward, like you have been, and continue to pursue a better life for yourself and your family. The others will come around eventually, or they might not. If there’s anything treatment will teach you, it’s that your recovery is lifelong, which requires calm, focus, and vigilance to stay committed to your sobriety. Care about the opinions of those closest to you, the ones that love, accept, and understand you. Create a support network of people who take the time to understand you. Since you have taken the steps to understand and have compassion for yourself, you will find you can understand and have compassion for others, even if they do not share this for you.
Recovery is an ongoing learning process. For advice and guidance, talk to one of our addiction specialists here at The Last Resort Recovery Center. Call 877-892-7997 today.