Friday, April 1, 2011

those that are not us......

   Sadly, yesterday, a middle school teacher in my school system was arrested at work/school for being drunk in public. It's also sad to say....this is the 2nd middle school teacher in my school system that's been arrested for this in the past couple of months.  (and yeah...those middle school age kids can make a person crazy ) kidding.  This info. circulated through our system(which is huge) quickly, and another teacher said to me this morning..."That's so weird....why would she do that ?"  This is an intelligent woman who's not naive or unaware of things that happen to people.  Inside, I sighed....and said,..."well, sounds like alcoholism to me,...not based upon logic or good decision making".    

   This bothered me because, of course...the sad story of the teacher that this happened to,...but because of how it made me realize (once again) much the "general public" doesn't really understand addiction, and how much misunderstanding always is the case.  OF COURSE, this teacher did the wrong thing.....going to work under the influence of alcohol,...never mind that she most likely drove herself there, and all of the risk to others of that.  I certainly am not in any way condoning the choices she made,....but I am thinking that I've been so deep into the weeds (no pun intended) of addiction for so long....that I am,at times, still surprised at the lack of understanding of addiction that the majority of our society still  has.        

Yet again....I know that's how it is....and I also do not make an effort to provide addiction info. to all the people that I know or interact with about my son, or any other addict. That's not my responsibility.....but at the same still is at times a sore spot when I think about, or perceive how much judgment and misunderstanding there is by others about son, or others.

What is your experience about this ? you ever feel like I've described here ?


  1. Oh my gosh yes. I started my post earlier about my feelings on this exact thing but B did something so the other post will wait.

    I completely understand and hear what you are saying but I don't entirely agree about it not being our responsibility. Of course that is not a black and white statement there are always shades of gray. I feel like my son is often treated like my Cousin was 12 years ago when she was dying of AIDS which is what my post is about.

    Thanks to many wonderful people fighting to help people to understand AIDS people did become more compassionate - GOD BLESS the beautiful Ms. Taylor for all she did to bring awareness when everyone else wouldn't touch the subject. We have come so far since my Cousin died and maybe because I was so close to it I can see a huge difference. If it can be done with AIDS it can be done with Addiction.

  2. Yes Tori...that's also my same hope...I think about that, hoping that understanding/knowledge will grow, resulting in a whole different approach, especially related to treatment vs. incarceration.

    Before I even looked for comments here this morning, I was thinking that I didn't really state that clearly. What I meant was that I don't tell all of what I learned about addiction when someone else says something negative and harsh, but I certainly do say something,like what I said about the teacher to my co-worker. Besides what I said to her that I wrote, I also said that it's hard to understand what she did with our own logic if we're not alcoholic, because we're not having the same urge to drink that this woman is,...we don't feel as she does. She has a disease that causes her to do illogical things, etc..

    I do speak up to people when harsh and ignorant things are said, but at times, it's more limited than what I've learned to be true about addiction,..due to what I perceive about who I'm talking to. The way I'll explain it is that I know it's not my place to "set everyone straight" regarding numerous facts about addiction, due to my personal experiences with it. But I certainly do say something,..I'm much more likely to speak up than not.

    And yes, just think of how far we've come with how people with AIDS are now treated and thought of. Thank God. I hope we can do the same about addiction,....certainly have a long way to go.

  3. I am ashamed to say I do not speak up like I should. There are still many people in my life that do NOT know my son is an addict. And yes, it is SHAME. Blogging has helped though, and I am slowly learning, and then sharing.

  4. It took me a long time, and coincidentally, as long as it took me to accept that this wasn't just my daughter acting out.... it was a bad choice she made while acting out that triggered the disease of addiction. Her first use was the bad choice, in my opinion. Youthful poor thinking. She knew with the first use of heroin that she was in trouble and told a friend that, exactly. And she is now forever going to live with the disease of addiction.

    It was after I got some years of the chaos under my belt, with the education received in rehabs, groups, alanon, naranon, and open AA/NA meetings, that I realized this was not something to be ashamed of. That is was not my fault. I neither caused it or could fix it. And that's when I started getting honest. I talk about it much more than I used to. People just DON'T understand and maybe t he more we talk, the more people will understand. And maybe more will reach out to those who suffer, instead of wondering how such a thing could happen to someone like that middle school teacher!

    I have learned who I can talk to, and who I can't. Who will try to make it MY fault and who is open to hearing that it's not bad parenting. Some of the most critical have come around to actually congratulating her today on her one year clean time.

    You and your son are in my prayers. I'm SO happy he is working so hard on his recovery.