Why we need to play – the shame game.

In the midst of a new drug crisis with meth – I say new because I lived through the cocaine and heroine crisis of the 80’s and 90’s – I’m often asked my opinion on topics regarding my view as a recovering addict.

My views on things like safe injection sites, decriminalization, etc have often been controversial because they do not ‘tow the line’ on what we see currently in the media or our new general social norms. In my new book I explain where my opinions come from – my own personal experiences.

Here is an excerpt from that book that I think sums it up nicely.

“Shame is such an important part of recovery. Sounds strange right? But it is true. 18 years ago, we understood
that addicts needed to hit their personal bottoms, to feel that they could sink no lower before they were willing to
do what it takes to get healthy, because it’s hard. We understood that then, and I owe my life to it. Without shame of
what I had become and what I was doing – I doubt I would still be alive, I’d never have stopped.

Today, we have become a society that wants to remove responsibility from addicts. We call it a mental health issue, we tell them that they are not at fault, they have a disease. We say we want to remove stigma and shame from addictions – and then we wonder why we are losing the battle against them.

If I had let some soft hearted, well intentioned advocate convince me that I was not at fault for my addiction,
how could I ever have taken responsibility for my recovery?
If I am a victim, I am powerless to change it. That is NOT what addicts need. Addicts need to hit their bottoms, feel their shame, feel the pain and face their truths. In shame, there is hope.”

Butterfly Dreams – Poetry of Hope and Recovery

copyright 2018 Michelle Renee Budiwski

Image courtesy of imgflip.com

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