Time To Start A Conversation
Have you ever heard the horror stories about someone locked up in an insane asylum and picture zombie-like people walking through the hallways. What about the image of the poor soul huddled in the corner of an abandoned crack house? Or even the image of the fried egg. “This is your brain on drugs.” All of these images that we have of addiction and mental illness support the stigma of being a social outcast, and worthless to society. “That doesn’t happen in my back yard “ is the common mainstream thought. “Those people are in the inner cities and community ghettos”. Well America, those people found their way to your back yard. Addiction can be the soccer mom next door that has vodka in her water bottle at her kid’s game. Or the teenager who started taking pills from grandma’s medicine cabinet, got hooked on them, and has turned to shooting heroin because he just couldn’t get enough. Now he is sitting in dad’s living room, but dad doesn’t want to say anything for fear it would mess up his reputation and next big promotion. How about the co-worker who comes to work bright and cheery every morning, but goes home and shuts out all the lights, crying herself to sleep every night because she feels unloved? Mental illness and addiction are in our back yards, on our couches, and in our beds. There is nowhere to turn and nowhere to hide. We can’t send it away, or lock it up, but we often turn the other cheek and pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s time to start a conversation.