Enjoying a walk in the woods.
When I think of a stereotypical ‘addict’ I think people tend to think the worst. It is assumed they are often homeless, without a job, literally rock bottom. I’m pretty sure that isn’t the way I looked to the world.
When I walked into my first support group meeting I didn’t know what to expect or where I was going. My usual contact wasn’t there and I didn’t know the women running the group. They asked who I was looking for, clearly trying to protect the privacy of the group and when I said why I was there, they seemed surprised. There were only six of us, and I felt like all eyes were on me.
I could get by on a daily basis out in the world, I’d already proved that by denying I had a problem for so long. I dressed smartly, had a family, a job and a house, many of the group didn’t. It was a full time job to appear normal, and it was exhausting. We introduced ourselves, and it seemed to dawn on each of us that despite our outward differences we were very similar on the inside.
Today is World Mental Health Day and I suppose my point is that many people are struggling, whether it is an addiction, anxiety, depression or something else entirely. Many people, like I was, are very good at hiding it. So good in fact, that it becomes second nature. Just because it isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Be kind. It matters, even if it isn’t obvious.
Thanks for reading!