What Entertains You:
“What you think I’m funny? Funny how? Like “HAHA” funny? I amuse you?”
-Joe Pesci (Goodfellas)
I’m looked at like I’m in an effing freak show! “Come and see the two headed monster! One screams addiction—The other screams mental health!” Oh woe is me…
When I’m in rehab they—the normies/moguls—stare at me like a monkey inside of a glass cage at the zoo. “Can we feed it mommy?” while they’re afraid to get their fingers gnawed off. The only thing you have to be afraid of is if your feeding me opium laced snacks!
There is no safe passage living life as an addict. All around you you’re faced with judgment. You’re faced with people staring on in misunderstanding and ignorance. Why don’t they understand? Because they cannot if they have not. But does this give them room to judge me? I don’t understand how they can control certain things and I can’t, but I don’t judge them. I’m busy enough working on myself… as they should be, too!
People in today’s society don’t look at an addict as someone to help. Addicts are looked upon as people of entertainment. The type of entertainment that gets the digital or surreal world off is vulgar and infectious entertainment. Addicts are looked at as a display of misery, greed, and laughter more than anything else. The one thing the world wants from us is entertainment, and this is the one thing leading the cycle of stigmas.
You see these types of entertainment on television everyday. Show’s like Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew are quite the contrary to entertainment in my book. Someone lying on the floor detoxing or being filmed for their first 90 days of recovery—and early onset mental health issues—is not entertainment. Shows like Celebrity Rehab are more like taking an episode of Saturday Night Live and shaping the show around a motif of “Vulnerability” and “Despair.” I don’t film my dying grandmother in hospice just so the local news can get a boost in ratings, do I?
The people on Celebrity Rehab shouldn’t be filmed curling over into a bucket, whether they be celebrities or not. That isn’t the celebrity luxury we’re all used to, and yeah there may be a point there, but let’s remember: WE ARE ALL JUST PEOPLE DOING THE BEST WE CAN!
I wouldn’t take anyone’s worst times and put it on public display for millions to view. It’s like a bad case of “Visiting Day.” For those of you who’ve been in rehab, you know what this feeling is like. It’s horrifying! Glorifying addiction into entertainment is what sells though. But, let me ask. Am I here to amuse you? Especially if my life depends on it, not yours.
I feel as if people who don’t have addiction look at those with it—especially in times of struggle—and say, “Damn, at least my life isn’t that bad!” This type of entertainment isn’t just for a quick laugh, but more of an instantaneous judgment. Isn’t this the very stigma you posted about on Facebook last night? The one you’re trying to break? Aren’t you someone who stands up for equal rights? Or do you just do it for entertainment?
The addict’s life has been made into movies, documentaries, books, poems, and more. But, if we were to put it into a categorical resolve, many critics would call these stories a tragedy. The longest standing plays are in Britain are mostly tragedy. This is how many of people have been getting entertainment for centuries. But, why does one’s life, in time of most suffering become most appealing to those around?
Let’s stop looking at an addict’s life as something to glorify. There’s nothing amusing about a loved one overdosing. Though, when someone of any importance overdoses, it hits national news. Maybe even goes global. The purpose of news is to inform, or was.
The newest purpose of news is a found fascination with entertaining the reader. So, when headlines come across, “Teens Lost to Overdose,” what makes addiction so fascinating that you’ll pick up that paper instead of a paper reading, “Local Teen Hero Saves Lives!”
I refuse to stand by and let my addiction be made a mockery of. This isn’t a fashion show, and no I’m not here to please you. So, get that out of your head right now. Especially if you don’t understand me or my addiction… I don’t ask you to!
I’m here because I want to live, I want to love, and I want to rise above! My addiction isn’t “The Real World: Heroin Edition.” My addiction, my recovery, my struggle is my life. I am just doing the best I can, like you are too! I am human, not some demonic transient here to take your soul.
So, the next time you look at an addict with the “Oh,” or “Ah” face… Don’t. Either say hello and introduce yourself like you would ANY other person, or move on with your day. I’m not here for your entertainment!
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