I believe that anonymity does no one any good. I tried it and it made me sicker than I'd ever been. But even worse, it let those who know absolutely nothing about me, speak out about me on my behalf. Once the ideal wasn't so farfetched, and for some, it may work. But today, the concept seems so absurd for me personally, and for a society that is supposed to benefit from the people in it. As well as the people in it have a system that is set up for them to win simply by a loyal contribution. Right?
It's no joke that I'm a social justice warrior, or rather Sociology major, minoring in Substance Abuse therapies in college. So why wouldn't I find the whole concept of anonymity rather, unappealing, from multiple aspects?
Most specifically I find staying quiet about such a "trending issue," that I have personal life experience in that others may not, something I do the exact opposite for many reasons.
So, from with holding ourselves diligent to a societal duty of giving back to that society, I find it hard to say that I'm truly giving it [society] and its people all of the justice that's deserved to prosper if I keep a lifestyle of anonymity. And in partial ways find it living a life ignorantly blissful.
More specifically if I do keep my story unheard, and others follow me in this style, are we, the people of society, now withholding vital information to a society that needs a facts and stories to be heard to come to a global consensus that are need for betterment and programs put into that society's infrastructure to help its people prosper?
In short, are we dishinibiting the system that was put in place to help us to help society from even working at all?
Or even shorter...
If I stay quiet, am I setting myself up to fail from the very start?
Think about statistical places like WHO (World Health Organization) that carry a society, cultural, national, and worldly census on the people that live in each sub-group named above. And imagine if we didn't do those types of research, and/or, statistical analysis'?
I'm sure you're saying... "He's trying to make me another number on a sheet of paper!"
While I'm answering, "I am proud to be a number of many people who choose to speak out loud on their recovery; whatever type it may be!"
And I bet that you're now starting to think that I'm crazy. But, for instance, if WOW never created such statistics would we have any relative number of how many mothers develop postpartum depression? Or would we know how much of that depression leads to misuse of prescription pills, or a drinking habit that may prevent suicides, and/or, other health related issues that affect an entire family structure?
Or maybe here's another better example...
What if we truly didn't know that there was an outbreak of Polio many years ago. Specifically because there was no one there to tally down true estimates of numbers in a range that we could declare it such a crisis that brilliant scientists had come up with a cure to completely eradicate the disease itself. And until the disease could be eradicated, people were given what information was known, to prevent the disease from affecting their children, who were most susceptible to the disease. Just like we need stories of hope, recovery, as well as struggles to speak loud not only for youth prevention, but those working in addiction medicine to create proper forms of treatment to reduce the rates of use altogether.
So, let me ask you, how do you propose we create formidable and reliable treatment, prevention that works, or eventually some better medical interventions we can rely on instead of be scared of, if we kept data on said addictions, afflictions, and recoveries to a big flat zero?
And as you see the numbers pull together, let me take the final nail out of the coffin! Because one of the biggest reasons to speak out is that I'm telling you if you are in recovery, or wondering what it's about, it's that those in it are not crazy, fiends, morally terrible people, or any stigmatized label that those who don't know us can put on us.
In short, think of it this way...
If I don't speak out about my recovery, you may never see that what came before it was so much similar to a humanly struggle that 99.9% of this World has already, or is, or will go through. That struggle we go through is something that is truly universal. But the difference is that there is such a shame behind things like addiction or recoveries I'm referencing, that by staying anonymous we are giving the power to the people who don't understand it, to be the one's who define it!
If we give those who don't understand what we are going through, to define it, then we get term like "junkie" or "addict" versus a realization that everyone in life will go through some sort of recovery and the more who understand what we go through, the more help can be offered. That is why many go by the cliche quote, "It's better if you talk about it..." Because if we don't, the conclusion is that no one understands what we are going through, so when we are upset or sad, or even "depressed" we are looked at as "insane," "deranged," or "psychoooo."
And for the pure fact that other types of societies issue may be easier to speak up on, we are therefor putting ourselves at the most utter disadvantage by staying silent, because we leave no room to document that those in addiction (or similar) recoveries are not junkies, or morally deficient, but quite possibly coping like "you" may have never seen before. Or that you may have gone through at another part of your life, but have missed the cue signs because no one has ever "explained" this part of life, society, or health to you before. Which is exactly the point of, and what speaking out on recovery debunks!
So, justifiably, because when someone's loved one dies, we all understand that what they will be dealing with shortly after is called "grief." So then we know how to help said person, right? And you may argue, just like recovery will happen to everyone and is common, so is death. But the larger fact is that the most normal part of life is to celebrate those life's of people that have passed on. This is how we speak out, this is how people understand what we are feeling because we can get together and all talk about these issues publicly and not be ashamed to miss that person. And therefor death is viewed as natural, healing, and definitely not stigmatized but rather a moment of celebration for that person to have been in our life, as well as remembrance of all the good, as well as bad times.
So, if you see any resemblance, it may be that recovery is a natural issue that I have no problem publicly speaking about. Nor should be ashamed of the good recovery brings or be ashamed of what was done in my addiction, because those past moments are some of the most important to talk about. Just like I'd wish no one to go to their grave with any sort of resentment, we must bring all good and bad issues to light, in order to properly move on. Just like you're allowed to grieve your addiction, but better yet, rejoice, rejoice, I say rejoice your recovery!
That is why I do not believe in anonymity, nor it being applicable to today and how we operate our society. But, I mean, this is just a blog and I didn't state any sort of degree I had on the subject, nor having graduated Cum Laude amongst 10 other honors societies, or speak with some of the World's largest groups on advocacy condoning this very issue, now did I? Psh, okay! You caught me...
But, please. Not for my sake. Speak out and rejoice your recovery! And most of all, if you need help, do not be afraid to ask for it! Because your voice is one of, if not, the most monumental in creating a brother and sisterhood of like minded individuals who all believe in one common goal: "Recovery!"
"RECOVERY IS FOR EVERYONE"
Ps. Always remember that your life is proof enough that recovery works. So, be happy and pertain progress not perfection one step at a time!