Stigma violates the right of people with addictions to be human, strips us of our dignity, and says to us that we have no value. It evokes feelings of shame so deep they are hard to know unless you’ve experienced them. This isn’t the kind of shame that guides us or tells us we’ve made a mistake. It’s toxic shame, the shame that tells us we are the mistake — something those of us with this disease come to believe. It tells us that we’re never safe and keeps us silent, hiding and alone, unvalued members of the human tribe. And that’s how many of us with this disease die: hopeless, spiritually empty, and alone.
Choose to recover out loud so that no one else has to suffer (or die) in silence.