As an upper-middle-class, Bates College-educated woman, I don’t seem fit the “image” that many people think #addiction is. When people hear I’ve been sober from the disease of #alcoholism for 10 years, I often hear “REALLY?” Then it’s usually “Wait you don’t drink AT ALL?” I smirk and say - “Hold up a mirror in front of you. That is exactly what addiction can look like.”
My battle with #alcohol rose quickly in my early 30s, especially after the births of my sons. The disease of addiction is a vicious beast. It sneaks up on the unsuspecting, kills souls, steals sanity, and suffocates dreams. On the day I turned 39, I did fit the misconceived #stereotype of what an #alcoholic looks like. I had lost my dignity, career, driver’s license, family, friends, and most painfully for a while – my children. I was #homeless , crashing in a stranger’s garage - not at all what I thought a #Bobcat ’s life would be. .
That’s the rub. No one is immune. Not even current students at #Bates or #BatesAlumni . Our school prepared me to live with an open mind. Yet, I too had many misconceptions about this disease and labeled others. When you think of the word #alcoholic or #addict - what do you picture? What do you call them?
Our #wordsmatter because they shape how we see an issue and each other. Only 1 in 10 Americans with addiction to #drugs or alcohol get help due to fear of stigma. People die fearing being labeled those words and many others. .
I invite you to help #endstigma and change how you talk and think about #addiction . I was honored to be a #TEDspeaker and explain how. Please, if you need an ear, this #Bobcat is here to listen. — Rebecca Throop ’93
#LifeOutsideTheDen #AlumniTakeover #TEDx #BatesCollege - 14 minutes ago