Last week, I was contacted by a producer (well, 2 producers to be precise) of a well known talk show (No, not Jerry Springer!) asking questions about my addiction. (Hi Producer People from the Well Known Talk Show!) Without any hesitation, I answered them as candidly and honestly as I could. I never really thought twice about it. Later, I was talking to a good friend of mine about it. Whereas I am sure that nothing will come from talking to them and am pretty sure it was more of a fact/experience gathering sort of info-seek, she and I began to talk about the what-if’s. What if it became something and I was asked to talk about it on the Well Known Talk Show. Would I?
Now there is a question to ponder. I have no problem at all talking about it here. What do you care, really? You don’t know me. If I decided to go back to drug addiction right now, with the exception of a few people, it wouldn’t effect your life at all. It is easy to be open here. Oh sure, my closer friends know about my past. How could you know me well and not know? But what about Ms. I-Am-All-About-Image-And-The-PTA (our PTA president)? What about the kidlets and their friends and parents? What about my friends who “knew I’d be going places”? (Betcha rehab wasn’t one of those places they were thinking about!)
Want to know what I came up with?
I really don’t give a damn what anyone thinks about it all. I really don’t. I’d fight a lot harder to cover up the fact that I have my hair highlighted. (Not that I do. I mean, really. This is my natural color. Yes it is. Uh-huh, it is.) And trust me, darling, I would take a life to hide the truth of what I weigh. (I actually made my poor husband leave the labor room when the nurse asked me so that he would not know. While in LABOR, I was so vain! Sicko, I tell you!)
I’ve been told that I am brave for talking about all of this. No. Brave is being the spouse of someone who is going through this or has gone through this. Brave is someone who goes through it without the support I had and still have. Brave are the people who do it alone.
So, I figure, it isn’t my hang-up that keeps me from talking about it. It is theirs. Those people who shy away from me after hearing it. Those who feel sorry for me. Those who have no understanding of it and refuse to learn about it. Those who are so closed-minded that they immediately become appalled. I am open about this. Open and honest. Oh sure, I do worry sometimes about embarrassing my husband or children, but hell, I do that on a daily basis anyway. Why stop now?
The phrase that meant the most to me when I was first going through all of the turmoil and confusion is “Trust those who have gone before you to help lead the way”. So, if that helped me, who is going to help the next person if I am too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it? (I know how much just hearing someone say that they have been there, done that has meant to me. And reading someone’s words thanking me for talking so freely or asking for help, well, I can’t begin to describe how that helps me.) Am I not “one who has gone before”?
Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand those who are not in a place where they feel they can talk about it. I totally get that. I just don’t understand those who feel that I should be in that place and that I should not talk about it. That is what I don’t understand. If someone else just doesn’t want to talk about it in their life, that is great. I mean, I am sure people wish I would shut the hell up when it comes up here. I admire anyone who deals with this. I know the tough stuff you have to be made of. Talking about it is not something that you need to do to beat it. So, don’t misunderstand that. I am just irritated with the people who think I shouldn’t say anything. (“What would the neighbors think?”)
If you know me, you should know that if you tell me I should not do something (and I see no real reason why not), you better believe I will fight you on it. (I am such a rebel!)
So long answer to a short question…”Do I (or would I) have any problems talking about it?”
Yeah right! What do you think?