Is it really stigmatizing these days to identify yourself as a recovering alcoholic or addict? The evidence suggests that, to the contrary, coming to the point where an individual able to embrace that identity can help to solidify his or her recovery.
Addiction is America's most neglected disease. Every day we lose people to its lethal outcomes. May Mr. Hoffman's epitaph include a reminder of how far we have yet to go to save others from so tragic a fate.
"What does 'recovered' from an eating disorder look like?" The short answer is, "It depends." Recovery depends on your diagnosis, your biology, psychology and circumstances. Like clothing, recovery looks different on each person. Most importantly, it is possible.
Now, almost 29 years into my recovery, Mr. Hoffman's death reminds me that no matter how long one has been drug-free, recovering from addiction is a process not an event.
As we weep over the tragic loss of one of the most brilliant actors of our time, the questions of why and how are surfacing.
Today is the fifteenth anniversary of my living clean and sober, free from the grips of a long, secret prescription painkiller and alcohol addiction. I went to sleep last night imagining the grief of the family, children, friends, colleagues and fans of Mr. Hoffman. His gifts, so powerful, his demons, more so.
Celebrities who go in and out of rehab may be struggling privately, but the message the public receives in those cases -- enough details to know that a celebrity is back in a program, but not enough to know why -- is too often that rehab is a place to go whenever you feel the need to get away for a bit.
My own reaction barely warrants a ripple in this tide. Still, I felt compelled to express my sadness, as I feel moved to write this essay. Why? Did I know the man? No. Or did I?
My friend had been told that clergy shouldn't show weakness. They shouldn't admit to perceived failures. Somehow we have taught that Christians are people of perfection, and not people of redemption.
I hope that if I die young my friends and family get something out of my early passing. Was I doing something stupid? Was I ignoring something, pret...
As an achiever, I had no idea I could slow down, ask for help, take time out, let go of white-knuckling, accept longing and disappointment as natural byproducts of life. Now, as someone with a different body and mindset, I practice my tips and do the opposite of what I did in my career. The outcome is not only greater success in all areas of my life, but a calmer, healthier and more balanced me.
In the real world, these statements help baseball players about as much as telling a heavy drinker to "keep it simple," or just take it "one day at a time." Not much. While these can be profound life suggestions, the ability to put them into action can be brutally difficult.
I am a recovering food addict. I don't go looking for sugar, and my body is leaner and fitter than ever with the same amount of exercise or less. I walk right by the bakery, the candy aisle, and even the Häagen-Dazs stores, which I could never do before.
My nightstand served as a holding tank for the turquoise kidney shaped throw-up trays I'd need over five years of chemo. It converted to a trashcan for all of the Kleenex used to wipe the vomit off my face. It displayed fish tanks, terrariums and cool lamps. It housed the first love letter I ever received. When I moved away from home, my nightstand naturally came with me.
The origin of this figure is research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the federal drug abuse research institute, published in a 1994 article in the journal Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. The problem is that their survey was chock-full of bias.
We're a society of addicts. From porn and drugs to food and drink, Americans are suffering from dysfunction in record numbers. After all, it takes one to know one. I'm a recovering addict to comfort.