Words take on certain new meanings when you get sober -- or at least I should say some words. Yes, you learn new ones -- those types of things you're never going to find in the Oxford English Dictionary or outside of recovery circles probably -- like normie, sponsee and step work. But there are also a slew of words you're probably going to learn to use in new ways.
I did not deserve the hardship of anorexia. I did not deserve the cruel, ignorant comments of people who viewed anorexia as a phase or cry for attention. But I did deserve recovery. I did deserve the possibility of a fruitful future with sadness and joy, cake during celebrations and hot chocolate in the winter.
The bottom line is that rejections are a fact of life -- we all experience them and we all hurt when we do. The best thing we can do is to soothe our emotional pain, take steps to revive our self-esteem, and to connect to our core groups and by doing so remind ourselves that others value and love us even if our date does not.
Blunt-smoking, gun-crazy 18-year-old superstar rapper Keith Cozart -- aka Chief Keef -- hates sobriety. If it was up to him, he would blaze weed around the clock. It's a problem for a lot of dudes who love to smoke weed and get caught selling drugs, because the only deal on offer from the courts that keeps them out of jail puts them in drug treatment, where they do not want to be.
Words like "addict," "abuser" and "alcoholic" are widely used indiscriminately to describe people who struggle with substance use issues and are laden with negative connotations for much of the culture. As a psychologist who treats substance use disorders I usually discourage my clients and their families from using these words to describe themselves or their loved one.
I know that substance abuse problems vary in terms of severity, fright and heartbreak, and yet I am optimistic! In research and clinical work alike, I've seen the evidence over the past 40 years that families and friends make a difference in helping someone who struggles with drinking, drugs or other compulsive behaviors. Often, it is the critical difference.
Regardless of outcome, stepping in to urge treatment and set boundaries is a way of showing an addict just how far they've fallen at the same time that you're showing them how deeply you love them. Being part of such an event can be a profound, even sacred experience. If it doesn't change the addict, it might change you.