In her phenomenal Ted talk “The danger of a single story” Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie states: “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
Quite often there is a narration of the one sided story that: addicts are unemployed, homeless, school dropouts, criminals, or prostitutes.
The unintended consequence of this incomplete story is that fear and shame is instilled among those who suffer and this becomes a hindrance for them to stop suffering in silence and seek professional intervention.
Furthermore, addiction recovery, which is a new way of living that those affected can benefit from, is omitted from the narrative.
It is imperative that alternative stories are sought and not to have a limited perspective when telling the story.
Sesha will on a weekly basis share these stories by discussing different topics around addiction, co-dependency and mental health in this column.
Our nation is plagued by a pandemic of social ills that are daily destroying lives. Substance and alcohol abuse is among the many ills that have afflicted our society.
For close to a decade I was at the grip and mercy of this two headed serpent-addiction. I was fortunate enough to find healing through Addiction Recovery.
Addiction Recovery has afforded me an opportunity to nurture and rekindle my spirit which had been crippled by years of being in active addiction.
Addiction is viewed as a moral failing.
My choice to live openly as an addict has made me very unpopular among a lot of my close acquaintances.
I am however very unapologetic about chronicling and sharing my decade long battle with addiction and my journey in recovery.
This is not to shame anyone but I want my story to serve as a cautionary tale that people can learn from.
There is a dire need for more platforms to tell stories of addiction and recovery. In order for people to know they aren’t alone in their struggles.
I have encountered challenges along the way which I have not allowed to deter me from this path.
One of the challenges I have faced is living in a place where there is a stigma around addiction and mental health.
It stems from a culture that dictates uncomfortable conversations and topics are not to be had.
They are rather ignored and not discussed.
There is an uprising surge of substance and alcohol abuse that cannot be ignored in our country.
I strongly believe for a successful outcome in fighting this scourge it is imperative to engage in progressive, empowering and uncomfortable discussions around addiction.
Talking about addiction will help break down the shame for people making it easier for them to ask for help.
This will enable us to find more solutions to the overall problem.
Sesha Recovery is promoting an idea considered radical: that people in addiction recovery could be open and even celebrated for managing the disease that is plaguing our nation.
People in Addiction Recovery could play a vital role in ending the addiction epidemic.
The hope is that by hearing the stories of faith, hope and courage of those in addiction Recovery, those suffering in silence and their support systems will be encouraged to seek help and speak up about their struggles.
When it becomes safe for more people to say, ‘I’m in recovery’.
It’s highly likely that many more people could say, ‘I need help.’