Stigma in its conceptualization involves ” Marking and Treating” people or a given behavior with disdain due to the societal view of such a behavior or action exhibited by an individual. It characterizes people and tend to treat them in an unfair manner even when such individuals or group of people have by acts of wilful propitiation atoned for their wrong. Such have in most cases become the dilemma of “Individuals” in recovery.
It seem to appear that irrespective of the fact that most of them are doing their very best to turn the tide of addictive behaviors and turn a new leave, we often still look at them from the lenses of the past and sometimes judge them based on what we knew of them. I do submit that for any one to fully recover, the approach taken by family and society must be welcoming and supportive of the individuals efforts towards recovery.
It is also imperative for individuals in recovery to understand how to deal with “Stigma” and not allow it become a deterrent from their well intended desire for change. A few nuggets for handling Stigma:
1. Recognize that some people will never change their opinion about you and that they will always see you based on their predisposed perception about you irrespective of your apparent changes.
2. Understand and accept that people’s view of you does not define who you are rather what you do daily is a reflection of your current identity.
3. Learn to self- celebrate, especially your progress and your achievements.
4. Draw inspiration from others who have succeeded, knowing that they also faced what you are currently facing.
5. Develop the mentality of a “Never Quieter” stay focus on your goals and know that each day of sober living makes you a better person than you were yesterday.