FEBRUARY 11, 2015 AT 6:26 PM
Thank you for this article; it has further opened my eyes to something that I have felt distantly for some time but was unwilling to accept as even possible until last night, when I read about the suicide of Shirley Jansen. Here is a link to that article from the DM:
I am currently somewhat stuck in the 12-step “recovery” world of south Florida currently, and have never felt more trapped and hopeless. I received treatments for depression before, when I was 17-18 and self injuring. I feel like that helped me quite a bit. Everything changes though, with the “addict” label. I sought help in the summer of 2013 believing naively that I could be treated for depression, figuring it would reduce my need to daily self-medicate with alcohol. Instead it became a cycle going on two years now during which my depression has gotten progressively worse, I feel.
The argument I sometimes hear is that “the addiction must be treated before anything else”. What this seems to mean is that I can no longer be treated at all like a “normal” mentally ill patient: I am just an “addict” and depression and suicidal inclination is proof I am not working a through, “honest” program. Which, admittedly, I am not. I do not feel free to honestly express how I am feeling, most of the time, to these addiction-focused therapists and counselors.
The harshest part of the whole little world down here is the halfway-house aspect. The fear of being kicked out on the street at a moments notice on the whim of some manager is intensely frightening.
The regular 12-step community, the meetings and the “fellowships” proper, increasingly also feel like nothing but large echo-chambers… or as we say on “web 2.0″, circle-jerks. I feel it is worse in this area than it was in NJ due, in part, to the influence of having so many drug-treatment facilities and outpatient programs down here.
I do think the 12-Step programs do work for some people: I do see evidence of it. But the theme of “shared experience” is grossly overemphasized. Some people can honestly say “My worst day clean is better than my best day using”… But I wont say that.
Anyway, again, thank you for opening my mind up a bit.