Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Conversation with a Coworker

Talking with a coworker this morning, and the subject drifted to concerts coming to the area. Apparently, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice are starting a tour together. My coworker wants to see this show, and then he mentions, with a tone of disapproval that Vanilla Ice has his own home improvement show. I point out that while Vanilla Ice may be a musical laughing stock, he was smart with his real estate investments and has made more money flipping houses than he was able to save from his short rap career. My coworker shruggs his shoulders and replies, "Yeah, but he is a recovering heroin addict." I am left speechless. Then, all the questions start spinning for me. Do I defend recovering addicts, and hence defend myself? Or would that merely open the door for problems at my job? I never lie about my past, but I do chose to omit those details in some settings. There is such a stigma with heroin addiction, and the stigma with recovery is never enough to overcome those labels. I feel sure that a recovered addict has put more effort into his recovery than most people put into anything they do. There is nothing I can do about the stigma and attitude surrounding addiction, even the recovery from addiction...but it still leaves me speechless and frustrated to hear these sentiments.
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  1. I don't blame you for the way you feel, but I'm guessing from the comment that the co-worker might be the pinhead type. If so, you would only be wasting your breath.

  2. I know exactly what you mean about the stigma attached to being a heroin addict. I was one of those people who used to think that heroin addicts are only people that you would find in a dark alley, that was until........ it happened to my son. I also pretty much keep my mouth shut to most of my co-workers about my son's journey. I made the mistake once of telling someone who I pretty much knew was an "unsafe person" at this point I didn't know he was using heroin, I thought it was just oxys and the other opiates and she said to me if I had put him into sports this probably wouldn't have happened and that her two sons were in sports and she believes that kept them clean. It was like a knife to my heart, of course I started defending myself, he was in baseball, jazz club, band, etc., and it didn't seem to keep him away from drugs. I agree with the comment above, you would have been wasting your breath, I sure did.

  3. @SB...Yep, he is a pinhead. I already thought he was a prick who I did not like. And he is kind of snooty, too.

    @Erin...the sports thing really gets me because these type of people have no idea what they are talking about. Do you know how many athletes I got high with? And on top of that, it makes me angry because I did not play sports, and jocks get on my damn nerves. I was too clumsy to play sports. I tried sports when I was younger, and I sucked at all of them. Not everyone is cut out for sports. I liked to read. And I liked to write. I rode horses. Not everyone is good sports, or else there would not be any artists in the world! I think forcing kids to play sports, even if they suck makes them miserable. I am sure the crappiest guy on the football team would feel better if he got high. If your child wants to play the piano instead of kick the soccer ball, then that should be encouraged. We all have god given talents, and it is important to nurse those. Sports aren't for everyone, and it does not keep kids clean...our trajectory is much more complicated than that.