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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