The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
― Jim Morrison
Stigma has me hiding in the shadows. A chained heart engulfed in flames of shame and fear. Flames that burn, leaving scars and trauma. Stigma has me wearing the mask in edited Facebook posts, in mechanical conversations, in filtered Instagram images.
There’s a revolution stirring. I am done with the shame and I am done with the fear. The fear is still there, but I won’t let it control me any longer. I want to unshackle myself. A revolution is born when one can no longer accept the norm of current reality. For me this is a reality in which I am stigmatized. In which my husband is stigmatized. Right now I am writing about my personal revolution. It may be mine, but it does not exist in a vacuum. It is inspired by community.
There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth.
-The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
A revolution is born from something new. I must acknowledge a new emotion that has surfaced. It is anger. Not uncontrollable rage, but anger that embraces my worth. Revealing indignation against judgement, marginalization, and criminalization. Leading to a revolt against stigma. I am ready to step out of stigma’s shadow and into the light.
My husband is an addict.
My credit is shot.
The medical bills are arriving.
I don’t know how I will pay them.
My husband is an addict.
I will survive this. I am not ashamed. I am worthy. I deserve better. My husband deserves better. We ALL deserve better.
I shudder as the trauma of communities suffering from addiction travels through my veins. Communities freezing in stigma’s cold shadow. Yes, I am done with the shame and I am done with the fear. I reject the stigma. I remove my mask, push the hood from my head, let my cloak fall to the floor, and step out from the deepest recesses of my fearful mind. I throw my anger to the frenzied winds and harness it’s energy. I step out of the shadow. My soul is in revolt. I am ready to share. Run and shout it from the rooftops, expose my raw insides and my battered heart. Let my scream take flight and carry my words to the world. Tell the world no matter what I face, I have not fallen from grace. I am here in my being. I have risen from despair. I have risen in love. On the rooftop beneath the infinite black clouds, I raise my face to the sky, let the cool rain wash the tears from my cheeks, and release my declaration into the storm. You will not imagine my scream, you will hear my scream.
Take that wicked world. Take this (me, my husband) cruel world. This is me. This is us.
It is my soul in revolt.
Allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Mara. This is my husband. His name is James. I call him Jim. He is in the very very very early stages of recovery from dope addiction. This means the future is still uncertain. The future is always uncertain. I love him dearly. I am not ashamed he is my husband.
I must give credit where credit is due. This “coming out” was inspired by two recovery bloggers, Mark and Damien. These posts most recently:
And by my husband of course. Fighting the demon one day at a time.
In these times we must emerge from the shadows and find strength for battle. First fight addiction, then stigma…then I can take on the world. Rise up. Peace my friends.
Just received this news:
Never give up. NEVER.