How Drug Use Stigma Ruins Lives

Are you letting drug use stigma turn you into a horrible person? Find out bettysbattleground.com

“Once an addict, always an addict.” This gem from the 12-step drug addiction recovery cult is one of the most harmful sentences to ever be wedged into our society, along with every other sentiment that mischaracterizes anyone who’s ever used drugs as a degenerate, selfish, walking disease. Families are being torn apart by the idea that someone who has struggled with addiction will always struggle with addiction. Families are being ruined by the misinformation that anyone who uses drugs ever is incompetent. My family is being ruined by drug use stigma. My life, my heart, and my soul are being torn apart by your blind miseducation.

I mean that, of course, as a general “you.” I don’t know who you actually are, you who are reading this. You could be the most enlightened person on this planet. You could be Shilo Jama, who runs the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance and has the most accurate views on drug use and addiction I’ve ever encountered. Or you could be someone who shares similar views. But “you” as a whole–society as a whole–are blind to the realities of drug addiction and drug use. Worse, society doesn’t care to fix it’s blindness.

Continue reading

Crazy-Sitting And Thoughts Of Suicide

I am feeling suicidal and I need people with me

Thoughts of suicide are common in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and other mental illnesses, or who are going through hardship in life. Although suicidal ideations are fairly common, they do not in and of themselves indicate that a person will actually commit suicide. That does not, however, mean they should be ignored. Even if a person is claiming thoughts of suicide “just to get attention,” those claims should always be listened to and responded to with compassion, care, and support–preferably in-person support. Ignoring suicidal “cries for attention” can lead to actual suicide.Responding can be as simple as sitting in a room with the person, holding them, sleeping near them, or giving them a hug. If you can’t be physically with them, phone calls or texts are the next best solution. But this is in response to suicidal feelings and ideations. If someone is truly suicidal, then being left alone is never an appropriate response (unless, of course, you hope for that person to die–let’s hope there’s nobody out there whose friends and family actually want them to die).

Continue reading

Appearance Isn’t Everything–But Smiling With Confidence Helps

Smile Brilliant on bettysbattleground.com

When I was a kid, my mother and my orthodontist conspired to ruin my smile. Okay, okay, they conspired to fix my smile. I had a terrible overbite, crooked teeth, and massive crowding. So at the tender age of eight, I was fitted for braces and spent the next several years dreading my monthly visits to get them checked and tightened. The flip side of getting braces so young, of course, was that when most kids were getting them on, I was getting them off.

At the rebellious age of 13, my smile was beautiful. Seriously, I got compliments all the time. But the retainer I was directed to wear was one of those hard plastic ones. I was supposed to wear it any time I wasn’t eating or drinking–and it completely disgusted me. I thought it looked like my teeth had a seal of saliva over them at all times. And the idea of popping out that thing in front of my friends so that I could eat horrified me.

Maybe–maybe–a few years older would have provided me with enough perspective to understand that the retainer was salvaging my glorious smile. As it was, I never wore it during the day. Sometimes I wore it at night, but those occasions grew fewer and fewer. My teeth began to slide and crowd again, and the compliments lessened. Then I had kids, and began requiring numerous daily cups of coffee to function. So on top of crooked teeth, my teeth became stained. It’s hard enough to smile when you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, but when you’re also devastated by the thought of your own teeth, you develop a mastery of closed lips.

As of now, I still have the crowded teeth–maybe one day I’ll afford to fix that–but I was recently able to trial a home whitening product that changed my perception of my smile more than I honestly thought was possible without spending thousands of dollars.

This is a sponsored post, which means I received compensation in the form of money or trial products in exchange for an honest review–however, Betty’s Battleground is very selective about who I accept as sponsors (seriously–just ask all the PR people who constantly email me). This is still part of the same honest and relevant content you’re familiar with.

Continue reading