Hello and welcome to Off-Fridays. If you’re new here, Off-Fridays is a blog share that converts to a link library and themed resource page once it closes for links. Anyone is welcome to join so long as your links are on-topic and not abusive. The rules page can further explain what Betty’s Battleground considers abusive (hint: controversial does not mean abusive). This week’s topic is addiction.
Addiction is a big scary word that not a lot of people think they know much about, even though many of us have experienced it in some form or another. If you want to test just how much you know about addiction, check out “Is/Is Not: Addiction,” a game I created this month to test people’s ideas about certain commonly misunderstood topics. Addiction is so widely demonized and misunderstood that I have begun to make it a personal mission to very publicly overshare the realities of my own addiction. Before I send you to the page where you can leave you links, I want to share a brief story.
I read an article the other day by a well-versed writer who had some heavy duty, prestigious credits like Al-Jazeera and CNN. The article was well-written–no complaints there. Engaging too. I even shared it around some. But at one point the writer described her ex-husband, who she had discovered using drugs. First, she found a tinfoil with burned, tarry traces zigzagging across it. Then, she noticed his pupils were the size of pins. Finally, she confirmed what she’d been suspecting: he was high on METH! Does anyone else see the problem here?
I have something new for you today! There are a lot of misconceptions about various topics that affect many people in this world. So many misconceptions. I’m sure I hold a few. But, having been through some things that sit or cross those borders of “normal human experience” I also know the reality of many misunderstood topics. So I’m starting a new game! It’s called “Is/Is Not,” and in this game we’re going to dig into some common misconceptions about certain topics. Today we’ll be exploring addiction.
Addiction: the big scary beast that people oscillate between demonizing and appropriating. Everywhere we go, we constantly see misrepresentations of addiction. It is a loaded topic, and one that I have tons of personal experience with. But I have also held misconceptions about addiction and addicts in the past, so I’ll be addressing some of my own weird stereotypes here as well. Let’s play, shall we?
Hello! Thank you for dropping by this fine day in July! Or if you’re in the part of the world that says things like “fine day in December” (so weird), then thank you for dropping by this cold wretched day in July.
Today’s post features a mama struggling with depression over in The Netherlands. I completely feel for her and understand 100% the burden of being a mom and wife while having to also tend to your depression. Motherhood is often a very lonely job. I mentioned Summer in the paragraph above…Well, Summer used to be, hands down, my favorite season. I fiended for it all through the year, waiting with mounting excitement for the time when it would be warm enough to go out all day, when I could enjoy my favorite physical activity-swimming-and when I could feel happy enough to spend time with my friends.
Now, Summer is just another season to feel even more lonely and stressed. Don’t get me wrong: I love my kids. But without any help over here, I never get to swim. Never. They aren’t in daycare long enough for me to really enjoy anything; especially since I have to spend that time cleaning, shopping, or trying write marketable articles. Any outdoor excursion becomes an event. One which involves arguments over socks, inexplicable screaming fits, a monstrous stroller to haul, heavy bags loaded with diapers and snacks and extra clothes and diaper wipes…you get the picture. Nothing is carefree. Nothing is fun. It’s taking a toll. I can feel a very serious depression creeping up on me, wrapping its hands around my eyes again. I’m not built for a life where nobody cares for me. No help in sight. No end in sight. Just my lonely, burdened existence.
So I understand where Mom Mandy from The Netherlands is coming from. She is a gorgeous woman with a beautiful family, living in a country internationally lauded for its peacefulness. My reasons for saying all this are not to guilt Mandy for her feelings but to point out that Depression and Anxiety are, in fact, illnesses with biological causes. People can have the most enviable-looking lives…people can be in the middle of their favorite season…and still experience Depression. Just as beautiful women with loving families can get cancer or the flu, they can also get Depression and Anxiety. Let’s dive into this interview to see how Mandy experiences and copes with her illness.