Monday, July 08, 2019

DO WE SEE PEOPLE OR PROBLEMS: by ed



I have never gotten a chip for the time between manic highs.  Some would say I am making a mockery of the hard work it takes to earn a chip in the addictions world.  Well, they would be wrong.  I am trying to make the point that bipolar mania is as addictive as any drug found growing in nature or man-made.

I am also saying that as I look back on my life, I recognize that I was addicted to the natural high of mania.  I looked forward to them.  Did nothing to prevent them.  Oh yes, they were destructive to my life.  However, they felt so wonderful. 

My late wife, Patty, finally told me she could not take any more of them.  I started taking medications to try to prevent future manic episodes.  I missed them, but I loved her more.

In our cities, towns, and counties, significant attention is being given to the problems surrounding addictions, but not a lot of attention is being given to human beings and their families.   We seem to have a strategy to deal with the addition but not with the person.  We do not see a person.  We see a problem.

Patty did not see me as a problem.  She knew I had issues that could be solved.  Do we see people or problems?  People are more complex than a couple of their ongoing failures.  It was a homeless wino who kept me fed and alive on the streets of New York City one time when I was too high to take care of myself.

If addictions treatment or mental health treatment ever decide we are people to be treated with real dignity and afforded our full human rights, it will be because they saw us not as problems but as people.  Fully human.  Like them.  With fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters, along with wives and husbands.

Patty always wondered why the people working with me never wanted to talk to her.  I told her, "you humanize me too much."

© Ed Cooper, 7/8/2019, Stoney Creek, TN, Appalachia
    All rights reserved

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