Getting back from a Florida detox and wellness center, and transitioning back into your everyday life can be challenging. Sometimes the people you know make it even more difficult. There’s a stigma in our society that comes along with addiction and sometimes people are bullied because of that. I know no one wants to believe it but adults can be bullies too. If you get into a situation where someone is confronting you due to your struggle with addiction, or because they think you are too different from them, here are some things to remember.
You Don’t Have To Hide Yourself Away
This society can be brutal and heartless. It often has no qualms delineating between what is an “acceptable” sort of person and what is “weird” or “gross” or “wrong” according to some meaningless metric. It sometimes feel like we never left elementary school, or middle school, or high school, or… you get the point. People can be cruel no matter what age they are. If it makes you feel better (and it probably doesn’t, me neither.), animals do it too. If you watch a litter of puppies, even the momma sometimes picks on a puppy if it looks different than the others, or they may pick on the runt for how tiny it is.
Lack of Acceptance Sometimes Leads to Addiction
When people don’t feel accepted they sometimes turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. It’s also possible that they feel like it’s a way to connect to people. There’s usually a readymade community in the throws of addiction. Intoxicating substances do often bring people together. But they are still alone within that community. They often have just turned more inward. They feel the pain still, it’s just shoved deep down for now. You don’t need the complications and heartache of addiction to be happy. You just need to realize that you aren’t alone. There’s a community of people who are “weird” in the same ways you are. Remember that humans are intricate and I guarantee that there is no single human who measures up to societal standard.
“Weird” is Beautiful
Take a second and think about the folks you look up to. Consider the people you have revered in your life and think about what they love, what they worked toward. Think about their smiles, their sense of humor, their quirks. Everyone has them. That’s what makes us interesting. It’s true. The best thing about knowing other people is seeing the full shape of who they are. Relationships are vital for so many reasons, but there is so much beauty in the collage of someone else’s experiences and passions. As you get to know people you can feel that. You can see yourself getting delighted by someone else’s enthusiasm, even if you don’t understand why they are excited. Even if they are different from you.
Having Compassion Teaches You To Not Be A Bully
If someone makes you feel bad about yourself, try to have compassion for them, and then walk the other way. Look, I know, this feels very “turn the other cheek”. But if you think about who these people are, you have to see that they are afraid of the unknown. They are afraid of you because they don’t understand you. I know it’s hard but try to look at them and realize that they deserve love and compassion. Note their humanity so that you can remember that this isn’t about you, and then let yourself walk away. It’s not your job to teach them about why you’re not threatening, or scary, or gross, or whatever it is that they are telling themselves. Finding compassion for them is an exercise for your own sanity. Flexing your compassion muscles here, trying to see the person behind the hatred is more than generous to the person making trouble, but it also helps you avoid internalizing that hate. We all have the tendency to be afraid of what we don’t know. Remind yourself every chance you get, that different is beautiful. That you are perfectly you, that we don’t need to be blind to our differences. The magic of the world is that it is various and awe inspiring. There is never an end to its changing and blooming.
People who insist on bullying other people due to what they see as difference can be kind of scary sometimes. After you intentionally focus on their humanity for a second, and you are able to reify your confidence in who you are, walk away. Get out of the situation. If it is a dangerous situation, worry about your compassion later and get away from the person spewing hate. Nothing is worth you getting hurt. If the person seems like they may get violent, or you feel nervous, walk away.
If you’ve been bullied because you’re different it can feel impossible to overcome shame and self hatred. It’s hard to reconnect with yourself after that sort of incident. And if you’ve been bullied for years as some of us have, you may not even remember feeling anything else. If you are ready to tackle some of that emotional trauma, seek out some of Florida’s psychiatric services. Mental health rehab can help you delve deep into yourself, discover what you love about who you are. No matter what, never make changes to who you are just because someone else has decided they are necessary. Pay attention to who you are and find the ways you can care for yourself like you would care for anyone you love. When you want to change an aspect of who you are, do it because you believe it takes you closer to the person you are already, on the inside. Each person is a functional design – a unique composite of everything they’ve ever experienced or been exposed to. It takes so much courage, but revel in what has come your way and what you’ve survived. Find your strength there, and let your complexity shine through, in spite of hatred.