Women in recovery can get a lot of grief, mainly from people who don’t understand addiction and all the things that go hand in hand with it. The truth is that addicts are not one-size-fits-all, as a matter of fact they come from all different walks of life – rich, poor, south, north, white, black, mothers, daughters – addiction excludes no one. Here are five common myths and why they are wrong.
Women in Recovery – Mythbusters
- Using is a Choice. While the first time picking up a drug is definitely a choice, what follows is not. Drugs and alcohol are powerful substances that completely alter brain chemistry, so becoming hooked on a substance is rarely, if ever, a choice or something that is controlled by the user. No one would consciously choose to live a life of addiction and all of the darkness that comes along with it.
- They Can’t Have a Normal Life. Women in recovery can be anyone. Mothers, daughters, teachers, nurses, stay-at-home moms, fiancee’s, publicists, librarians… you get the point. Addiction does not exclude anyone, and the reason women are in recovery is to get back into living a regular life where their drug of choice is not the ruler of everything.
- They have A Character Flaw That Caused Addiction. The more we study it, the more evidence is present that addiction is a brain disease. Drug and alcohol abuse alters chemicals in the brain and the way that the brain functions, making it incredibly difficult, almost impossible to say no to cravings. They begin to believe the drug is responsible for their well-being, their life, and that level of dependency is most certainly not a choice.
- They are Weak and Hopeless. Let’s get one thing straight – women in recovery are some of the most powerful and strong women we know. Chances are they have been through hell and back to where they are today. They are not faint-hearted, nor do they lack compassion or hope. They know what’s out there, they know rock bottom, and they use all of their strength on a daily basis to keep their lives moving forward and to help out their fellow women in recovery.
- They Are Bad People. While they may have made some bad decisions and hurt some people along the way, women in recovery are by no means bad people. They are some of the most caring, compassionate and loyal women out there, always willing to help one another and forming protective bonds that are difficult to break.
Next time you hear one of these myths being told recognize that they are probably spoken by someone who doesn’t have too much experience with women in recovery. If you are in recovery yourself, take pride in the fact that you are working hard to better yourself every single moment of every single day, a chance that many people don’t get. If you are trying to recover from drug or alcohol addiction, make sure to get help as soon as possible.