Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Recovery, It's Not Just for Addicts

I am trying to recover from biotoxin illness. 

My immune system collapse due to employer negligence with industrial chemicals including the misuse and overuse of pesticides.

As I was getting back on my feet, my family allowed a leaky sink to cause my second collapse with toxic black mold.

...but my real medical, clinical symptoms and skeletal condition were just in my head. That is what I was told repeatedly.

Now that my family disowned me, I am recovering inch by inch with miles to go. Every inch is sweet. Of course, every set back is frustrating too. 

When you have a chronic and debilitating illness and people like your family make fun of you, it is really difficult to want to have camaraderie again. I have noticed that when someone is at a distance, I feel better. Our relationship is good.

But when someone is in touching distance of me, well, I am uncomfortable. I guess when someone is abused as I have been that being shy of close connection is not unusual. It's a survival mechanism. 

And, I am a survivor. 

If you do not understand the illness, then support the person the best you can. Be positive but not harassing. Believe me, the ill person will be grateful you care, but do not be disappointed that the ill person remains ill. 

My family thought that I should be able to run around and do chores for them. Or, do all my chores. So when I did not get better from their constant hounding and negativity, my family told others I was an addict and psychotic, which no one with an M.D. or Ph.D. could ever prove even with blood tests. Many terrible things were done to me as a result.  

But recovery from a prolonged illness has many of the hallmarks of recovering from an addiction. First, all your friends are not your friends anymore. Most, if not all, your family ignores you. Your requests for help and support go largely unanswered except for people who are paid to help and support you.

The only difference between being ill and being an addict is understanding from society. Addicts get support groups and therapists. I don't. Addicts receive adequate medical care. I don't. Addicts get legal services and protection under the law. I don't. Addicts have people who they can turn to... well, you get the picture. 

I am not ill by choice. Others chose this path for me. I hope one day people with invisible disabilities like chronic, lifelong illnesses will receive the same societal understanding and respect as others do already. 

It's not a crime to be ill, but it sure does feel like it. I had to go through a Disability Review recently, which I passed because I am truly ill, but the treatment I received placed my health and life in jeopardy. The situation was not fun and I nearly died. 

I am not okay with what happened to me especially since my family tortured and imprisoned me. 

Like Kermit the Frog said: It's not easy being green."

So, what will you do to help your elderly or sick neighbor? They could really use your helping hand at least once a month. If your whole neighborhood assisted others who cannot help themselves, America would be a much brighter place.

Thank you!