My best friend connected from the soul called me yesterday. A call I expected because like her I was thinking of the same feelings. The universe always has a way of making us feel connected to one another and knows when we need someone. What I did not expect from the call was talking about our addictions and how easily we slipped last week. The universe knew that we needed someone to hear why and get us back to sobriety.
Yes I admit last weekend I threw away nine good years of sobriety. Why? I don’t have the answers right now. Addiction lacks a sense of humour, it prides itself on vulnerability. I cannot make excuses to my slide of temporary loss of control as much as I want to right now. I let myself lose control and allow the need for my addictions to fill my loss of feelings. It started with making the wrong connections. I sat on a friends floor after smoking a joint finally feeling quiet. I accepted flirting from another person. My phone call yesterday put to terms that I will always want drugs and inappropriate sexual relationships when I think i’m over my addiction.
Addiction doesn’t care if you are travelling to recovery. It waits for the right moment to hook its user back in. The addict could finally be correct in life and one false moment of hopelessness is all addiction needs. Addiction is not just drugs. Addiction is the need to fill the void in one’s life to feel something missing. Addictions are false hope in feeling good for a moment instead of facing the demon in front. It doesn’t care; its victims could be young, old, ugly, pretty, rich, poor, addiction wants everyone and everything in your life to be consumed. Its appetite for inner war is unsalable. It needs to feed on grief and desperation to stay alive. Addiction is the parasite of life.
Addiction was not my choice on how I want to grow in my life. I grew up with alcoholism and drugs. The addiction to sexual intimacy without love came later in my life to cope with lack of love. I used to use sex to feel something but nothing at all. With most addictions one does it for a small moment of feeling good, but addiction doesn’t feel good. The lengths I go when I let my addiction run rampant is horrifying. It doesn’t hurt me as much as it hurts others. (Addictions) loves to feed off the pain of others as collateral damage. It hurts families, it loves hurting the ones you love the most. Addiction is personal hell that will drag everyone you know and love with it. Being an addict makes room for lies and deceit. What addiction loves the most: having more addicts in the wake recruited by the newest addition of the hooked and able.
At least it’s not hard drugs I used to say. It makes no difference I, Ali Johnson, am an addict. I am one week sober.
I am a woman who has a body that hurts. The spirit inside of it has been crushed time and time again. This body has seen horrors that no little girl should ever have to endure. There have been times in my life this body was robbed of its dignity. From the time I was four until I was seven years old. The next time I was sixteen years old and made a choice I regret. The next time I was twenty years old I just went on a date. Some of these people were family others were strangers. Like a teacup I glue myself back together each time someone strips me of my body, mind, and spirit. The cracks left with each chip leaves behind small flecks of what makes me human.
I am woman I have been broken by other woman. Drugged and told lies for over thirteen years. I was called a liar nothing more than a whore. I was invisible to outsiders as the evil kept me hidden. Words and actions done by other women have left an imprint calling for action. This body of mine has seen and endured hardships that no little girl should ever have to live through. Like the phoenix I rise each time from the ashes ready to fight again.
Paying more attention to the news of women rights, I see that we are headed in a dark direction. Our rights are at risk; if we do not see what our politicians, religions, outdated mindsets fuelled by fear will take us back to the stone ages of lost rights. We live in a scary time and without realizing how close to the edge we are of no longer having ownership of our bodies.
The woman of today are somebody. They are foundations of love and should be treated like a human being. Look around; each woman you see is a sister, mother, daughter, friend, they mean strength and willpower. If we forget to fight for their rights and refuse to acknowledge their place on earth then we are truly lost for a better future. Giving power to remove one’s ownership to their body is a catalyst of allowing others to take away personal rights. This will remove the right for a woman to choose if she wants children, stopping child marriages, and forced sexual slavery etc. We need to wake up because this happens it is not something we should ignore.
Power is a strong word but if given to the wrong people that power becomes poison. The disappearing woman, the murdered woman, the woman who took their lives, the abused girls, they are worth fighting for. If we do not fight for them we are making power poison. The pot has begun to brew and simmering slowly allowing for people too blindly believe that we as women are safe. Ignoring this reality comes with a deadly price. The war on woman has begun the time to unite and fight is now.
In loving memory of woman who are silenced. Lost but not forgotten.
American reality television is opposite of the name it portrays. It follows a script that displays poor human behaviour allowing overtly dramatic scenes that lack common human decency. With channels that have the name learning in them, they lack any sense of education within the content showed. After viewing clips on YouTube I found several concerning situations, in the content some examples of this are emotional abuse, child abuse, and scenes of physical abuse. When watching any kind of television one has to understand that it is a far stretch from reality and should not be copied in normal life settings.
With that being said unfortunately many young minds are impressionable. There are people who cannot distinguish fact from fiction and believe what they see and hear. They will watch the abusive natures on television under false premise of ” reality t.v” and feel that the behaviours shown are acceptable. Abusive cycles are hence force carried out from the impressionable viewer.
Television can be a great teaching tool for children or building dreams of future jobs. Not all television is degrading but with vast majority of shows becoming false reality it creates a false morality of displayable behaviour. Most people on reality TV are in it for the money they garner from the shows. Viewers then tune in to these shows allowing for them to remain on air. When shows display utterly abusive or criminal behaviour without any repercussions This sends a message that abuse is completely normal to carry out on others.
As viewers of television there needs to be a call of change on content showed or these shows will remain on air continuing the cycles of abuse. Mandating the voice to end or change reality television could potentially change the future generations in how they act towards other people. Instead of supporting shows with drug abuse, child abuse, and other various forms of abuse we can stop watching these shows completely and take the power away from the abusers who thrive.
Quality over content could save lives and how other people treat each other. Shows on television do not need to be complete human garbage, instead it can go back to education and compatibility to change generations long after the last. Our voices and actions are the change. It starts with potential viewers turning off and speaking out about shows that display abuse and give suggestions for better quality.
In the words of MR. Rodgers, one of the most influential television personas “As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has–or ever will have–something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”
I remember a time when I was arguing with my husband; in a moment of causing verbal pain, I yelled at him saying you don’t have to balance anything. The words lingered in the air like bait waiting for the fish to bite. Instead of firing back at me he just simply said I balance just like you, I’m just not as verbal about it. Taken back by that I had a deeper look into what men go through on a daily basis. We as society forget that men have to have balance in their lives just as women do.
We had a moment in our relationship where my partner was feeling depressed. He wouldn’t admit to it but it became noticeable. He was not eating nor sleeping well. One of the more noticeable signs was his anger at little things. He felt that he was burdened with copious amounts of responsibility with no hope to move forward. In his mind he was struggling to be the man that he was told to be. This is a common notion among men in our generation. Having the title ” be the man” creates a monster in helping men understand getting help is not a weakness.
Part of the problem of older generations is the toxic masculinity placed on young boys to suck up their feelings and just deal with it. So when depression and mental illness do arise people like my partner push down their struggles and refuse help. This is problematic for young men who will continue the cycle of trying to be manly with no support system to cope when these hidden illnesses come about. It creates a lack of understanding on what needs to be done to create better supports for fathers, children, and young men.
We as society have to see a different ideal and better understanding of what men go through. Breaking the mould of toxic masculinity is a big step that starts with talking to younger generations about acceptance of feelings. The next big leap for helping men in mental health is breaking the stigma that men do not need mental support because they do not suffer like women do. The third big step in changing this is stop portraying men as bad parents and treating them as unintelligent. We as society need to support younger generations of males and give help to guide them instead of breaking them down. By giving support there would be changes in parenting, changes in suicide rates, changes in quality of life among males. Stronger futures can be made given the chance to pave the way for our sons, brothers, fathers, and boys only if we can end toxic masculinity within our mindsets.