We all have our struggles. We have things we’d rather keep private and things that have happened or are currently happening that we are just embarrased of. But this is life. Things happen. Mistakes occur. And so often what prevents us from asking for help, advice, counsel or seeking treatment is the shame, stigma, and vulnerability associated with it. What if we’re judged? How will people respond? Will I be validated? Will they accept me? Will people see it as a weakness? These are concerns we all have and it’s completely normal. Dr. Brené Brown, a professor at University of Houston, talks about these emotions and her research on them during her TED talk from a few years ago. One particular quote that I liked from her is:
Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.
It takes a lot to speak your truth and when it happens, some of those questions/concerns/feelings come up, but it is particularly difficult when addiction is involved. This is not to undercut the genetic and biological effects of addiction that keep people physiologically dependent (see my post on Matthew Perry from last week). I am just speaking on one aspect that can sometimes prevent people from getting the help that they need.
In this article, Spencer Smith, the drummer from the band Panic! At The Disco (yes, there is an exclamation point after “panic” in case you were wondering) discusses his addiction, his fears and his struggles. He speaks honestly and openly about his fears and what it is like to finally come clean. Side note: this reminds me of another great quote I heard once from Oprah where she says:
There is no emotion that you can have that somebody else hasn’t had.
We are all on our own journey trying to figure out the next step in our lives and through that, experience the same emotions on some level or another. It’s hard to express these emotions whether you’re a celebrity or not, so for Spencer Smith to not only do it but to own it is really powerful. If you read nothing else from this article, please take away this last quote:
My goal in releasing this is to try and relate to anyone who has experienced addiction personally or with a loved one, and to be honest with everyone else. To let people know that anxiety, depression, and addiction are not picky. They plague people of all ages from all walks of life. But, you can recover! So, please seek help if you’re suffering personally, and urge anyone you know to get help if they are suffering. It gets better one day at a time.
What did you think? Is his story similar to your story or a friend’s story? How did you relate?