Sunday, June 1, 2014

An Overdue Change to the Subtitle of My Blog

When I started my blog back in December of 2008, I didn't know what to call it. I chose "My Life as 3D" simply because my initials are "DDD."

But the title of the blog didn't describe what it was about. I needed a subtitle. So I came up with "3D-mensional Musings from the Father of an Addict. (No special glasses required.)." I thought "3D-mensional Musings" and "No special glasses required"--references to 3D movies and the like--were kind of cute. But I was never very comfortable with the "Father of an Addict" part. There was certainly nothing cute about that.

At the time this blog was created, my son was in active addiction. "Addict" was really the only succinct way I knew how to describe my son back then. So I used that word in my blog's subtitle and in most of my posts.

Then a couple of months ago I read a blog on the Huffington Post's website entitled "I'm Breaking up with the Word 'Addict' and I Hope You'll Do the Same." It was written by Meghan Ralston, the Harm Reduction Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance.

"For many people, myself included, the word 'addict' is incredibly harmful and offensive," Ralston writes. "You do not have my permission to call me an addict." She goes on to add, "The sense of fear, loathing, otherness and 'less than' created by that word far outweighs any benefits of using linguistic shorthand to quickly describe a person. 'Addict' is a word so singularly loaded with stigma and contempt that it's somewhat appalling that we continue to let it be used so easily and indiscriminately."

When I read that blog, it really resonated with me. Especially:

"'Addict' is a word so singularly loaded with stigma and contempt that it's somewhat appalling that we continue to let it be used so easily and indiscriminately."

I remember thinking something like "Amen!" after reading that. Yet I never took any action to correct myself. Maybe I was too busy at the time or just plain forgot. It doesn't really matter.

Fast forward to today.

This morning the ManyFaces1Voice Facebook page reposted the link to Meghan Ralston's blog, and I was reminded of how much reading it the first time had impacted me.

So today I am changing the subtitle of my blog to "3D-mensional Musings from the Father of a Person in Long-Term Recovery from Addiction," which is similar to one of the terms Ralston suggested using. In addition, the "About Me" section of my blog has been changed to read, "My oldest son is a person in long-term recovery from addiction..."

Going forward, I will do my best to refrain from using the word "addict" in blog posts, too. If I slip up on occasion, please forgive me. Old habits are hard to break.

Peace.

4 comments:

  1. That is wonderful! I love it!! I refer to my son as being "in recovery". When he was in active addiction, I said he was "struggling with addiction" or something similar to that. I never said he was an addict because that has so many negative images attached to it. He is so much more than his addiction! I salute the positive change to your blog's subtitle. Thank you for helping to change the language. Rose

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  2. This is great! I am no longer the mother of an addict either. Earlier in my recovery, stating I was the mother of an addict helped me to acknowledge the reality. I have a son who is in active addiction, but I am Matt's mom, Kathy. Language truly does matter.

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  3. I agree 100% and whenever I speak of someone struggling I say they are struggling with a substance use disorder. It seems like a lot of words sometimes but after working hard to change the wording I sometimes feel like I'm cursing if addict slips out. It makes such a difference in how people react when you change the words and God knows we need to do anything we can to try and stop the stigma.

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