Like epilepsy, addiction just is. Yet the effects of stigma are still prevail. Shame and secrecy govern every addicted family system, and are barriers the addict and all significant others must confront and overcome in order to heal. Granted, no one wants to have a disease. But the point is what happens when you have a disease. Recognition and admission are pre-requisites to getting the necessary help or treatment. Stigma makes compassion towards oneself and each other a huge
In the session from which the following excerpt is taken, Sam (patient) sees through his own act and the lengths he’d gone to present a certain façade, the “games” (as he referred to them) he played for desirability. He talks about where and how he learned to play these games, how he really felt inside and how difficult it is to not play them. At the time of this dialogue, Sam had returned to treatment after a one year absence and having maintained sobriety for a year.