Diversity Lessons That Can Eradicate Stigma
The thing that makes the Mad community great in my mind is the opportunity to culturally grow and eradicate the role of Stigma in society.
However, we can’t do this if we are so focused on our own experience that we clique into power coalitions and impose our will on others. If we spend our time creating research to prove that the lessons from our recovery can be replicated and applied to all of our people, we may not be envisioning the extreme diversity of our people.
In fact, our understanding of ourselves may be more limited as a result of us not learning from people who have had vastly different experience. This is the very way our own hurts and biases can hurt others.
Learning to Work Together
Having persisted in the meat grinder, I now try to have a different relationship with it. I honor people who use it to improve their lives. I hope that the next time I need it, that I can do it with more sense of dignity. I know I won’t get that externally. It will have to be internal. And yet, I am faced time and time again when I reach out to the Mad community that people like myself get hurt and excluded when confronted with others who are different and who don’t fit their vision.
I do one thing and they do another. We hurt. Many times, I’ve had to remind myself that I am not going to let a bunch of people who care nothing about what I’ve learned in my journey bully me into not taking my medications or judge the people who use therapy to grow.
For the most part, I find myself warding off pain and persisting with relationships. I find myself ignoring the bruises and trying to learn from them instead of bruising back. Perhaps more of this is what the Mad community needs to overcome being so divided.
Disagreement photo available from Shutterstock