Sifting Through the Mess of the Elections to Find the Truth
Not only does our road to recovery and our experiences with mental illness force us to change the ways we live, our jobs and careers, our living environment, and the people we spend time with, it also changes the way that we think and view things. Whereas before our journey, we might have never prioritized certain issues, now that we have gone through treatment for mental illness or substance use, we value them even more as we now have a valuable perspective. This isn’t a knock against us either; we can’t expect ourselves to know how it feels and how hard it can be until we actually feel it for ourselves or see a loved one go through it. But now we have a new perspective and a new appreciation for the issues that are being fought for and the work that is being done to make it easier to live with mental illness. We are more aware of how our government is handling the issues of mental illness and in a time when we are entering another presidential election cycle, we are going to see even more about candidates’ platforms. Mental illness is just one item to think about amongst an ocean of other issues, and it may be pushed to the bottom. It is an unfortunate circumstance and reality, but it is the way it is. What we can do, is continue to do our own work in raising awareness and do the research ourselves to help educate others.
We may not see the topic of mental health brought up in one of the numerous debates we are going to watch over the course of the election. It may not be something that the two top candidates have to debate in front of a national audience. But it is something that many candidates have a stance on, and we can do the research ourselves to find out where they stand on the issue. That’s the beautiful thing about the age we live in where so much information is available to us right now to access; we can find out the things that we want to know. It is important to take advantage of this, as so much of the information that will be presented to us by the media will be twisted and turned in ways to make the message fit a narrative. Bias is going to run rampant in the coverage that we will see and it is up to us to do the work to look around that bias to find the truth that is there.
Given our experiences and what we have all been through, we know the importance of getting proper treatment for mental illness. You have been through the lowest of lows and there are people out there going through the same thing. We want to help those get to where we are now. That means that it is important to not let the issue of mental illness fall by the wayside. We have a platform now, regardless of how small it may be. There are people who will listen to us now just for the simple fact that we have been through it. They are more likely to listen to someone who has experienced the same thing than someone who has not but is telling them how to think about it. Our voice is important and deserves to be heard; we can find ways for it to be heard. Use your position as someone who knows how it is to explain to others why better treatment and treatment access is so important. It doesn’t matter if you are not the one on stage or the name on the ballot, you still have a voice that can be heard. Don’t be afraid to use it. Remember the importance of what you went through and what you have to say. In speaking with others, in recovery or far from it, you can help spread the proper message and information that the world needs to know.
There are so many topics out there and a lot of information is going to be swirling around you as the election grows closer. You are going to come across different ideas, perspectives, and opinions. It can be overwhelming to the point of not speaking up when you see blatantly wrong information. We want you to remember to speak up and remember that your voice is just as important as any candidate’s. We can combat the people who are trying to change the narrative, we can do the research to know who truly stands for what. In this day when information is not valued for its truth or accuracy, that kind of work is vastly important.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]