Monday, September 08, 2008

Perceptive discomfort

Being an addict my antennae are tuned to what might otherwise pass under the radar of a non-perceptive observer.
The man who scans the entire body of a waitress in tight jeans; the thin woman whose teeth have rotted, whose skin is colorless and who tugs at her hair as her fingers quiver; the obese woman who looks around to see who's watching as she nearly inhales the chocolate pie for dessert -- these are just a few signs of an addict walking around among the "normies."
Likewise I can spot an abuse victim in most any crowd. Just this afternoon, my heart ached for a little Asian girl in the grocery store whose face was bruised in all the wrong places. An overly obese female most always has a story of sexual abuse. A bodybuilder and an overachiever, almost always have some wounds of powerlessness they are trying to overcome.
In program we have a saying, "If you spot it, you got it." My beloved grandmother, who found no greater amusement than bodily function, had her own hillbilly version of the saying, "The smeller's the feller." It's almost easy for me to spot addicts and abuse victims in a crowd.
But occassionally I have a perception that I relate to addiction, that really is a sign of an increasingly difficult society to accept.
A few days ago, one of my anti-depressant meds rolled out of my hand and down the drain. It occurred to me that my insurance company will not pay for that lost pill. It's gone. If I want to replace it, the cost is pretty high.
My first thought was an addict's thought ... I need that pill to survive. Obviously, that's not true, and it wasn't a thought that lingered.
I'm in a position to pay for that capsule that rolled into the sewer, or at least smart enough to work the system so that one lost pill is not going to send me back to the treatment center. There are millions of Americans, however, who are not in such a position. Their health and their lives are being dictated and governed by some asshole in a cubicle at an insurance company whose main objective is to make sure the numbers line up at the end of the day.
As I look out at a world that has turned to addiction to numb the realities they can't accept, and men, women and children who not only are abused by others, but who can't stop hurting themselves, I pause to reflect on the emotional abuse and harassment, even sometimes the physical abuse, inflicted by a health care system dictated by money crunchers and legal eagles. I am angry and I am sad -- not so much for me, but for those who are losing their lives, their homes, their hope, while profits are rising among those who crunch the numbers.


Mrs. Jane Doe said...

I stumbled upon your blog today and have felt great strength and a greater understanding of many things.

I just wanted to say "Thanks!"

MargauxMeade said...

I often play the "spot the addict" game myself. It's really sad when you realize just how many people are suffering from one addiction or another.

Joe said...

It's been said, and I agree, that in today's America everyone is an addict. We're all powerless over our respective addictions, even some of those in the cubicles. Maybe someday society will wise up.

DigitalZen said...

Yay Rae!!

vicariousrising said...

Interesting insight. Perhaps this is why it is so hard for people to instigate and sustain real change in their lives and behaviors. The world around them is hardly encouraging.

Be proud you have the strength in you to try to change despite the odds.