Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
Language matters. The words we use matter.
Research is proving that stigma and prejudice are perpetuated by the language we choose. Even though the research is just now being conducted to prove this, history has been proving it for centuries.
So why am I bringing this up?
People don’t seek treatment because of the associated stigma attached to addiction. If one way to clear the stigma was to simply change the way we talked about addiction and the words we choose, wouldn’t it be worth it?
Now please know I’m not asking for you to become the Politically Correct Police and start engaging in debates with people over how they’re talking. Not at all!
What I’m merely suggesting is that perhaps you consider looking into the topic. Do a Google search. Find out how language affects the way people think and act. Don’t take my word for it. Go find out.
As for me, I prefer to say that I’m in recovery as opposed to saying I’m an alcoholic (even though I do use this term out of habit). That’s just me. Saying I’m in recovery puts the emphasis on where I’m at today and the trajectory I want my future to go in. I find that terminology more empowering, and I’m all about empowering language.
What's your thoughts on this? Tell me in the comments.