Last week I wrote about a situation that happened at work that had me questioning how to handle the ignorance of my supervisor about alcoholism and recovery. I wanted to give you, my fellow bloggers and friends, an update about the situation and let you know what I have decided to do. But first, I just want to thank everyone that weighed in on the situation. This is actually the first time in almost a year of writing this blog, that I have specifically asked for help with an issue that I was having, and I am awed and grateful at the outpouring of feedback and support that I have received. Thank you all for your words of advice and encouragement.
After being told that when I do a presentation about alcoholism for Alcohol Awareness Month, I should hide my own recovery, I didn’t know what to do. As I read everyone’s comments in response to my post, I felt that my position – that not talking about my own recovery would invalidate the whole purpose of the talk – was the right one. The purpose of Alcohol Awareness Month is to increase awareness (duh) and to decrease the stigma that is associated with the label of “alcoholic.” If I don’t speak about my own recovery, I will be doing a disservice to those that are listening. That said, I do not want to directly disobey what my supervisor says. I do need a job.
What I have decided to do is this: I am going to make the main point of my presentation the stigma that is associated with alcoholism. I am going to speak directly to the stereotypes and prejudices that people have about alcoholics and people in recovery. I will work in my own recovery in the presentation, but I will not say the words, “I am an alcoholic.” Hopefully, that will be enough to satisfy my supervisor, and I will not suffer any negative consequences. And hopefully, she will have open ears to hear what I am saying about the stigma related to the disease of addiction.
I am happy to say that I have he support of the campus director, who is my supervisor’s boss. I had a discussion with him about my conversation with my supervisor and while he told me that he hopes that I do not take her comments personally, he completely supported me in what I want to get across in my presentation. He understands alcoholism and recovery. Thank God for that.
The presentation is next week, I will let you all know how it goes. Thank you all again, for your advice and encouragement.