Media and shame
I’m sure you’ll all have seen that within the last few days there have been revelations made by the police that a missing person has a vulnerability that they later disclosed was alcohol related. My first reaction was empathy for her and her family.
The next round of stories have really upset me though. It’s the nature of the outcry that paints this as a shameful secret that’s been revealed. It’s horrible. I feel like it is reinforcing the idea that we should hide alcoholism away in the privacy of our homes. It’s a narrative I want to see someone speak out against. We need openness and honesty. The scale and impact of a parent with alcohol problems will never be noticed if it’s forever hidden within the family home.
Obviously disclosing a medical condition is a minefield so I don’t want to go into that, just that the way prior have reacted had really upset me. I want someone to say “It’s not shameful to have an alcoholic in the family”, it’s the most painful thing, it’s traumatic, a life and death rollercoaster, you may feel embarrassed, but it isn’t shameful.