If You Really Knew Me…

If You Really Knew Me…


I first want to start out to say that the opioid and recovery topics bring me back to House MD, which has to be my favorite TV drama that has to do with medicine. However, in regards to class this week it was interesting to hear from people who deal with this issue and are still in college pursuing on. Though I agree with most issues or develop a personal opinion after class each week, with this one I am still indecisive (but that’s something I could rant about in more than one blog post). In regards to personal action I think the first effective step is to not avoid the issue and to acknowledge that it exists. People do forget that their opinion and support can affect the way someone feels about themselves and their situations and what we say can just make emotions worse. I think in future if more knowledge or sessions come offered about patients in recovery I could take advantage, but I do not plan to go any further voluntarily or proactively into the issue. Again that is my personal opinion — I would take actions to an extent and hopefully you would too.

Also, David in class did tell us that in his day he will see his fellow recovery friends within almost every 5 minutes here in Ann Arbor. I think we forget that we encounter these people daily and that we do not know anyone’s story just by looking at them necessarily. This also brings me back to MTV show “If You Really Knew Me,” for if you didn’t know it is about when students and figures express the sad but true realities of their lives. My high school did this event every year and it really makes you stop and reflect and realize how selfish our problems are. Someone always has it worse. Yes Bio 172 is thrashing me like Hulk did to Loki, but at least I don’t have to be labeled as a student in recovery. Though if I did have that label, which isn’t impossible, I would embrace it because it would be apart of me. I do think that you and all people should remember that when things don’t seem okay, or it is the worst day ever (I’m having those more than often now). These are the steps I take daily, I hope maybe you do too even if it is a mindset you carry temporarily. Do you agree that it takes personal reflection? Is it more complicated than that to you is so, why?


12 thoughts on “If You Really Knew Me…

  1. I definitely agree that in our personal and professional lives, it’s important to reflect on our values and beliefs, especially when it comes to addiction. In our personal/social lives, I think that this self reflection makes defining boundaries easier, for ourselves and others. In the professional world, I think reflection is also applicable because often this leads to a better understanding of what a patient or colleague may be dealing with, and how, if we were in the same position, would like to be supported. However, I don’t think this is an end-all be-all resolution to recovery, prevention, or addiction; addiction is a chronic disease, and just like it wouldn’t be appropriate to prescribe self-reflection as the only treatment option for those with depression or anxiety, I don’t believe that that’s appropriate here, either.

    Though recovery often implements various methods of self-reflection, peer-to-peer support, family support, access to resources, insurance coverage, etc. are all equally important factors to consider in a person’s recovery. Further, a person may spend all of their free time in self-reflection and still be susceptible to addiction due to environmental, family, social, genetic, or even health/pain factors.

    The idea that about 12 out of our HSSP class will develop an addiction, and that one of those 12 could might be me, is not a pleasant thought. Even if we are not one of these “12”, it is more likely than not that we will know someone with an addiction in our lifetime. That being said, it’s reassuring to know that there is such a strong community of those in recovery, many resources, and people who are passionate about de-stigmatizing addiction.

  2. I agree with you about the importance of acknowledging the issue first. If someone tried to get help for a friend with an addiction but that friend was still in denial, then this could cause a separation in the relationship and worse outcomes for that friend. Sometimes, it is best to simply stick by their side and help them realize that the issue exists. From there, actions to help them recover can be taken.

    The old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” still holds true today. There is no way you can know a person’s story just by their physical appearance. Everyone has their own struggles that others are not aware of.

  3. It seems as if we take for granted how many people drug addiction truly effects. Speaking from personal experience, a few members of my family have struggled with addiction, ultimately impacting their lives in terrible ways, including depression and divorce. Hearing from the speakers the other day was (no pun intended) sobering. There is obviously an adopted culture in college that encourages the uses of drugs and alcohol. We must be very careful, because while many college students will give the excuse that they are just experimenting and they will not fall into addiction, they must remember everyone else that started that exact same way.

  4. I like how a lot of HSSPers are writing about how each case varies with each individual. People go through things like recovery in different ways and at different paces. Its important that we respect that and see them as individuals rather than identifying them with their addictive problems they are trying to overcome. I think one of the most helpful things people who are helping those in recovery is to remind them that who they are is bigger than their previous struggles and to try and find positive things for them to find their identity in as they make their way through recovery.

  5. I think it is important to fight ignorance and like you said, and acknowledge the issue exists. Because there are no obvious signs to tell if someone is in recovery, it can be easily overlooked and ignored. I believe that we, as future health professionals, should fully educate ourselves on the consequences of addiction and the long-term costs on an individual’s lives, especially since a large portion of those who suffer from addiction became addicted from prescribed medication in the first place. And while these issues should never be ignored, I think it is also important to remember that someone’s addiction or recovery is not their only defining characteristic, but only a part of their story.

  6. Love your post, and your entertainment allusion. I think the biggest mistake people make is excluding themselves from the realities of life. You have no idea what you are capable of, in negative and positive terms. You have no idea what weaknesses or vulnerabilities your mind has and to think yourself immune from the harshness of life is unrealistic. Growing up, almost everyone I knew was struggling with addiction in some way. This topic is so hard for me to discuss because I am so connected to it.Growing up in an environment like that, I have a perspective that allows me to view recovering addicts for what they really are, a person who has an illness that went too far. They aren’t evil, worse than the rest of us, or bad people. They are simply sick, and like everyone else, it was not their choice. Personal reflection only takes you so far when the thing ruining your life is an illness, but I do know that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Self-reflection is a great way to own up to the truth and allow yourself to make a plan to get back on the right track.

  7. I absolutely agree with your statement about an effective step, as a future health professional, is to first acknowledge that an issue exists and from there, figuring out ways to support patients, family, friends, etc. In order to this, I feel that it is necessary for health professionals to learn about ways to support recovery and addiction patients, and not just by learning through books and articles, but also by speaking to recovery and addiction patients. I learned in lecture that there are plenty of recovery patients that most of us don’t even know that they are. If a recovery patients is open to sharing their experience, I would definitely listen because this could help me understand more about what recovery and addiction patients need in terms of support.

    I think having an open mind when interacting with people who are in recovery, or has an addiction, while on campus can be very effective. Just walking around campus, I pass so many people that most likely has issue, whether it’s addiction or not. You really never know what people are going through, so I try to be open-minded and positive while encountering anyone because I don’t want them to feel worse.

  8. It’s scary to know that this can affect anyone. No one is an exception, and it all depends on your mentality. Trying something just once might seem okay, but it can all change in the matter of moments. People can go from enjoying sensations once in a while to becoming heavily addicted.
    If I became addicted, I would always be afraid of people knowing. WE are learning to be open minded however it is human habit to judge habits that they do not agree with.
    For me I know I have to learn that things I don’t agree with don’t necessarily characterize others as “bad.” Moreover, it is simply a difference in judgment and that should be respected.

  9. I really like the examples you included in your blog post. Although House MD may do a better job than other TV drama and sources of media, people may often gain a negative image of those who have an addiction. Like Dania said in her blog post, sometimes television shows and news stories show a dramatic view of people who have an addiction. Because of this and some other sources, people may be judgemental or harsh towards people who are addicted. I agree with you, that by acknowledging the problem would be a helpful first step. I think further than acknowledgement of the issue, being understanding, empathetic and supportive are important when interacting with people with an addiction and people in general. I think it is especially important to not place ultimatums for someone’s condition or actions and your trust, love, friendship etc. This goes for all people in general too—you can never completely know what another person is going through. I do agree that it takes personal reflection to help overcome an addiction. Reflection is a key part of recovery, but there is obviously more entailed in the process. Beyond reflection, desire to change, a lot of perseverance, (ideally) support from others, and other things play a big role as well in recovery.

  10. I really do think that being happy in life requires reflection. It is too easy to get caught up in the moment and over exaggerate every little thing that goes wrong. People need to widen their scope of vision to not just their own life, but the lives of their friends and family as well. If you feel stressed or if something has gone wrong, chances are you seek support and encouragement from the other people in your life. It is important to remember that this is true of every other person who surrounds us. We need to acknowledge that other people have their own personal problems, and while it may be personal it’s also important to not stereotype or exclude members of our community and instead support them.

    Addition is something that can make many people uncomfortable. The problem with this is that addiction shouldn’t be treated differently than any other health problem. There’s no question that individuals receive support from their community when they go through cancer or have a heart attack. Why is addition so different? Why do addicts have to constantly hide their issues? We need to reduce the stigma around addiction and I believe this starts which people reflecting on what really matters in life and how they can offer support to the people in their life.

  11. I agree that having the ability to reflect upon our own experiences is a valuable skill and it can aid people in finding solutions that they would have never thought of. I only know a few people who have abused substances in the past, but I know that the last thing they want is to become repeatedly criticized for their actions. Sometimes expressing your own opinion only makes matters worse and could even convince that person that you are not truly attempting to experience the misery that they are feeling. Being able to stick with them through their problems and find a solution could be the best way to eventually find treatment for them.

  12. I love the House reference because not only is it a great show but it brings to light the opioid and the issue of addiction. As I listened to the panel I came to understand that addiction is different from person to person. Not only is the treatment different, the type of addiction, and the support system is different. Not everyone can go to jail and have some kind of bonce back. I do agree that the ability to reflect is the best ability.

Leave a Reply