Our me, me, me; dog eat dog; get them before they get you; Social Darwinian culture of American Capitalism and consumerism creates an environment where pretending to be OK is a survival mechanism.
While my 51 years have not left me cynical, I have enough experience to recognize that a troubling number of healthy, comfortable people don’t give a shit about anyone or anything outside of themselves or their little bubbles of privilege.
This culture of apathy and narcissism, where materialism, status, and achievement, AND ignoring or discarding anyone who gets in the way of them, is particularly detrimental to those of us with mental illness and addiction.
Stigma and a badly broken mental health system forced me to fight tooth and nail for the first 17 years of my Recovery to get the treatment that I needed and to function just enough to keep my head above water. There were many times that I “just smiled and said I’m OK.” Even when I was hanging on by a thread.
A piece on Dateline last night about Skid Row, a 50 square block area in L.A. populated mostly by people with mental illness and addiction, underscores my point. The city voted for a tax increase that yielded $1.2 billion to build facilities for these people, but they haven’t been able to move forward because people with homes don’t want “them” living nearby.
Homelessness and prison are the nightmarish realities for millions of our brothers and sisters in suffering. Because not enough people give a shit.
“Out of sight. Out of mind. Life is good for me and mine. THOSE PEOPLE just made bad choices and are responsible for their hardship.”
That’s their self-serving mantra