It’s called alcoholism. That may be news for some of you, but most of you probably knew or had guessed, at least. I’m not ashamed, and I figure it’s about time I let go of the control of it, instead of it just being the knowledge of a trusted few. It’s a hard thing to do in some aspects, and in others it’s just another stupid thing that I was trying control for no real reason. I’m still affected by what people think of me, but I know enough now about the medical disease of alcoholism to know that I did not wake up at 10 years old and decide to be an alcoholic when I grew up. It’s an even-better-than-money inheritance that I am lucky to receive from both sides of my family.
The point? I wanted to go back to the insurance thing. As much as I have worked on shame and acceptance of myself, my decisions, and my disease, there’s this thing called insurance that I cannot get because 1.) I don’t have a full-time, regular job and 2.) I am alcoholic.
Those two things are not bad things. They are just things, situations, that anyone could be in. This whole situation has given me an opportunity to see another side of social justice that I had not thought about before. If you go by the beliefs of American society today (generalization alert!) I “deserve” insurance. I have always been a contributing member of society, never served jail time, never molested anyone, never abused any advantages that I may have had, etc. I’ve been thinking about the underlying issues of that kind of thinking and have come to understand that my belief is that there is no “deserving”. EVERYONE deserves help when they need it and EVERYONE deserves access to medical care, no matter what they have done, will do, or are doing.
Because of this American way of thinking, there is shame involved when I go to the doctor and they loudly ask about my insurance and I have to answer in the open lobby full of people that I do not have insurance. Sure, there are people who think nothing of it, aren’t listening, couldn’t give two shits about me and my insurance, and who aren’t judging. On the other hand, I’ve had enough discussions with enough folks through recent years, that I know I’m being judged. I have seen people look at me sideways, and I’m not imagining it. There is an underlying assumption that That Lady Has Done Something Wrong or Bad. Same thing at the pharmacy. This week I have to go get my birth control prescription back from Lund’s because it’s just too fucking expensive to get it there, and I can get it for $25.00 less at Costco. It was quite the adventure when I turned the prescription in, in the first place.
I think I’m starting to lose my point. I guess I just want to get this out. This is a sort of journal for me, after all. Partially, I believe that living in Russia has changed my thinking so much that a lot of pre-conceived notions and long-held beliefs are going to be challenged. I hope so. I don’t want to stop growing and changing. Maybe I finally truly understand what I believe.
Sally, here, signing off. Peace to you today.