Break the stigma
Break the stigma
By Steve Anonymous
Although I am now 30 months into my second recovery and my closest friends and family know about my addiction I still feel very uncomfortable about telling anyone at work.
Although I work for a large company who champion health and wellbeing I am concerned of the stigma attached to addiction and how it would affect my job prospects if I 'came out' as a compulsive gambler.
The added complication is the increased gambling talk around the office which I have to walk away from. I think if my work colleagues knew my situation they would be more tactful in there 'bet club' conversations.
There are over 50000 people work at my company worldwide so you would have to think that there were others suffering from an addiction like me who probably feel the same about speaking up. By coming out I'm sure it would help others and I would be able to offer support and signpost where to get help.
As I'm in a management position with good future prospects I don't want the stigma of having this emotional illness hampering my progression within the company. Maybe I'm over playing this in my head but these are the thoughts I am currently having on a daily basis as I'm unsure what sought of reaction I would get from my work colleagues. Is this stigma all in my head? Am I turning this into something bigger than it actually is?
Although my company has pledged to 'break the stigma with mental health', I am still not confident of speaking up about my addiction as I feel this will have a negative impact for me in the long term. So how do I tackle this situation? I guess I carry on as normal for now but maybe one day I will have the courage to be fully open about my addiction.
Just for today I will not gamble and this have to be my main focus as this is something I can influence. I accept I cannot influence other people's reaction to addiction and although those closest to me have been very supportive I still fear the repercussions should I ever tell my work about my problem.