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A mild sense of WTF: Get Out of Rehab Soon Cards. - Elf M. Sternberg
A mild sense of WTF: Get Out of Rehab Soon Cards.

Get Out Of Rehab Soon!
My neighbors, the Christian natalists who are otherwise pretty cool "evangelize once and then leave them alone when they've said no thank you" types, recently suffered a nasty family tragedy when their eldest, a bright young woman who used to babysit the kids before she went to college, was struck by a car. She wasn't killed, but she's been in a wheelchair and pre-physical therapy for the past few weeks. While we were at the mall this afternoon, I decided to pop into a greeting card store and buy her a "Get well" card.

While I was looking through the list of possibilities, I spotted the card visible there in the photograph. Are there really enough people going in and out of rehab that "Get out of Rehab soon" cards are economically viable?

That card in the photo isn't the only one. There were several, one of which actually featured Snoopy from Peanuts. The card showed him driving a car-- I'm quite sure Charles Schultz did not draw this-- and it had platitudes about "dealing with life's curves and jams."

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it reflects just how strange our culture is getting that we now advertise our rehabilitation rather than keep it to ourselves. I think this goes into my folder along with my consequentialist philosophy of hypocrisy: societies function better with a little hypocrisy, a little "we keep that under the covers, denied and unmentioned, even if we know some people are doing it. We don't want to stop them; that would be sand in the wheels of life. But we don't want them to admit it, for the sake of the grease."

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8 comments or Leave a comment
doodlesthegreat From: doodlesthegreat Date: February 18th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the problem is, there's ALWAYS been a big enough market out there. It's only now, as we admit the frequency of the problem, that it becomes worth it to tap it. And it's a good thing. It means we're getting over this stigma that people dealing with this are to be shunned like lepers. And that takes us a step closer to actually trying to fix the damned problem. It's when such things are unsaid, covered up, and generally ignored that they get worse.
lisakit From: lisakit Date: February 18th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to agree. One of the worst things to do for/to an addict is to polietly ignore that they have a problem.
From: scyllacat Date: February 18th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
As I get older, I've thought of it less as hypocrisy and more as privacy. As I learn, I find that keeping some things private not only helps me, but some of the people who would be exposed to my more intimate stuff.

On the other hand, we don't write letters to our intimates anymore, we send greeting cards, so maybe it's just filling a niche for the people you are close with...

Interesting thoughts. Thanks.
From: athelstan Date: February 18th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like the idea about a little hypocracy. To keep somethings hidden. I think the biggest problem with therapy coming up so often is that people get this notion that it's somehow easy. I can assure you that my therapy for my depression has been everything but easy. Not that anyone wants to hear about or praise hard work now of days.
jerusha From: jerusha Date: February 18th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are you sure the market is drug rehab? Over the past 10 years or so, the trend for physical injuries/disability is to discharge from the acute-care hospital as soon as possible, and transfer to a longer-term rehabilitation facility for intensive physical and occupational therapy. So the market for getting out of "rehab" may or may not be larger than it was, but the market for people who have had falls, car accidents, strokes, or debilitating illnesses, and therefore spend at least some time in a physical rehabilitation facility, is growing.

(Edited to fix typo)

Edited at 2008-02-18 08:46 pm (UTC)
acelightning From: acelightning Date: February 18th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm among those who feel that a person who's trying to deal with a substance-abuse problem can benefit from encouragement, even though it's expressed by a greeting card. (Of course, so can a person in physical rehab after an injury or illness.)

On a theoretical level, I agree about a certain amount of polite hypocrisy making the wheels turn more smoothly. But I don't think it should apply to things like rehab; I agree with those others here who say that it's healthier, in the long run, to admit that such problems exist and give people recognition for their efforts to overcome them. Not too long ago, it would have been the gay or lesbian relative, or the "aunt" or "uncle" who lived with a married couple (actually part of a triad), whose "problems" were genteelly never discussed.

lynx212 From: lynx212 Date: February 19th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I find this a bit disturbing as well but what can one say? "We" as a nation will take any opportunity present to turn a buck and on the other side of that coin "we" will buy damn near anything. *Sighs*

I like your consequentialist philosophy of hypocrisy... mind if I share that with a couple of friends of mine? I Will gladly give credit and link back to you. ^_^
elfs From: elfs Date: February 19th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, feel free. But if you want to know from where the inspiration for it comes, you may already have read it in the original.
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