The Revenge of The Nerds (in Modern America)

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Are you uncool? Me too! But guess what, nerdy is totally in these days. It can be hard to believe because if you’re my age, when I was a kid, “nerd” was totally a bad word, but these days it’s something you can embrace. Take a look at the television. It’s full of television shows about awesome nerds. The Big Bang Theory for instance has been on the air for years because it gave many people like us a place to feel represented and gave us a story we could see ourselves in (that is, unless you absolutely hate the show which is fairly common in our community – everyone seems to have a very strong opinion about Big Bang Theory). It’s the same with Stranger Things. I don’t know about you but when I was a kid I got all kinds of hell for playing D&D, but here’s a show centered in many ways around a D&D campaign in the 1980’s. It was made for nerds like us. There is a reason there are so many shows that are incorporating science fiction elements into their plot line. It’s the revenge of the nerds, except that revenge mostly just looks like asserting ourselves as a legitimately awesome group. Maybe your nerdery is different. I happen to also really love spanish history and will geek out to all of the experimental poetry you’re willing to talk about. The way I see it, a nerd is just someone who really revels in whatever they love. It’s possible they love it so much that they squee about it, they let their enthusiasm bubble over and you can see it in them, maybe even hear it in their voices. I happen to think some of the most adorable people are like this…probably because I am.


Accept Yourself

Since when many of us were kids, being a nerd, or being different in some way was so derided, many of us still struggle to accept ourselves. I know I struggle with that everyday. Sometimes I do better than others. I think most people are like that, honestly. The first step to fighting that self doubt or hatred, that perhaps has already led you into addiction, is focusing on the things you love. Let yourself get lost in them for a moment. Get excited about them. Let the corners of your mouth turn into a smile when you think about that character in that game you played, or that moment in Harry Potter when… or that poem by Wallace Stevens that just feels like you. Really think about how very much you light up when you think about those things. Think about how alive you feel when you are engaging with who you are/what you love. Those two things are intrinsically linked. You are what you love. It’s easy to accept the things you love. Usually the problem we have is that we wish we were different. But remembering how much joy or life we get from what we love can lead to some genuine self acceptance. Since I started doing this I’ve experienced so much less regret about who I am.


Seek out Fellow Nerds

You know where to find them. Find a game to play in, join people in MMOs if you are feeling like you don’t want to leave your house, join a book club, an art club, or any kind of online community celebrating what you love. Making connections with people who can understand your passions is important. You need that overlap of interest sometimes. That very tangible solidarity can feel like so much relief and can really build you up and help you feel safe in your own skin.


You Don’t Need Drugs To Love Yourself

Because so many of us were bullied as kids for loving things that other people didn’t understand, it can be hard to not become dependant on an intoxicating substance of some kind. Many nerds have fallen into addiction through alcohol, sleeping pills or pain prescription and ultimately end up with a very scary Alcohol, Barbiturate, prescription drug or even heroin addiction. If you are one of those people, know this: you can recover from this. There’s help, and you can find ways to not feel that crippling self doubt other than drugs that will deteriorate your biological systems, or even kill you.


Maybe you’re scared, but, as a fellow nerd, let me tell you, you’ve got this. Nerds have fought for everything they love and believe because they’ve had to to keep it in them in the face of bullying or derision. 1st Step wants to help. We have programs for addiction recovery including Heroin and Oxycodone addiction. Our heroin drug treatment in Broward County can help you get clean of the Opioids and prepare you for further treatment as well.  Don’t try to detox on your own. Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can make you very sick. When you go through withdrawal from oxycodone you need to have medical professionals to monitor your health and make sure you’re needs are met and that your vital signs are stable. Call us now at (866) 971-5531. Addiction can take over our lives. We can help you walk away from the addiction and get back to being your awesome, nerdy self.


Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.