By: Marc McMahon
I need to get this off my chest.
Why is it that often times when people get into recovery, and I have noticed this especially around the rooms, and in all states, I have been in over the past 22 years. That it seems people very quickly forget where they came from, or that’s how I perceive it anyway. I am not excluded from this group either when I choose to use a 12 step program as part of my recovery. But this time I am not and thank God I have been clean the second longest amount of time ever in my life, somehow its working for me so who hoo.
By not working a 12 step program but going to a random meeting for as long as I can stomach it periodically ( for social purposes only!) I have been afforded a very unique view of the fellowship and those I know in it from over the years. What I am seeing is the same as I noticed before that I did not like only now since I’m not in the program, the behavior stands out clear as day, and not a sunny day either.
For the record, because my tone in this article may give you the wrong impression. I fully support all methods of recovery! If it works for a person to improve their quality of life then I will support them. Even if that means their sobriety is not what others may call sobriety. If a person hypothetically speaking starts smoking pot on a daily basis to control their anxiety vs taking prescribed medication and that improves their quality of life, and they still remain off their substance of choice while doing so. Then I support them with all their “Sober, clean, time” 1000%.
If a harm reduction program like using cannabis to treat opioid dependence helps that person not shoot dope, then again, I support all their time as clean because the quality of life just increased immensely and the opiates remain gone. Again, clean and sober time for them! Is that not what this recovery thing is all about? Being able to live a happy, healthy, productive life?
I was always taught that, and that’s what I believe. There are almost as many different ways to recover as there are people in recovery. Chew on that a minute, then just believe it because there is no magic pill, just individual success. Now try walking into your favorite 12 step meeting selling that idea. Seriously, I have tried to on more than one occasion when the topic could be vaguely interpreted enough by me to squeeze that in.
Would you like to know how much love and care and concern for the still suffering addict I received back after that? 0 yes ZERO, not only that and this still makes me chuckle it was brought to my attention that maybe my beliefs were clouded by Delusions of Grandeur and that I most definitely was operating solely on self will, and that’s not the kicker lol. I was warned that if I did not take steps to look into those issues that I could quite possibly be very near a relapse and just not know it.
All that because I have an enormous amount of love for the addict who still suffers. And want to see them be able to use whatever means of recovery helps them live a real life. Because I tried to DE-STIGMATIZE the current belief that the road to recovery is narrow and not broad. Because I’m not afraid to take that message into the wasp’s nest and share it if given the proper opportunity. I know some of these people too!
You know what I think? I think this is tragic. I think this is an incredibly sad day to be marked on the timeline of humanity, and I also think this cannot stay this way! It is completely unacceptable, what the hell is our problem people. How can we forget the ditch we crawled out of and those we left behind in it. HOW?
How can we laugh and joke about the ones we used to be like, look down on them, think we are somehow a little bit better now because we are clean. Not go to the community church meal anymore because its full of “Druggies”. That happened to me to last night when I tried taking two friends from the program with me to the free community meal held at the church on Wed. nights.
Dinner With Friends
My friends met me and we walked over there and as soon as they saw the crowd of who was attending, mainly. I noticed their demeanors immediately shift, I’m super sensitive to that stuff to and what people are feeling so I said did you want to go? They said yes we didn’t know we would be having a reunion with all our old using buddies. I chuckled and shook my head and looked them both in the eyes and said: “what did you expect!”
They asked if I wanted to go to a meeting instead, I said hell no, as a matter of fact I’m gonna go back and have dinner with my people, good night, and I walked away. You know I go there because it is something to get my introverted ass out of the house and around people cause I love it. It’s, of course, a good free meal, but more importantly, it constantly reminds me of where I came from and what I will look like if I CHOOSE to ever go back. That may not seem like much to you or even like its risky but it is a huge part of my recovery program.
There is a power in it for me that I can’t explain really. It is one of the main parts of my program today and my programs simple finally. But for me not getting cocky, self righteous, and forgetting where I came from are key components in me staying clean I have found. Simply by going and having a meal there 2x a week I treat all that and put myself in a fabulous position to help if someone ever expressed the need.
That’s the kind of recovery I want to share, the kind of recovery everybody should have. People should be able to feel alive and free to choose in recovery. To explore and try new things, to broaden their minds and know life. To be comfortable enough in their community to say hey I’m doing this and it’s working for me when nothing else ever has without fear of facing ridicule.
Why can’t everybody feel that way? I don’t get it you all, we may not be that same person anymore now that we are clean. We may not have been that person for twenty some years now since we got clean. But you know what, you used to be! And you know as damn well as I do your only one shitty choice from being that person all over again. So tell me, please tell me, what gives you the right to criticise another person for being that way!
To all that feel that way here is an unpopular belief, I’m calling bullshit. I am going to counter your hate with more love so God’s heartbeat goes on and your bitter self righteousness stays away. With all that being said, God forbid you ever do become that person again. But if you do you can always turn to me for understanding. Do you want to know why? Because despite our seemingly irreconcilable differences, I still love you for who you are, just because I can.
Simply because I choose to Love and not hate, what will you choose?
About the Author: Marc is a 48-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!”