One thing I learned early on in recovery is to always look up the definition of a word. You’ll be surprised how the context of a paragraph can change when you stop skimming over words, thinking they are meaningless. Words have a very profound impact on our perception (realization) of our own understanding. Words drive creativity, ambition, and connection. Words also drive people apart, spur controversy, and in terms of recovery, run people off before they hear the message. To be honest, I can’t stand the hierarchies and divide between the recovery communities of today. Welcomed here, not welcomed there, feel free to share here, or shut your mouth over there. When I sit down to think about it, it’s usually one word that sends people sideways into the great vastness of exploration and existential crisis within themselves, where some stumble out, but most will use as a driving force to constantly identify as “that’s not me, I’m good.” In case you haven’t guessed, the words are alcohol and drugs. To me, these words are synonymous, but others see them as antonyms. This fascinates me. It’s as if the community that grew due to lack of understanding within society, has now cornered itself to being judgmental, crude, and not inclusive as it was once founded. A power vacuum of recovery is upon us, and if not addressed, where does it leave us in say, twenty years? You know what makes me laugh? When one alcoholic or addict judges another – is this what it’s come to these days? Yikes dude. I could care less about who, what, when and where of anyone’s story. You know why? Because regardless of all the differences that might be prevalent, there is one common underlining; the behaviors are ALL the same. That inner struggle is the linkage to all who battle with addiction. That’s why nothing else works than rigorous work with other addicts and alcoholics (no differentiation in my personal opinion). There’s a reason that doctors, psychiatrists and therapy couldn’t save us – we needed a little extra pushing. We needed to find our tribe. In dope houses and barstools I spent years searching for my tribe, only to find it hiding right in front of me. Wherever you find yourself engaging in some kind of recovery philosophy, keep an open mind, ask questions, and don’t allow language to block you from changing your life.
“We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were <insert word here> (remember what I just said about language). This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.”
Take the word concede – first, define it on your own. Now, the correct definition is to admit something is true or valid, after first denying or resisting it. That one word makes that sentence explode. For years, I resisted my true self and fought against the idea I was mentally and bodily different from my fellows. Only upon conceding to that notion is how my life changed. Don’t allow language to close doors, allow it to open them.