I talk a lot.. Sometimes I don't say much but I do talk a lot
This year I've been talking a lot about addiction. Why we are failing. What we are doing wrong. Why our failure rates are so bloody high.
I shout a lot about mainstream recovery groups. How I believe they purport relapse and accept semi-permanent recovery as the norm.
I was wrong.
That's not what's killing us.
All recovery groups are fine. Believing whatever you want in order to get sober is fine; no one has the right to tell anyone where they are going wrong in recovery- it doesn't matter if AA is 95% ineffective. It's still worked for 5% of people long term so it does work.
I'm full of sh*t to say otherwise.
All people are entitled to believe what they want. Use whatever terminology they feel is relevant. If I don't believe in relapse and you do? If we are both still sober then we are both still right.
I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.
If you choose Alcoholics Anonymous or Women for Sobriety or SMART Recovery. If you choose the Bible or Snake Handling or dietary practises? It doesn't matter. It's actual, practical success is what matters. No more, no less
If you got sober at home alone? Or in Rehab? Or both? Or neither? It doesn't matter. You did it. You keep doing it. That's what counts.
The only place we are really falling down is believing our way is exclusively the right way. It really is only now in this place that we fail.
We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.
If we can appreciate our Splinter groups for what they give us. And also come together to share what we believe. Have the members of Alcoholics Anonymous sit at a table with the Gambler's Anonymous. Have Women for Sobriety champion the cause Overeaters Anonymous. Have Rehab Centres taking into account the opinion of those who got sober alone. If we can pool our resources? Accept that everyone is right? Who knows how many people we could help?
It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
So yes. I was wrong. I've been wrong before. I'll be wrong again. But I can't help feeling I'm right about this.
I'd like to come see you, if you'll have me. I'd like to come to your meetings, to your Rehab Centres. See why it works for you. See how you manage to succeed. Why it makes you happy. Then use these wonderful platforms I'm loaned from time to time and actually do some good with them. Share solutions. Stop shouting so much about why we are getting it wrong. Work out some real answers together. Basically stop being so full of sh*t.
One love, one heart . . . Let's get together and feel all right.
The world is getting smaller every day. We are all just a few little taps on a keyboard away from each other. If we can utilise this lack of distance. If we can unite and share our beliefs-safe in the knowledge our own sobriety is not threatened by dissipating methods. That we become stronger when we know more. That everyone is right and everyone is okay. And believing that every method of sobriety is valid. And right. And works for someone. If we can celebrate diversity in Recovery? Now we really will be making progress.
May your God go with you.
Follow Carrie Armstrong on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CarrieArmstrng