Believe in Recovery

IMG_1480This post is dedicated to my friend Erik, who would have celebrated his 52nd birthday over the weekend. Erik and I were best buds in high school; he died too young, quite possibly from the effects of the disease of addiction.

I heard someone say recently, “Let’s take a moment to start a movement.” Moment by moment, moving in unison, that is how change occurs.

Our moment, for the Addiction Recovery Advocacy Movement, is now.

Believe in recovery

My sweetie and I were in New York City last week for the biggest screening (to date!) of The Anonymous People.  The event was hosted and sponsored by my old friends at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).  When Bob Lindsey, president and CEO, announced they had purple Believe in Recovery bracelets in the lobby, I made a mad dash.

Had I waited about an hour I could have maybe dashed right over the woman who verbally attacked Kristen Johnston after the show. But I digress.

I do, you know.  I believe in recovery, more so now than ever and in large part due to my involvement with The Anonymous People.  Talk about an honor and a privilege.

My belief in recovery has changed a bit in the last year.  I was brought up in my 12-step fellowship to believe that sobriety incurred a responsibility to share my experience, strength and hope whenever I was asked.

Now I know that the movement of recovery grows when I share my belief in recovery even when I’m not asked.

As my compadres in Houston hosting The Anonymous People screening write in promotional materials, “Let the collective light of recovery diminish the darkness of addiction.”

This is who I am

I am a person in long-term recovery and for me that means I haven’t consumed alcohol or smoked pot in 22 years.  My life has taken on incredible new meaning, as promised.  I believe so much in recovery that when I heard a friend of mine say the other day, “I don’t care what’s going on in my life or how much money I don’t have in my bank account, come November 1st, I’m going crappie fishing.”

Four years ago–18 years into recovery–I willingly walked away from my comfortable and predictable life.  Some people are content with regiment and routine.  I’m not one of those people.

I finally gave myself permission to do whatever I wanted; it just took me another three and a half years to fully grasp the power of my permission.  This is who I am.

A couple of nights after meeting Kristen Johnston in NYC, I finished her raw and raunchy book about her own path to recovery.  It’s called Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disasterand it’s on my 2013 bestseller list.  Please do your own mad dash to Amazon if you haven’t yet read it.

I loved every word of Kristen’s book, but this line is the one that keeps pulling me back to the fourth paragraph before her epilogue.  It is who I am and reads,

“Never again will I accept that someone else’s reality is mine, just to make them happy.”

Thank you, KJo.

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