Spend and invest any amount of time in recovery and you soon discover that it is a way of life. Very quickly you come to realize that recovery is something that you will be engaged in for the rest of your life (if you want to live any kind of quality life). Over time, you may have other realizations. The other day it occurred to me that recovery is an awesome equalizer!
There is a line in the movie “New Jack City” where Judd Nelson’s character says “This drug thing – it’s not a white thing, it’s not a black thing. It’s a death thing. And death doesn’t give a shit.” In a lot of ways, recovery is similar. Rich, poor, CEO, line worker, housewife, married, single, man, woman, child; if there is addiction involved, then an opportunity exists for recovery.
Everyone that enters “the rooms” of a 12 step program has the same opportunity as everyone that came before them. The 12 Steps apply to everyone … no exceptions.
The pain, anguish, uncertainty, dejection, and surrender you feel is just as real for the person sitting next to you (whether you believe that or not, and whether they admit it or not to themselves). The bottom each person hits is different, but hitting bottom is the same for everyone, once they reach that point. Sadly, a lot of people don’t reach their bottom; most will wind up in jail, insane, or dead before they do.
Recovery requires that everyone works to succeed. You can proceed at your own pace, but doing the work is the glue that holds your recovery together. Slack off, ease up, throttle back just a little, and it will show regardless of who you are. Recovery does not care what else is on your agenda, where you come from, where you have been. Recovery knows that if you do not put in the effort, you will not succeed.
Recovery IS the great equalizer. It brings humility to egos run rampant. It can bring peace to the emotionally torn and spiritually bankrupt. Just like our additions, recovery is not a black thing, or a white thing. If you don’t do the work, and don’t make the effort, your addiction will become a death thing.