This story was from February of last year.
And a year later, almost to the day:
I’ve had people look at me strangely, even people who are in recovery, when I talk about how it disturbs me when relapse is treated like “no big deal.” Of course, it happens, but it DOESN’T HAVE TO. “Everybody relapses” is something that just makes my blood boil. Addiction is a progressive, fatal disease.
When I got clean/sober, it wasn’t unheard of for a recent relapser to be told to SHUT UP during the meeting. “You obviously don’t know how to stay sober, so sit there and listen. You may hear something that will save your life.” I’ve heard of much “worse” things said or done, and the people who took suggestions eventually learned how to quit and STAY quit.
I was told similar things in early recovery. They hurt my feelings!! (Insert pouty emoji here) The truth will do that when you’re not used to it. That’s where I learned about caring enough to tell you the truth even if it pissed you off. I can live with you not liking me. If there’s a way that I can prevent or at least help to postpone that next drink/drug, I will do it. Like me or don’t.
The Old-timers weren’t there to make friends. They weren’t there to pat me on the butt & tell me everything was gonna be OK (if I wanted to hear that, I could get it at the bar). The Old-timers were there to carry the message.
Thank God there were crusty old farts sitting in those smoke-filled rooms who cared enough to confront me on my bullsh*t. If they hadn’t, I may still be lying to myself.
So, don’t smile & joke about people relapsing. Not around me. My friends whose kids are dead aren’t laughing. The kids whose Mom will never kiss them goodnight again, they’re not laughing…
Do me a favor, will you? Say a prayer for those left behind when addiction claims another life, and while you’re at it, pray for the still suffering alcoholic/addicts. God loves them, too, you know.