Celebrating Recovery Is the Opposite of Recovery

Will common sense ever begin to permeate the delusional status quo?

     My incredible girlfriend often texts me various forms of inspiration to get me to write. One of her favorite sources is the addict’s diary (which is, to put it lightly, brutal), as she has a plethora of asinine FB posts at her fingertips. I’m not sure if it’s the poor quality of the writing, the infantile attention-seeking or the new-age idiocy, but regardless, I used to act like a loud, cocky, smug, liberal intellectual and it is not only a mental disorder but it is truly nauseating. Getting off on attention and self-seeking this way is exactly the sort of hubris that brings addicts down.

     Anyway, she just sent me this post of a pic of one his followers holding a piece of cardboard that asks for Facebook “likes” and “shares” for “celebrating two years of continuous recovery.”

     First of all, “Continuous recovery?” LOL. What other kind is there? This phrase is so stupid it hurts.
     The truth is that recovery is nothing to celebrate because you should not have become a drug addict to begin with. Furthermore, since you alone mutated yourself into one, just getting back to square one from negative territory is not an accomplishment. So great, now you are back to simply being human again like the other 7 billion people on the planet. Now you can go and actually behave like a normal adult and contribute and work hard and give back and create stuff and make the world turn… and that can be celebrated, if you need that. But we should ask ourselves why it is that we need recognition and the dopamine hit of Facebook “likes” just for being human? When I finally got sober after 15 years of mind-blowing selfishness, the last thing I needed was a fucking trophy. The Big Book warns us specifically about our self-absorption and how it can bring the addict down sooner than the drug itself.

     Why is our sober condition, which billions of other people have, something that warrants social recognition? How about we instead recognize the millions of people who didn’t waste God knows how many years of their lives turning themselves into useless drug addicts and destroying everything around them? Does anyone see how ridiculous and narcissistic this is? Gimme a break.

     To recover is to finally get over ourselves. To recover is to finally stop incessantly focusing on ME and my feelings, thoughts, identity, ambition, life, etc. To recover, we must rid ourselves of this self-obsession. We must let go of the need to be seen by others, to be recognized by others and praised by others. To recover is to finally grow the fuck up and assume our natural position as an adult who just quietly does his or work, who thinks about others from time to time, who often puts himself second before his family, spouse and children. To recover we are to shed the adolescent narcissism that cripples us and warps our minds. Trust me, it is extremely unattractive. Nobody is looking at us. Nobody cares. Nobody should be laying out the red carpet for us. All of the people in our lives would really just prefer that we shut the fuck up, get over ourselves, move on with it, get to work, and just start acting like a normal, responsible, humble adult. 

2 thoughts on “Celebrating Recovery Is the Opposite of Recovery

  1. Charles: One thing that jumps out to me is the self-obsession stuff. Being the spouse of an alcoholic, we are now apart…the mental obsession about being sad and missing her is very consuming. And also extremely destructive to me…It is like an addiction too. I feel an intense amount of guilt and pain from the last 10 years. Working through it ever so slowly. Sometimes I seek the recognition from my spouse, who is now a whole 10 days post-detox for keeping our daughter safe and calm, taking on all financial burdens, etc, etc…maybe I don't need this validation? I am proud that I took care of everything, held it together by the thinnest of margins, while my heart was broken and I was terrified to lose her, lose the vision of our future…terrified I would not be able to help my daughter with her pain, confusion. Afraid she would choose someone else, again…reinforcing I am a bag of shit.What a rant eh. I have so much growth to make up for.And on top of this my recovering wife seems unphased and even speaks of how great of a mom she was and how she needs to be with her daughter. She needs to earn that!! I had to be the solid parent, when I was barely able to pull myself out of bed but I did it. I pushed through and did the best I could at the time. I earned that right to say…you know wife…you have something to prove…I won't unreasonably keep our child away, but you can't just jump in now because you have started recovery. Sorry for the rant all. Love to spouses and families that are hurting. Thank you, Charles for what your you do and know that I read here and find comfort….even if it is for only a minute.

  2. I agree with Charlie on soooooo many levels I have lived a life with an addict for 20 years it destroyed my life with guilt an shame I need to let go so he can grow up it’s painful it feels like you failed but I’m failing by holding on it’s a twisted illusion

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