so, what would your superpower be? the word-cloud above was from a survey which asked that very question. top two answers: invisibility, and flying.

wow – such completely opposite answers.

and what if drinking-us wants to be invisible, to reduce ourselves so much that we take up no space in the world, and sober-us wants to fly, to soar?

I’ve been thinking about longer-term recovery in the context of my last post. not that I am there, yet, I appreciate that! but about how it differs from early recovery, and also how the reality of being in long term recovery must surely differ from society’s perceptions of it.

and then Clearlee terribly kindly sent me a link to a talk that Tommy Rosen is giving in London in a couple of weeks – eeek! would so like to go but work commitments do not permit, sadly…

the title of this post is taken from an article by Tommy Rosen. what he describes is the difference between another’s perception of long-term recovery, and what Tommy has found it to be.

Tommy describes talking to a ‘normal’ drinker, and says,

‘There was this awkward moment where I realized he thought we were jealous of him. I felt terrible for him in that moment. From his point of view, a life without drinking alcohol could not be a good life and anyone who HAD to stay sober must be terribly jealous of those fortunates who could happily imbibe. He could not conceive of the idea that we were truly happy and content NOT to be drinkers. He could not imagine that we would not change places with him under any circumstances.

This was a profound exchange for me. I saw through this man’s perspective how most of our society thinks. The majority of people in the United States drink alcohol regularly. Most people who drink think that people who don’t drink are, at best, missing something and, at worst, are living in what they imagine to be a depressed state of sobriety. Nothing could be further from the truth.’

A friend of Tommy’s, Grant, decided to stop drinking earlier along the dependency path than Tommy did, because Grant found that drinking was affecting his life adversely.

‘Grant told me that to not drink is such an act of strength that he actually considers it to be a “superpower”. I just love that.

If you are like me and had to get sober, you may come to know that “in between” phase. It might just suck for a while as you develop a new life for yourself. Hang in there and allow yourself to develop. It takes time and therefore patience. It takes action and vigilance. It takes support and love.

While there are those people who unfortunately get stuck in recovery and do not grow beyond their misery, this is neither the norm, nor necessary. Do not fall prey to the mistaken idea that people in recovery and others who simply decide not to drink are miserable and longing to drink again.

The emphasis has to be on well-being. My recovery mantra is: “Don’t just survive addiction. Thrive in recovery.” I believe people in recovery must work toward the great shift from staying sober out of fear and necessity to staying sober out of love for the life they get to live as the result of staying sober. Once a person has made this shift, it is very likely they will excel in life.

My story is different than Grant’s. I had to stop because drugs and alcohol nearly killed me, but today, Grant and I share something in common. We have developed a superpower. Neither of us drinks and we are not concerned about whether we ever do again.’

and that’s the long-term recovery I am working towards every day.

I hope you have a wonderful and sober super-powered Sunday! Prim xx

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