It’s increasingly clear to me that those of us in recovery speak a common language. To me, it’s like mathematics. It cuts across all cultural boundaries and is recognizable to anyone who understands it.
Looking back at some of the people I’ve known, I recognize now that they were in recovery. Sometimes, it’s obvious what fellowship they likely belonged to. Sometimes, I have no idea. But the language is unmistakable.
I think back to a yoga teacher I had early in recovery. My husband and I were on a combination vacation/work assignment in the Costa Rica rainforest. It was a remote location. There were no meetings. But there was yoga, and I was the only guest who signed up. Every day, twice a day, I’d meet with this resort’s yoga instructor and we’d do yoga and meditate and he’d talk recovery to me. I still think of him as an angel God sent to me to help me get through that time.
In the yoga instructor’s case, he told me he had come back from Vietnam using drugs and alcohol. He couldn’t just stop using. He needed to replace his addiction with something more positive. At the time, I thought he was talking about yoga. And that was probably part of it. But now I see that he was talking about program.
A guy I used to date talked a lot about doing things “because he wanted to” or “because it was the right thing to do.” He was not sober, so I presume his program did not involve drugs or alcohol. But it was program language nonetheless.
And so my ears perked up listening to an interview with Michael J. Fox. Here’s what he said that got my attention:
“…I think your happiness grows in direct proportion to your acceptance and in inverse proportion to your expectations. It’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. Doing the next right thing.”
I may be the last person on the planet who didn’t know Fox was in recovery, but I’ve never been good at following celebrities. So I Googled the topic and found that Fox started drinking excessively after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He found help from “an ever widening circle of friends, all of whom prefer to remain anonymous.”
In the past, I would have thought what Fox said was profound. That he was wise. That I wished I could possess whatever wisdom and serenity he had. The difference is that today I know I can.
Hubby and I are off on assignment. Back in a few days. I'll catch up on our return. Meanwhile, take good care.
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