“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” – James Baldwin
I know I speak for the entire Sunrise family when I extend our deepest concerns and sympathy to the victims, families and others whose lives have been devastated by yesterday’s awful tragedies at the Boston Marathon and nearby. We have friends, colleagues and former clients in the Boston area, and some of us have family there as well. Words can’t express our dismay at these events — one more example of folks’ inability to resolve differences without violence.
Ron P., one of my therapists when I was in treatment (you know, back when everyone was eating fermented fruit that they picked up on the way to the water hole), used to have a favorite way of putting things. He’d ask a simple question, or be listening to someone going on at length in group, and then he’d say, “C’mon! You’re taking it to Chicago!” Then he’d bring us back to the point or, as often as not, make it for us.
I couldn’t help thinking of Ron while reading snippets here and there about the Boston bombings. One theorist blames the US Government, who are allegedly trying to frame the opposite political party. Still others are sure they know who and what ethnic groups were responsible, and so on. Blah, blah, blah.
The bare fact is, no one knows who was responsible except for the people directly involved. It is likely that the rest of us will know more soon, but it’s by no means certain, and it’s important that we keep our heads and not jump on our horse and ride off in all directions like the codependent cowboy. It’s especially important that we keep these issues out of the rooms of recovery.
We all have our feelings, and many of us aren’t that good at keeping them to ourselves. If we feel as though we need to talk about things, we need to remember the first rule of sharing in the rooms or elsewhere: keep in in “the I.” We share about how these things are affecting us and our recovery. We do not voice opinions on outside issues, in violation of our traditions, and we don’t take a chance of offending others in the meeting. We are not there to ride a political (or religious) hobby horse, but to facilitate our recovery, and that of others.
Let’s keep our primary purpose in mind, when tempted to air the opinions that all us addicts have in abundance, shall we? As a bonus, it may prevent us from having to eat crow later, when our pet theory may be shown to be incorrect. Let’s not take Boston to Chicago.
Sunrise Detox is about people, so we’d like to mention a few that we’re thankful for this holiday season.
We’re thankful for our dedicated people at Sunrise Detox in Lake Worth and New Jersey. We’re thankful for the professionals who worked to get Sunrise Detox Ft. Lauderdale up and running, and who helped us successfully pass our Joint Commission inspection last week. We’re thankful for our marketers and the folks who are busy preparing for our planned facilities elsewhere, especially the leaders who work so hard to help Sunrise grow and maintain its professional standards. We’re thankful for our housekeepers, maintenance, techs, nursing staff, therapists and office support personnel. Sunrise wouldn’t exist without you.
And we’re thankful for our clients. You are not only our reason for being, you are the measure of our success. We operate an unusual business, measured by the customers who don’t return. Each of you who walks out our doors carries our heartfelt wish that you succeed. Some of you go on to treatment and the 12-step rooms, and others choose different paths. Our hopes go with you all. We’re thankful, too, for those who do return to us — thankful that you made it back, that the disease of addiction was cheated one more time, and that you’ll have another chance.
So this holiday season, and especially on Thanksgiving, we have a lot to be grateful for. If we did a gratitude list, it would be far too long, so we simply say to all of you…
The total cost of alcohol problems is $175.9 billion a year (compared to $114.2 billion for other drug problems and $137 billion for smoking).
This was more than 16 years ago, folks!
Economic costs of substance abuse, 1995. Dorothy P. Rice. Proceedings of the Association of American Physicians 111(2): 119-125. 1999.