I interviewed a young man, who has been sober eleven years, and asked him what he’s learned from recovery:
He said: I think that alcoholics and addicts in recovery are some of the most beautiful people in the world.
Libby: Why do you say that?
He said: Because they’ve been through the depths of hell, and survived it, you know?
Libby: I once said to Jeff, “Jeff you have more wisdom than I have.” He said, “It’s because I’ve come from a place you’ve never been.”
He said: And that is the truth.
My reflection: Addiction is complicated, and drugs are dangerous and illegal, so it’s easy to give up on addicts and to see them as a menace to society. Jeff once told me, “Society loathes addicts and addicts loathe themselves.” Once addicts find sobriety, they often become a force for beauty and good.
Today’s Promise to consider: Listening to a recovering person is a gift. They emerge from hell with a wisdom born of suffering and a desire to contribute to life. Today, I will listen to a recovering addict with compassion and an open heart. I might have something to learn.