Here we are… months after the world became an unknown place, and many of our creature comforts, things we took for granted, turned into vast luxuries. I dream longingly of a haircut or sitting in a café with a dear friend over a steaming cup of bad coffee…or, hardest of all, receiving a hug at an AA meeting. I am getting accustomed to my new masked reality, the shouting at friends from a distance when I have the rare pleasure of seeing them. And, somehow, it is all ok. Really ok. And that is because I watch my mouth.
At the beginning of April 2020, I’m writing this blog at home. I am on a leave of absence from The Retreat due to the Covid-19 virus. I’m not sick, but I’m in the ‘high risk group”. I’m 71 years old and have long term asthma that is easily activated. My wife, Priscilla, who almost never gets sick, may have had an incredibly short case of this disease. She ran a fever for less than a day, she was confused, had aches and pains, and slept. In one day, it was gone. She’s 81 years old.
Just a little backdrop... Recently, I have experienced what some might define as significant losses: My last surviving parent died in October; I ended a long-term primary relationship in November; My darling dog of 10 years was put to sleep in February. I am an empty nester, living in a new home in rural America. Despite these losses, daily life was fulfilling and meaningful. I had a job I adored, good friends, a busy social and volunteer life, and, most importantly, a wonderful AA community that grew and deepened every day!
Johann Hari stated at the end of his viral “TED Talk” that… “the opposite of addiction is not sobriety; the opposite of addiction is connection”. This comment was received as a landmark and almost heretical statement in the field of addiction treatment. It sent shock waves through the recovery community. It was a new and innovative way to view addiction and address recovery.