My heart is full to bursting. I got to spend this afternoon surrounded by people I never intended to know, doing something I never imagined I’d do.
It’s no surprise to me. It’s part of my recovery. I get to discover, develop, and become increasingly better versions of myself as I go.
Today I married two people with long term recovery, in a recovery center, surrounded by their chosen family who are overwhelmingly people in recovery. There are no better people in the world.
Recovery is a lifestyle and we are the best kind of family: Chosen. Claimed. Loved Unconditionally and Fully.
For the uninitiated, here’s what Recovery is:. You come in broken. You learn to let go of pain, shame, and self destruction. You open your heart and these things get replaced with love, joy, and a newfound freedom. You will come to have a life, “second to none.”
I’ve seen way too many miracles and powerful expressions of love not to be a believer.
Misfits, all of us.
I don’t happen to be an alcoholic or drug addict (caffeine and nicotine not withstanding). The expression, “There but for the grace of God go I” readily applies here. I am blessed with a body that, for all of it’s faults, rejected alcohol violently from the first swallow. I tried very hard in my adolescence to binge drink and to smoke my body weight in hash and really bad home grown marijuana.
I always loved the idea of getting high. The reality of it was I just felt all the more alone.
For all the fucked up possibilities of what my life could have become, I met my wife one month before becoming an adult. I became a dad at 21 and again at 22. These three people prevented what would assuredly have been self destruction in one form or another.
I would like very much to be an honorary member of both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. I have never been more welcomed, more readily embraced, or more completely accepted for who and how I am than amongst their members. These are my brothers and sisters.
I’ve been half joking for years now that I’m going to start “Fucked Up Peoples Anonymous.” (FUPA) I want what my peeps in NA and AA have: an international organization of millions who care deeply about one another and act to promote the healing and growth of lost souls seeking to overcome and become something greater.
I hate reinventing the wheel. FUPA could just borrow liberally from 12 step literature (guides for spiritual transformation and a manageable life). We’d just replace words like “addict” and “alcoholic” with terms like: Person in Recovery from: mental illness, trauma, a lousy childhood, eating disorders, emotional/physical/sexual abuse, neglect, cutting/burning/self mutilation, or other conditions known to fuck people up.
When I think about FUPA, I realize that nearly everyone qualifies for membership. The challenge of identifying one another in public would be tricky. My friends in AA ask, “Are you a friend of Bill W’s?” (Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA).
Maybe I’ll just walk around smiling and asking, “Hi! Are you fucked up like me?”