Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.
Monday, January 16, 2012
MLK and My Sobriety: For Realz?
Last Friday my status on Facebook just said: eighteen years. Those who know me personally and read this blog knew what that means: I celebrated eighteen years of continuous sobriety. I celebrated by going out to dinner with some of the women who have been on this journey with me. I don't white-knuckle it and go it alone - I need that kind of community, just as I need other kinds of community too.
We all need community, we need each other. We all have our demons and our issues; we all want to both understand and be understood. We all have our humanity in common, no matter our race, gender, sexuality or religion.
Who better to thank for this reminder than Dr. Martin Luther King?
As I take a moment to celebrate him, I am put in mind of a particular Martin Luther King Day, fourteen years ago. I was working on a dual diagnosis unit in San Francisco. In many of the psychotherapy groups I was leading that day, we discussed Dr. King's famous I Have a Dream speech.
I will never forget one gentleman in particular, who spoke about the impact Dr, King had had on his life and his future sobriety. This man was in his mid-30's, African-American, astoundingly intelligent, but his brain had been hit with severe depression and alcoholism. He wanted to stay sober because of Dr. King's words. He yearned for faith because of Dr. King's legacy.
Abstinence isn't for everybody, but it is for me, because I recognize that I have the dis-ease of alcoholism. It is a dis-ease of body, mind and spirit. It almost killed me.
It doesn't mean that I'm a lower form of human, that I can't handle my liquor, that one drink is too much for me because I don't know when to stop - and nor does it mean I'm a higher form of human, that I have transcended the need for spirits. (I haven't - I need an ever-evolving relationship with a Higher Power - I just don't pretend that I can heal myself or my stress with alcohol anymore.)
It means I get to be human, I get to live. And I get to share myself with you.
Thank you Dr. King: your reach is wider than you ever knew.