Apples and Oranges!!

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Thursday, 20 December 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Breaking News

Addiction Recovery

Everywhere in the annals of history and culture we can find idioms and proverbs that illustrate the inherent risks of comparing ourselves to others……"keeping up with the Jones", "apples to Oranges" and so forth.

Alcoholics and addicts, in particular, should make an effort not to compare our sobrieties, not to mention our successes, with the sobriety and successes of others! It is not healthy and it can be dangerous.

In the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have often heard, "Don't compare your insides with other people's outsides." How accurate! And, it could not be closer to the truth.

Take two people, one who has everything, seemingly, on the outside…..looks, the career, the house, the car, and the husband, but she is so unhappy, unbeknownst to you, because she is infertile. You never know what is going on behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, there is another equally beautiful woman, who is married, with kids, a husband, cars, and a home, but she is a stay at home mother who daydreams about a career she wished she had.

Looking at another alcoholic who has the same amount of time as you, who seemingly has more material things than you do can do nothing but make you feel bad. It serves no constructive purpose.

Besides, you don't know all the variables in any given situation to make an accurate assessment. He may say he has his dream job, but how do you know he is telling you the whole truth?! Alcoholics lie and embellish too.

Perhaps he really does have his dream job, but maybe you have a beautiful supportive wife, i.e.,something he does not have.

And, no, it's not tit for tat. I am just making the point that the no one's life is as perfect as it seems. We are all striving for something…..something that another person may already have. There are plenty of things that you have that others do not have, and for that matter want.

Focus more on being grateful for what you do have instead of comparing and contrasting. What others have done in their own life is none of your business, and if they are trying to make it your business, ignore them.

For every person that has five years of sobriety, there is another with six years. There will always be a person with more sobriety time than you, who is richer than you, younger than you, or even thinner than you.

The goal is to achieve your personal best irrespective of others.


If you or someone that you love is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, please call or text us. We want to help you.

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About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and Recoverynowtv.com, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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