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Find Your Tribe and You’ll Find Your Power

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Friday, 19 October 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Breaking News

Alcoholism Drug Addiction

Finding a group of people you feel comfortable with is no easy task, especially if you are an alcoholic or addict. But, when you find them, stick with them and develop the ties that bind.

Research reveals that discovering who you belong with and getting along with those people is worth it, as you are a happier, whole, more complete person as a result!

In fact, you will find that the proverbial maxim, “……it cuts the difficulties in half, and it doubles the joys”, to be true.

I know what you are thinking. I once thought the same thing…….Is this high school, all over again? Perhaps it is, in a way. Seeking and finding a tribe is an informal law of the land, it’s universal and applies, no matter how old you are, and no matter what stage of life you are in.

Consider what they say in the program, “…get in the middle of the pack and stay…..” Sayings, proverbs, and maxims are what they are for a reason, as they have some truth. No one survives on his own, particularly the alcoholic and addict.

In fact, as the alcoholic and addict suffers from an incessant loneliness and feeling of never being understood, he or she is in the unique position of finally being a part of a group of people who all felt the same way, for one reason or another.

And although we want to stay outside the pack, for whatever reason, the alcoholic and addict must resist that instinct, and instead “take contrary action.”

Only when I learned to take contrary action did that “God-sized hole” feel as if it were filled, as God reveals himself in you people. Of course I spend time alone, but not nearly as much, and I am blessed as a result, for I no longer live in my head, ruminating about every big or small awful thing that has happened to me.

My program friendships are few, but they are invaluable. And to be honest, all the other members, whom I shall call associates, are just as invaluable, despite the fact that I am not fond of many you, because together, not individually do we make a whole. In fact, we all matter, and as my sponsors always tells me, I do not have to like a person to respect him, or even learn from him. “This is a we program.”

I cannot tell you the countless times that I have walked through difficulty with members of program by my side. Most of the time they were not even aware of the problem that I was experiencing at the moment, but the fact they were consistent and kept coming back, I always had a place to go to for an hour of experience, strength and hope that sustained me through the remainder of the day.

I did not need your advice or “something or another”, what I needed was the assurance that I was not alone and that there were others like you who felt the same way that I felt. It is your presence that makes me feel home, complete and a part of.

I have had the opportunity to spend Christmas’s with you, Thanksgiving, Halloween, natal birthdays, Independence days, and a host of other occasions.

I have changed among you, grown, and developed, and have become the man-child that I am today, still a work in progress, but growing and developing nonetheless because of my interactions with you.

Program is a village, a community and an enormous and safe support system. Trust us, not all of us, but find your people here who you can trust, and then take life by the horns, one day at a time, sans the alcohol and drugs.

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

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About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and, 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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