You’ve heard it time and time again, “unless you’ve walked a mile in my shoes….” followed by either a Hallmark-esque ending or a twist of that traditional ending that points out just how un-unique was all actually are.
Sometimes I have gotten frustrated by what feels like an outright war on the ego in various recovery programs. The fact is, most recovery programs have expanded beyond traditional one-category support groups (Alcoholics only) to embrace all sorts of addictions. And with those additional categories come stories, symptoms, conditions, traumas that are absolutely individual. My story as a bullied, molested, gay, depressed, hooked on DXM, Alcohol, Meth, bath-salts, research chemicals, sex-addict, sex-worker is more than slightly different than the story of the alcoholic. It’s not ego, it’s a fact. And hell, ego is as important to my recovery program as my program. Without it, I wouldn’t be alive.
So it’s important to open our minds, open our hearts, widen our perspective on what makes others tick. What makes them who they are. Most often we cannot empathize, but we can at least try to open our eyes.