I was in a discussion group of non-alcoholic folks the other day. The topic for the discussion was asking the “Why” question along the lines of “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and so forth. All of the questions focused on why negative stuff happens. The leader of the group noted we tend to only ask the question why bad things happen. The negative focus struck me as odd. For the past 10 years or so, the “Why Me?” thought has been in my head as well. In fact, I have a half-formed series of essays for a book I had already titled – “Why Me?” But the “Why Me?” I had been thinking about was asking why I have been blessed with now over 30 years of sobriety through the 12-Step recovery process of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I am reasonably new to the discussion group of folks and wondered if I was somehow missing the point. I hesitated at first, but then I decided to speak. I noted how fortunate I considered myself, when noting that the success rate in addiction recovery is notoriously poor. I continued about how I knew recovery had nothing to do with intelligence or even an objective need – there were plenty of smart people who were dying of the alcoholism.
I like the odd person out. Only one other person out of 20 commented along a similar positive line, and noted their activity in an Alanon Program.
On reflection 24-hours later, I am more convinced than ever of the correctness of answering the question in the affirmative as well. I certainly don’t want to dismiss my co-participants as somehow only dwelling on the negative, but giving priority to the positive is an incredible gift I have been given in recovery. For that I am grateful.