The recovery community, in my experience, can be a welcoming and tolerant place, as prescribed by our principles and traditions — ” the only requirement for membership is a desire…” — with a focus on our similarities rather than our differences. My quintessential moment in recovery (the moment the light went on) came while listening to a young White woman, from Forest Hill, who was an international model, telling her story in a Moore Park church, with me being the only Black attendee. It happened when she spoke of being in a castle in Europe, surrounded by all the cocaine and alcohol she could every imaging having, and during that using frenzy she had a moment of clarity suggesting that all the cocaine and alcohol in the world would not fill the void she was feeling inside. She spoke of the emptiness she was trying to fill all those years with substances, and at that moment she realized the void could not be filled by those means. I had spent the entire meeting dismissing this White woman’s privilege(s) and how dissimilar our lives had been, but when she made that point I bonded with her deeply, and that moment has been my anchor in recovery every since — 10 years and 2 months ago.
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