I know I speak for the entire Sunrise family when I extend our deepest concerns and sympathy to the victims, families and others whose lives have been devastated by yesterday’s awful tragedies at the Boston Marathon and nearby. We have friends, colleagues and former clients in the Boston area, and some of us have family there as well. Words can’t express our dismay at these events — one more example of folks’ inability to resolve differences without violence.
Ron P., one of my therapists when I was in treatment (you know, back when everyone was eating fermented fruit that they picked up on the way to the water hole), used to have a favorite way of putting things. He’d ask a simple question, or be listening to someone going on at length in group, and then he’d say, “C’mon! You’re taking it to Chicago!” Then he’d bring us back to the point or, as often as not, make it for us.
I couldn’t help thinking of Ron while reading snippets here and there about the Boston bombings. One theorist blames the US Government, who are allegedly trying to frame the opposite political party. Still others are sure they know who and what ethnic groups were responsible, and so on. Blah, blah, blah.
The bare fact is, no one knows who was responsible except for the people directly involved. It is likely that the rest of us will know more soon, but it’s by no means certain, and it’s important that we keep our heads and not jump on our horse and ride off in all directions like the codependent cowboy. It’s especially important that we keep these issues out of the rooms of recovery.
We all have our feelings, and many of us aren’t that good at keeping them to ourselves. If we feel as though we need to talk about things, we need to remember the first rule of sharing in the rooms or elsewhere: keep in in “the I.” We share about how these things are affecting us and our recovery. We do not voice opinions on outside issues, in violation of our traditions, and we don’t take a chance of offending others in the meeting. We are not there to ride a political (or religious) hobby horse, but to facilitate our recovery, and that of others.
Let’s keep our primary purpose in mind, when tempted to air the opinions that all us addicts have in abundance, shall we? As a bonus, it may prevent us from having to eat crow later, when our pet theory may be shown to be incorrect. Let’s not take Boston to Chicago.