I’ve watched my share of friends relapse but I still remember when one of my littermates relapsed. I was angry and sad. Didn’t he know he was supposed to stay sober so that I didn’t have to make new friends? Selfish and self-centered, that is the root of my problems.
When I went to my sponsor with my disappointment he quickly gave me a reality check, “You know that the longer you stay sober, the more you’re going to see people go out, right? You better get used to it!”
He was right. I’ve come to accept that all relationships reach an end, whether is death, people moving away, or relapse. I don’t like it but I’ve learned to enjoy those who stay around instead of focusing on those who have left…me.
And in reality, they have not left me. They have just left. Allowing people to go in and out my life is one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn. My instinct is to cling to them and try to rescue them from themselves, to try to fix them. But I have learned that I cannot fix people mostly because there is nothing wrong with them.
They’re wounded in one way or another so today I choose to focus on their goodness, on their strength, and remind them that they are worth of love and belonging regardless of their disease, “We are sick people trying to get better, not bad people trying to be good.”