That sentence might sound strange to someone at first. How can you be glad you’re an addict? addicts sick, miserable, and degenerate people? Normal people are glad they’re not drug addicts. You must be crazy to be happy about being a drug addict. That’s like being glad you’re paralyzed or homeless.
But the truth is that many in recovery are indeed very glad to be drug addicts and alcoholics. For one thing, they’re glad that they’re no longer out drinking and drugging. But most of all, they are glad they had the opportunity to change their lives. Recovery is about so much more than quitting using drugs and alcohol. It’s about personal growth. It’s about reinventing yourself as a person. Without falling down, we would have never had the opportunity to discover how wonderful it is to get back up.
For perspective, sometimes it’s good to look at what other people are doing. Sometimes I even examine the strange, alien world of what some in recovery call normies: people who have never had problems with drugs and alcohol. It’s easy to notice that normies are often unhappy about little things. Whether people are complaining about work, or airing their dirty laundry out on Facebook, or getting frustrated in line at the grocery store, it is really incredible to look at how some people take so many things for granted, and instead find ways to get upset at small matters.
It’s been said that you need a few cloudy days to really appreciate the sunny ones. If it was sunny every day, than we’d take the blue skies for granted, and find some new ways to gripe about the weather, like the wind or the humidity. But because we experienced those dark days, we can truly enjoy just how wonderful the sunshine really is.
I’m glad I’m a drug addict because it gave the opportunity to change myself into a better person. Way back before I had ever touched a single drug, I was far from a perfect person. I complained too much. I complained about having to do things I didn’t want to do. I complained when things didn’t go my way, or I was irritated by a minor nuisance. I would get angry at people and hold grudges. If I had never become a drug addict, I would still be complaining about those little things to this day.
It took a multitude of traumatic experiences to change my view. I had to helplessly watch my own life collapse around me as I progressively got myself into deeper and deeper trouble from my own behavior to come to the profound conclusion that I am broken as a human being, and I need to repair myself.
Earlier in my recovery, it was easy for me to become overwhelmed by shame. I wished that I had never touched a drug. I could only focus on my mistakes and faults, and all the important things I had lost. As time progressed, I talked to others in recovery. They gave me a new frame of mind. Now I look at all the ways I have become a more patient, more honest, and stronger person. The coping skills I have learned during my own recovery have benefitted me in more ways than I ever could have learned in the life as a “normie.”
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to reinvent myself, because I honestly believe that even after becoming a drug addict and desperately beginning a recovery while beaten and broken, I am a better person today than I would have been if I had never touched a single drug. I do not waste my time regretting my days of drinking and drugging. Instead I am grateful that I have had those experiences from which to learn valuable lessons.