‘Viva la Difference’ by Matthew

IMG_4919Matthew  was on of my favourite bloggers on Wired In To Recovery. Here’s an example of his writing, from October 2011.

‘Long live the difference. Long live otherness, long live understanding and open mindedness towards people and things that are new to us. I’ve took the following quote from the Hibbert Assembly website:

“Diversity is something to be celebrated. Each individual is unique. Each has it in her or him to contribute to the richness of humankind.

There are differences not just of culture or colour, but of age, of talents and aptitudes, of strengths and weaknesses.

We tend only to celebrate those who are like ourselves – who are of a similar age, have similar interests, share the same aptitudes. But life is so much richer when we embrace those that are different.”

We spend far too much time and effort trying to fit in. How many of us started our substance misusing careers as a result of wanting to fit in?

Then in recovery how many of us turn to people pleasing, when we seek to fit in with people who don’t drink and take drugs? So determined to prove that we are good, kind and reliable people these days that we are willing to give up a part of ourselves.

It’s good to feel part of something, to feel a sense of belonging, but it should never come at the price of not being our true selves. An important part of recovery is learning to accept yourself and to love yourself.

I know now I will never be like the majority of people who I grew up with. And I’ll never be like the majority of people who I work with. That is neither good or bad, it’s just the way it is.

When reading the Recovery Academy conference booklet I was struck by something Keith Humphreys said, that a UK recovery movement would only grow if we had “A sense of unity in diversity”.

As the movement grows, I am getting the feeling that we are also maturing, accepting that difference can be good, that you can be different and equal. Are we now ready to celebrate all pathways to recovery rather than promoting and defending what has worked for us as individuals? I truly hope so.’