Recovery for Everyone

It was at least five years ago that I wrote here and elsewhere that “Recovery is not a race, nor is it a competition.”

That’s why for the longest time I’ve railed against valuing only work that contributes to the economic stream in society.

It’s often true that a version of recovery that is considered normative is having a job, living independently, and having good relationships with other people.

Yet I don’t hold that out as the only valid notion of recovery.

Easily a year or so ago in the blog I was the first to expose what’s wrong in society: that people are competing for limited slices of the pie and everyone’s elbowing each other out to claim a bigger slice.

How I’ve stated this here is a more colorful and creative version yet is in line with what Christine DeLorey wrote in her book. I quoted this on Tuesday.

My prime contention is: what if a person chooses NOT to compete with others? What if a person chooses to think for themselves about how they want to treat others–instead of going along with the racism in society?

A humorous quote circa the 1990s stated that the meek shall inherit the earth [a Bible quote] yet by that time nothing will be left on earth. It’s true: the money-grubbing biotech firms and agribusinesses are plundering and ravaging the earth in the name of making big bucks.

Remember: Monsanto lied and said their Agent Orange product was perfectly safe.

Here’s an idea: why feel the need to compete in the first place? You certainly can be a  CEO. Yet why not like the founder of the Container Store choose to follow the path of what he calls Conscious Capitalism?

Putting profits above people is not the way to go. It’s why the earth is rebelling and trying to heal itself from man-made pollution and degradation.

I’m not a fan of business as usual in society. I don’t think you have to sell your soul to get ahead in the world. It’s NOT a race. It’s NOT a competition.

The college admissions process so skewered in Sheryll Cashin’s book Place not Race is a prime example of how competition favors those of us financially and geographically well-off. Read her great book too because it’s an eye-opener.

In only one way do I value earned income: it enables a person in recovery to have a better life. As I’ve so famously written before you can earn a livable salary doing the job or jobs you love.

You can be a humble reference librarian who likes alternative music. You can be a cashier in Rite Aid. It comes down to this: there’s no shame in whatever your game is.

Recovery is not a race nor is it a competition. Nor should living in society be a race or competition.

I will report back here next about America the Beautiful and how each of us must get out and vote in every election. Heck: I don’t care if you vote for Donald Trump. Just get out and vote. In America where everyone has the right to vote darn straight you’d better get out and vote.

Especially since voter registration and other voter laws are being enacted to disenfranchise from voting the very people who should have a say in our democracy.

Race indeed.


Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s