Finding Our Tribe in Recovery

I say that finding our tribe in recovery is one of the best kinds of “treatment” along with therapy and medication for those of us who require medication.

This month I turn 51 years old. I’m confident when I tell readers that you can have a better life now than you did when you were younger.

A poster on a gym wall beckons: Reinvent Yourself. That’s a great strategy for mid-life: not giving up on ourselves. Setting the bar. Reaching out to try something new to discover a passion that has taken hold: whether for a guy or gal, a house, a career–whatever passion project you want to fund in your fifties.

Giving up is not an option. I have a core posse of friends. One guy has come on the scene like a possible soul mate. If you ask me developing friendships–and possible romantic partners–is the way to go in recovery.

It’s not ever too late to take up new friendships or new projects or new careers. And you can have more than one career at the same time or different careers at different times in your life.

On your birthdays when you’re 50 and older: make an impossible wish. Dream big. Reach for the stars because you can settle for the moon.

Having great friends in our lives can inoculate us from illness. If you ask me isolation breeds illness. I say: as hard as it is to do this: reach out and try to strike up a friendship or romance with a person you’re interested in.

I’m making an astonishing wish on my birthday. I’ll keep it a secret.

My mother’s aunt turned 80 and we celebrated with a party outdoors at a farmhouse. Wooden tables in the yard. Organic food fresh from the farm.

Aunt A. told us she looked forward to every new birthday–and she was 80!

Take a tip from this women: celebrate yourself at any age.

The older a person gets the more important it is to maintain social connections.

I’m going to celebrate with friends.

Fifty-one is a great time to be alive.

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.

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