The adage that “addiction does not discriminate” rings true when we contrast addicts depicted in popular shows like Breaking Bad with others like Betty Ford. Addiction impacts everyone from the underprivileged to those in office.
We are reminded of that recently by following State Rep. Martin Walsh, the Bostonian with 18 years of sobriety who is bidding for mayor. Just as Betty Ford leveraged her recovery to encourage people to be open about addiction and seek help, Walsh is leveraging his past by saying, “Being in recovery is going to make me a better mayor…It gives me that edge every day when I get up and go out the door.”
We speculate that Walsh considers recovery an asset because it is not just about putting down the drugs and alcohol – it runs deep into the core of who people are in their everyday lives. Those that have a good program of recovery often harness spiritual principals to be better people. For example, honesty, loyalty, discipline and integrity shield people against negative and dramatic situations. In other words, spiritual principals are part of recovery because they protect addicts from the things that make them want to drink and use. These principals are also the same that make people good, desirable people – whether they are mothers, fathers, teachers or city leaders.
Being in recovery also makes people feel good because it is about being of service to others, as Walsh is. The Boston Globe said, “many more know the Dorchester lawmaker’s reputation as the go-to politician for addicts in desperate need of a treatment program or detox bed.” However, Walsh asserts “I don’t contact the people I’ve reached out to and helped.” But it turns out he hasn’t needed to – people remember those that have helped them through difficult situations and Walsh has ample support.
|Photo Via Martin J Walsh for Mayor|