As a veteran, patriot, and proud American I always enjoy our American Birthday, but Independence Day has extra meaning to those of us in recovery. Beyond the obvious freedom from alcohol and drugs though, I think there is a great recovery lesson to be found in the years leading up to July 4th, 1776.
Most people don’t realize that the Revolutionary War was already being waged long before John Hancock laid down his famous signature; the first Battles of Lexington and Concord were fought in April of 1775. Like an alcoholic that yet yearns to drink in moderation, during this time many colonists and founding fathers still thought reconciliation with Great Britain was possible.
Click “Read more” to continue…
The lines of battle had already been drawn though, and it became obvious that there was no middle ground. A little known passage in the Declaration sounds familiar to the remorseful farewell of an alcoholic swearing off the juice.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
If the colonists were to exercise their unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness- they were going to have go “all-in”. There would be no going back to the way things were- and that is what the Declaration was all about! The same goes for recovery; it’s all or nothing- there can be no more thoughts of moderate drinking or controlled use. There may be no half steps, but the freedom and happiness of being totally independent of alcohol and drugs is well worth the struggle. Reconciliation is not possible, but American history is proof that we can achieve great things when free from the ties that bind.
Happy birthday America!