Labor Day, Recovery And Sustainable Sobriety: How I Learned To Be A Worker Among Workers
When I was deep in my addiction to drugs and alcohol, the last thing I ever wanted to be was a worker among workers. Being in the depths of the disease of perception, either I was a superstar or total loser, but I never could face the idea of being a decent human being, an ordinary person, a worker among workers. The last thing I wanted was to face my own authenticity and actually be myself.
As a direct result, after many years of sustainable sobriety, labor day has come to have a special meaning for me. Labor day represents my ability to take value in being a worker among workers, in showing up each and every day and doing a decent job, in doing what I was hired to do by placing principles before personalities and truly being a good employee.
Leaning To Be A Worker Among Workers
In truth, labor day means so much to virtually the entire staff at ONE80CENTER because the vast majority are in recovery. It is a gift to be able to work in recovery and give back what was given to us to clients truly in need of support and comfort, belief and help. If you experienced the dedication and determined work ethic of the ONE80CENTER staff across the board, from the founders to the drivers, from the clinical director to the newest technician, you would be impressed. It can even be said that it is so much easier to work harder and to give your all in a place where everyone is doing the same from the top to the bottom.
Personally, when I was in the depths of my addiction, I literally was unable to be a worker among workers. My ego was so bloated and my sense of entitlement so extreme that it was impossible for me not to always feel more than or less than in any context, but almost never a part of a working team. Using a baseball metaphor, my father always told me to just get a position and do my best to get on base.
The Burden Of Being Terminally Unique
But I thought I needed to and I demanded to hit the walk off grand slam home run in the seventh game of the World Series on day one, immediately being enshrined in the Hall of Fame. I could never be just another player on the team, a worker among workers. I always had to be terminally unique, at the very least, in the eyes of everyone else, to make up for the gaping hole within. What a horrible burden such a perspective must have been.
Why do I write must have been in the sense that I no longer know what it was like. The reason is because I have been restored to sanity through the process of working the 12 steps and walking a long-term path of sustainable sobriety and active recovery. Back then, I truly was insane and I can’t quite return to that head space without feeling like I am in the mind of an alien being so very different from who I am at this very moment. Today, I place principles before personalities, getting out of the way of whatever I am doing by being a worker among workers and focusing on what needs to be done not from an ideal perspective, not perfectly, but from the perspective of what I have been asked to do.
Love Working for ONE80CENTER
I love working for ONE80CENTER and being able to write material on the website that is valued and that has meaning to myself and the greater community. But the job is not about me. On Labor Day, I am proud to be aware of the clear and simple fact that the job is about the job I was hired to accomplish consistently and effectively as a worker among workers. Nothing more and nothing less. It is both an honor and a privilege to be able to believe in those words and know exactly where they originated. God only knows I am far from perfect and every day I make mistakes, but that is okay.
Why? Because every day I show up as a worker among workers and do my best to slowly make a little more progress and continue to evolve on this long-term path of sustainable sobriety. Yes, I screw up left and right and do foolish things, but today I learn from such errors and I grow as a human being. Like everyone else at ONE80CENTER in recovery, I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to walk that path with humility and with a very big smile.