Getting Back Up

The trick to life is not always winning, but getting back up once you fall.

I’ve been watching the Olympics this week. Seeing one American skier, who has won many races and medals, wipe out, and sobbing on the sidelines in front of the whole world reminded me of that age old saying, “the trick to life is not always winning; but getting back up once you fall.”

As a long-term recovering substance user, I can relate. This skier’s most public defeat was a good reminder about my own life, and that of others, because I, too, crashed and burned at one time in my life after a good run of victories.

You learn a lot about yourself, and others, not so much when they win, but what they do when they lose. Some pout, give up and either die quickly or slowly, giving up on themselves and life. But others, myself included, figured out we had some problems and reached out for help to solve them (Step 1 and 2). I accepted other help in addition to AA. I did what it took.

The AA Big Book says there are those who do not have the capacity to be honest with themselves, that there’s little hope for them. I’ve always heard it said those people are to be thanked because they serve as a warning to the rest of us about what can happen if we don’t accept help and recover.

I chose to admit I had some problems, get up, dust myself off, reach out for help and live……..and live I have! Its been a good run so far (after that first year or so, anyway), and as long as I go to meetings, work the program and hang with/help others, this good run will continue!

The Case of Sheriff Hutchinson

Speaking of publicly ‘crashing and burning,’ what do you think of Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson’s experiences of late?

You may recall on December 8 a very drunk (twice the legal limit) Hutchinson crashed his county-owned vehicle at some 120 mph, and was lucky to survive. Approximately 120 Minnesotans died in alcohol-related crashes in 2021.

Many called for Hutchinson to resign. One state senator said, “I believe in second chances when it comes to chemical dependency, but the path to redemption requires accountability.”

Hutchinson was convicted of fourth-degree DWI, and agreed as part of his plea deal, to undergo random drug and alcohol testing. He’s also forbidden from drinking alcohol and getting any driving violations. He’s said he has stopped drinking. Hutch has since agreed not to run for re-election, but won’t resign his current term.

I hope he chooses the path of recovery.

Another Resource

Saw this on one of the endless news reports of people dying from substance abuse. Maybe it will help someone: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrative Hotline: 1.800.656.4673.