The First Step to Recovery Is Admitting You Are Not Powerless Over Your Privilege
Dismantling white supremacy within 12-step recovery groups
On the evening of June 12, an employee called 911 to report a man who was blocking the drive-thru line at a Wendy’s restaurant in southwest Atlanta. It appeared he was passed out in his car, most likely drunk. “Is he Black?” the dispatcher asked. “Yeah,” the employee answered. At approximately 10:30 p.m., Officer Devin Brosnan responded to the call and found 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks asleep in his car. Brosnan awakened Brooks, who peacefully followed the officer’s orders to move his car to a parking space. After a few minutes of routine questioning with full cooperation from Brooks, Brosnan called for backup. Officer Garrett Rolfe arrived within minutes and administered a field sobriety test. Brooks asked if he could walk home, where his family, namely his daughter, whose birthday they had just celebrated, was waiting for him. The officers refused and instead demanded he take a Breathalyzer test. Armed with the results, Rolfe attempted to handcuff Brooks. He resisted; they struggled. When Brooks ran in the opposite direction of the cops, Rolfe fired three shots from a distance of 18 feet 3 inches, killing Brooks.
It’s unknown whether Rayshard Brooks was simply exhausted, under excessive stress, much like the rest of us, or suffering from a dependency. But as an addict myself, I wondered: Were these the consequences that often befall BIPOC struggling with addiction on grim display?
I’m Struggling to Stay Sober. AA Zoom Meetings Are Keeping Me Afloat.
Maintaining sobriety can be extra challenging during a pandemic. Group meetings remind me I’m not alone.
Addiction is defined by the irrepressible compulsion to continue behavior you know will hurt you. I’d been engaged in so many of these coping mechanisms for so long, the only way I recognized the necessity to interrupt my destructive patterns was when one nearly killed me. That was alcohol. On August 28, 2016, I gave it up and joined Alcoholics Anonymous.
I celebrated my first 90 days of sobriety at an anniversary meeting in Georgia, where I was visiting my sister for…