Out of the closet is a great place to be.
Closets are for shoes and jackets and unused scuba gear. They are for cramming clutter into when company arrives and storing cardboard boxes full of unused stuff. A closet is a room for what we put on to present ourselves to the world, and where we keep what no longer fits.
A closet can be a dark, cramped place. It is no place to keep addiction.
I am not suggesting that anonymity be compromised in recovery; on the contrary – it must be protected. Many, many people would never seek sobriety without all-important confidentiality being respected with the utmost care. But I do believe that it might be possible to become sober on one’s own, getting healthy in recovery requires the fellowship of others who have suffered similarly.
The “safeness” of the closet is really just isolation. And no matter what your struggle, there are others who have survived it – thrived, even – who want to help you. They, too, understand that the closet is a dark, cramped place; that shame perpetuates more shame. There are others who know exactly where you are; you are never alone.
All over Wilmington, they meet in community centers and church basements to drink coffee and talk about living life on life’s terms, these recovery groups. AA, NA, Celebrate Recovery and many others. They gather because each one of them can learn from the others, and because they can share openly and honestly without judgment. They can also celebrate victories with those who understand how great those victories really are.
Out of the closet, they come together on a regular basis to clear the spirit and mind clutter and to get rid of what no longer fits.
These rooms are a place to dress in healthy surrender to God so that we can present ourselves to the world as his broken but fully redeemed kids. And keeping our recovery going means offering a hand to help others out of the darkness.
You are never, never alone.