It breaks my heart when I hear a newcomer to sobriety open up and speak her truth in an AA meeting, only to be chased down and scolded post-meeting because she mentioned the word “drugs,” or referred to herself as an “addict” instead of an “alcoholic.” Ok, we do have separate programs for alcohol and drug addiction (Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous), but we have to recognize the fact that we all have the same disease, regardless of our poison of choice. I once heard a Safe Harbor girl musing on the topic. “What’s the point of identifying as an alcoholic/addict?” she said. “You wouldn’t call your puppy a German Shepard/dog — a German Shepard IS a dog.” The point of recovery is to find kinship with all who suffer from addiction – of any kind. I can identify with a gambling addict, a shopping addict, a love addict, any addict, because I know what it feels like to be so uncomfortable inside my own skin that I need an escape route. We have to find our commonalities instead of focusing on our differences. That is how we can be of service to one another and help one another lead healthy lives.