A postcard to UK from Scotland…
Congratulations UKRW organizing group on the massive success of the UK recovery walk that took place in Manchester, England last Saturday. We are doffing our collective caps at the largest gathering of recovering people in Europe… 8000 people in recovery, friends and family. You so rock!
Today Scotland takes to the polls to answer a really big small question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” But no matter what the result is on Friday whether the “ayes” (yes) or the “naws” (no) have it, something has already changed in our collective minds and hearts.
There is an emerging “we” that is attached to inhabiting the same geography, irrespective of where you were originally born; there is a rising shared culture that is not dependent on the level of melanin in your skin, there is a growing confidence and creativity in public life that is breaking up decades of how things “should” be done. The mainstream media has been exposed as biased and unhelpful even on the level of basic facts.
This culture many of you will recognize, it is a strong part of the culture and experience of recovery from addiction.
Recovery meetings are the only place in Scotland right now where you will find that the referendum is not the first topic of conversation. Recovering people are both aye ‘s and naws and it has not stopped us having a continued growth in both mutual aid and recovery communities over the last 18 months.
Recovery has always transcended barriers of race, religion, class, orientation and football affiliation! It continues to thrive. What unites us still is our will to live. It’s a victory that we are still alive to have the debates.
The SRC (Scottish Recovery Consortium) has had a policy of not soliciting or automatically co-operating with mainstream media for the last 2 years. We have been learning from social movements across the world that we can be and are in fact our own best media. People believe us, our recovery experiences, because they hold the direct testimony of one human being talking to another. It has been incredibly effective for us and quite frankly a lot more dignified than begging scraps of misreported platitude from busy journalists who only have time to re-write a press release.
Recovery communities have been building in unloved corners of the Scottish landscape bringing pop up cafes, support groups, recovery colleges, university of life in recovery, summits, shared learning and the world style conversation cafes that are overtaking conferences as the preferred tool of engagement. And walks too, there have been walks in AYR, Dundee, Glasgow (in partnership with UKRF) and last year the first Recovery Walk Scotland was held on the Forth Road Bridge.
We are walking this year too- on Saturday 27th September. Recovery Walk Scotland begins at Johnstone Terrace at 10am (assembling from 9.30am). We will walk the Royal Mile from Castle to Parliament and Palace and into her majesty’s Holyrood Park.
Here’s the bit that might require some thinking about, that no matter what happens on referendum day, we don’t consider ourselves a “region” but a country. So Recovery Walk Scotland is about a country in recovery from addiction, celebrating that with a sway of our kilts and the skirl of a bagpipe or two.
However it is a country that loves its brother and sisters in recovery in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and even in London too!!
But you knew that already didn’t you? We hope you will still love us after tomorrow too….