“Brace for impact!”

It’s a shame some pilot doesn’t come over the loudspeaker of life when the crash of failure is imminent. Possibly the most dramatic plummet a person can endure is the spiralling failure of addiction. And yet, the most successful treatment ever devised for addicts, the AA’s 12 Steps, starts with embracing that failure. Even after years or even decades of non-addictive behaviour, the individual must always embrace their addiction with the ritual salutation, “My name is…and I am an addict.” Moreover, conventional wisdom indicates that the most typical starting point for recovery is the very nadir of failure…”rock bottom”.

September is Alcohol and Addiction Awareness Month. The Oscar-nominated performance of Denzel Washington in the film “Flight” takes us on a ride of avoiding failure’s embrace. With lies, coping strategies, sacrifices, and hazards. In the end, the harrowing first scene serves as a metaphor for the embrace of failure. Don’t fight the broken part, but embrace it and fly according to its limitations. Even if that means turning your life upside down. As Denzel’s character Whip did.