Anyone who knows me knows that I love recovery. I enjoy talking about my experience and am no longer afraid to let people know that I am in recovery. But it wasn’t always like that. In the beginning, I was worried about what other people thought or that I would be judged. Is there a stigma? Yes, of course there is. So, what changed for me?
What I began to realize is that if I don’t share my experience as a person in long-term recovery, how will those barriers ever break down? As someone who doesn’t view my addiction as a life sentence anymore, I can now speak out about how amazing life is because I found sobriety. I no longer fear people’s opinions but rather choose to show others through my actions what being a person in long-term recovery looks like. I actively advocate for change and support organizations that work toward having a positive influence on how people view the disease.
September is Recovery Month. There are so many opportunities to get involved and be part of the recovery movement. I encourage you to get involved on some level. You don’t necessarily need to put your face out there, but you can use your voice for the betterment of the recovery community. Organizations like Facing Addiction, Shatterproof and Above the Noise provide opportunities for you to get involved and are working to transform the way we view addiction.
Mountainside will be hosting its 4th Annual Alumni Retreat on September 15th, and we will also be renting a bus to go to the very first 100 percent sober music festival. These events are great ways to further engage with the recovery community and bond with alumni who have gone through similar experiences.