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September is Recovery Month

Kelly Sickafoose

CDFLC Coordinator    

In its 25th year, Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.  This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out,” encourages people to openly speak up about the reality of recovery, and promotes ways individuals can recognize behavioral health issues and reach out for help.

People in recovery are celebrating their successes and sharing them with others in an effort to educate the public about treatment, how it works, for whom, and why:

•       I recently heard Scott tell his story.  He has been sober since July 10, 1990.  “My first taste of alcohol was getting my alcoholic dad beers and taking the first sip.  I got my first OWI before age 21.  Everything I did was to the extreme.  Blaming others was a way of life.  When things happened, I claimed it was bad luck - arrests, bad marriages, etc.  I felt that as long as I was showing up to work I was OK.  I always wanted to recover that first feeling of being high.  At one point, the only options I had left were to be in jail or dead.  I took the option of working the steps.  I went to my first AA meeting and felt genuine care and concern for the people there.  When I shut up and listened it made a huge difference.  If I can get sober, anyone can.  It’s cool to remember what I do.” 

•       Ellie, a former alcoholic writes, “Drinking was everything to me. It cured my anxiety, animated me, and was the mortar to my many cracks. It started right away, this love affair.  From the very first drink, as that warm confidence slipped through my veins, I thought: so THIS is how normal people feel. I could not imagine a life without alcohol. It was my everything – until it ripped me apart. My recovery journey began in 2007 after a 30-day rehab stay. Going back to my regular life was the hardest thing I have ever done. How to be a mom without wine? How to socialize without my liquid courage? Day by day, my real self emerged. I learned to navigate everyday life totally present through every emotion: boredom, resentment, anger, sadness, joy, celebration.  I have found the peace, love, and acceptance in recovery that I searched for years for at the bottom of a glass.”

The first symptoms typically precede a substance use disorder by two to four years, offering a window of opportunity to intervene early and often.  Treatment can help people addicted to drugs stop using, avoid relapse, and successfully recover their lives. 

If you have a mental and/or substance use disorder, you are not alone. This September, help yourself or someone you love take the first step toward recovery. It’s worth it.

For more information, please visit Council for a Drug Free LaGrange County – CDFLC on Facebook.