While painful, the continued use of drugs and alcohol (it could be argued) seems easy, when compared to changing everything. It takes a brave soul to turn one's back on mind altering substances, and adopt a new way of living that involves honesty and being of service to your fellow men or women. Addiction is a selfish existence. Conversely, recovery has a lot to do with making yourself available to others in need. Those who have been walking the road of recovery for some time, know that they cannot keep what they have if they do not give it away. Doing so, without expecting any form of recognition.
In order to work a program of recovery, the first thing that is needed is surrender. Shortly thereafter, learning humility is of the utmost importance. Those who are successful in recovery, take the necessary steps to stay clean and sober without an expectation of recognition from their peers. While it always feels nice to know that your friends and family are proud of your achievements, that is not why recovering addicts and alcoholics stay the path. They stick to the program because they know that their previous way of doing things did not work, and only brought pain and suffering to their loved ones and themselves.
On the other hand, it is important that people in recovery remember where they come from, the achievements they have made and that it was only possible by adhering to the principles of recovery. It is something worth being proud of, considering that many addicts and alcoholics never get to experience the gifts of recovery, because the disease cut their life short. Truly, every day in recovery is a blessing and a gift not to be taken for granted.
While National Recovery Month is about recognizing those working a program, it is about raising awareness about addiction treatment services available, too. This year, the aim is prevention, treatment and recovery. Addiction is a family disease and recovery involves the whole family. In light of the American opioid epidemic, it is important that people know that recovery is possible. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA) writes:
“Recovery Month also promotes the message that recovery in all of its forms is possible and encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need.”