This September is Recovery Month, which celebrates the achievements of those in recovery. The theme for this year is “Recovery Is for Everyone.” Every person’s recovery story is important and unique. There are many opportunities, especially this month, to let your voice be heard as a person overcoming drug or alcohol use. Let’s take a look at ways you can share your recovery story and make new connections.
Put It in Writing
Before you share your recovery story with others, you should start by clarifying it for yourself. Taking the time to write down your story gives you the chance to reflect on it and decide what details are important to share. It gives you the opportunity to celebrate yourself and your hard-earned recovery.
Start by just writing out your story. Try not to edit as you write; just let the words take shape on the page. If you’re just doing this exercise for yourself, you could stop there. If you’re writing this to help you share your story with others, you may want to take another pass and do some editing.
Before editing, let it sit for a day or so (or at least a few hours if you’re pressed for time). That helps you come back to it with fresh eyes.
While you edit, think about:
- Early indications that you were addicted to alcohol or drugs
- What helped you move from where you were to where you are now
- What you had to overcome to reach this point
- What you learned about yourself
- What strengths you developed through your recovery
- What supports have helped you
- What you do to nurture your recovery today
Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to tell your story. Of course, respect the anonymity and boundaries of others and be honest about your journey. Everyone’s story is unique, but there’s every chance that others will see themselves in your journey.
Share It in Meetings
If you struggle to share in support group and/or 12-step meetings, it’s understandable. It can be difficult to be vulnerable and you may be afraid of being judged. That said, sharing some or all of your story, or other aspects of your journey, during a meeting can be freeing. In 12-step meetings, others may not be able to directly respond to what you shared, as many groups have rules against cross-talk. Cross-talk typically means responding directly to what another person shared.
That doesn’t mean that your story or share isn’t impactful. What you share during a meeting may be exactly what someone needs to hear. You never know what someone will gain strength from. If you haven’t shared your story with your peers, Recovery Month is a good time to break the ice.
Share It on Social Media
This one isn’t for everyone, and if you prefer to keep your story to yourself, that’s completely understandable. If you’re in a place in your life where you can share your story more broadly, Recovery Month is a good time to share it on social media. You could write a post or film a video of yourself telling or reading your story. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has several resources to help you tell your story, including a how-to guide on filming your digital story.
Each platform offers different ways to tell your story. With Instagram, you may want to share pictures of your life now, or yourself in times when you were struggling, with hashtags like #recovery. On Twitter, you may want to share short snippets of your experiences with the same hashtag. You may also want to look for other recovery stories to retweet. Facebook allows for longer-text based posts, so you could share your story in writing. All three platforms allow different forms of video, so you could upload your story that way as well.
If you’re feeling vulnerable, haven’t found recovery or you’ve relapsed, Recovery Month is a good time to look at the stories of others for strength and hope. Search your social media for the hashtag #recovery or #recoverymonth, and when you’re ready, start the process of finding help. You can also share your story, whether it’s an inspirational quote, piece of artwork or photo, on our parent company Discovery Behavioral Health’s Recovery Stories Wall.
DiscoveryMD, offers outpatient treatment to those with drug or alcohol addiction. It emphasizes total abstinence and helps you develop the tools to stay sober. It also offers an opiate detox program and groups for loved ones.
DiscoveryMD is also familiar with working those who have a dual diagnosis (addiction along with one or more co-occurring mental health conditions).
Ready to learn more? Contact us today and get started on the path to your own recovery story.