National Recovery Month is held every September to raise awareness and educate Americans that recovery is possible and through treatment thousands of people live healthy and rewarding lives. The theme for the 2020 National Recovery Month is Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.
In its 31st year, National Recovery Month honors the achievements made by the millions of people nationwide living in recovery every day. It is also an opportunity to bring awareness to new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, to honor the recovery community as a whole, and to celebrate the thousands of dedicated clinicians, recovery team staff, and community members who work to make recovery – in all its forms – possible.
Family Life Center 2020 National Recovery Month Essay Contest
We are excited to hear what recovery means to our clients. We are hosting an essay contest, company-wide. The winner will be announced on September 28, 2020. The winner will receive an Amazon Gift Card on be featured on our blog at the end of this month.
In addition to the contest, throughout the month, we are featuring the voices of the people who support those in recovery and what makes them passionate about doing so on our social media sites.
Today, two of our Alumni will share their stories with us.
This is Their Story
I started using at a very young age because I thought that it was cool. Little did I know that something that I was doing because I thought it was cool would totally take over my life. In the beginning, I only used three or four times a week. Eventually, it became an everyday thing.
I dropped out of high school because the drugs became more important than school to me. Eventually that became true with everything in my life. I had children and done good for a little while. I was still doing drugs but I could maintain a job and take care of my family. That did not last long.
Before I knew it, I was losing jobs because I was missing work to go use. In 2017, I plead into Jackson County Drug Court and was required to start and complete outpatient classes at Family Life Center. The things I learned in class at Family Life Center helped change my life. My counselor taught me the tools and techniques that I needed to stay sober. The counselor at Family Life also required me to memorize the 12 Steps to complete the IOP program.
Working the 12 steps was a great thing for me because it opened my eyes and allow me to have a spiritual awakening and begin my relationship with God. God has helped me to restore relationships that drugs helped me tear apart. I now have custody of one of my daughters and a great relationship with my parents. I am also fortunate enough to work at New Outlook Detox and get to help people just like me find a better way to live.
I did not start using till I was 18. I was a senior in high school and I had chosen to come back to the city where I was born to graduate with the people I had known all of my life. I started out like everyone else “just experimenting.” I did not know experimenting would become a life long problem.
By the time I finished college, I had a problem that was becoming harder to hide. Almost 20 years later, I was broken spiritually, mentally, and physically and begging God to help me. I was in terrible shape. I asked to be placed in Jackson County Drug Court. Drug court was fairly new back then and I had seen people I knew do well.
I began attending outpatient treatment at Family Life Center. I was not too happy about that part because I did not want to share in a room full of people. I had no choice. It was do or die for me, literally. I wanted to learn how to live. I wanted to reclaim my life. I wanted to learn how to be the parent that my precious children deserved to have. I had caused them so much pain – my family, my mom, and my grandmother.
The first night of class I was sitting there when the counselor walked in and he had to be the happiest person I had ever seen. Whatever he had, I wanted. He mentioned the word God which surprised me. One night, weeks later, I left class and I was talking to a friend who had ridden to class with me and I caught myself using the word for hope for the first time. I pulled over on the side of the road and cried like a baby because it had been so long since I had hope. I followed every suggestion. I began attending 12 step meetings and I became willing to do whatever it takes.
Today, 9 years later, I can be the parent my children deserve to have. I can be the person God meant for me to be. I love my relationship with God without it I am nothing. I can be the daughter my mom deserves to have – the granddaughter, the family member, the friend, and the wife. I am grateful for my recovery and I am forever grateful to the people who loved and supported me in the beginning while I was learning to love myself and teaching me the tools I needed to continue my recovery journey. If you had told me that one day, I would be working alongside that very same counselor I would have not believed it to be possible. Thank God, we do recover!