What National Recovery Month Means to Me
National Recovery Month is about hope. Hope that no matter what your mental health or substance use disorder is, help is there for the asking. If you or a loved one needs help, don't be embarrassed or ashamed. It's okay to not be okay. You are not alone. Please gather up the courage to reach out and ask for assistance. And never give up hope.
Take some time this month to acknowledge National Recovery Month. Reach out to someone you know who's in recovery and tell them that you're pulling for them. Or maybe help someone you know find the support and assistance they need. (Families Against Narcotics is a great place to start.) Don't be afraid to try and make a difference. People with mental health and substance use disorders are not freaks. They are not contagious. They are just human beings whose brains are wired differently. And, contrary to what some people might think, the parents of these people are not terrible parents who don't care about their children. They just happen to be the parents of some uniquely wired kids. So, don't judge or be afraid of a parent whose child struggles with addiction. They are not contagious, either. If you have children who are wired normally, be grateful for that. But don't think negatively about those of us who weren't so fortunate. Do I wish that my son wasn't someone who has struggled with addiction for more than 15 years? Absolutely. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. But I've come to the conclusion that everything happens for a reason, and maybe I was put in this situation so that I can make some kind of difference in the world. If dealing with my situation--my OWN recovery--helps just one other person deal with theirs, then I'm good with that. National Recovery Month: Celebrate it. Hopefully, by doing so, we can all help eliminate the stigma associated with addiction and mental health disorders. I've never been very good at math, but I do know that Compassion > Stigma. Always.
Families Against Narcotics