Saturday, September 24, 2011

Breaking the Silence

Today was PRO-ACT's 11th annual walk to celebrate recovery. The Walk celebrates individuals who have sustained long-term recovery and honors people and organizations who make recovery possible. I LOVE this walk and I'm already thinking about next year's walk and how I can motivate people to get involved and participate. I walked two years ago for the first time. (I had to miss it last year since I was still recovering from sinus surgery.) I walked with Livengrin, the Foundation for Addiction Recovery. My sponsor works at Livengrin and I am planning to start volunteering there sometime soon. (I wanted to wait until TC was in school, and he's now doing three days a week.)

I want so much for the stigma and misunderstandings about recovery to be wiped out. I avoided getting help the first three years of my sobriety because I didn't want 'the stigma'. I barely made it through those white-knuckled years, and I should have gone to rehab and started a program of recovery from the beginning. I let other people's ideas about recovery affect my decision, and that was a mistake. I thank God that I never relapsed, because I was doing everything wrong.

Now that I have some time under my belt, I have thought more and more about how I can help to remove the stigma, so that people will stop being afraid to get help. I didn't have to suffer alone, and I want to share recovery with others.  I was reading on the Faces & Voices of Recovery web site and this line struck me: "By our silence we let others define us."  I don't want to be silent about my success in recovery because my story can help someone else.

There are more than 20 million Americans in long-term recovery. Isn't that amazing? What we have is worth talking about and worth sharing. I recently heard Warren Barfield, a musician, talking about mistakes he had made in his marriage and he said, "I don't tell my story to relive my shame. I tell my story to relive my victory." Amen, brother.


Beacon2Light said...

Terrific. I praise God for your progress and example. May you be an inspiration to those who need the direction, influence, and staying power necessary to be in recovery.

Thenonbloggingfriend said...

Wow wow wow!! You give me goosebumps darlin'. What am amazing testament to your victory! I am so so so proud of you. Much love!