September is National Recovery Month

“I’m in Recovery”. Three words that have brought so many so far. What might once have been mumbled almost apologetically into awkward silences and fear of automatic judgment has blossomed into unabashed celebration of the journey toward restoring life’s balance. Recovery is not static, nor is it a one-size fits all, stamp and repeat sort of thing. It is a living, deep-breathing, one-more-mile push through blood, sweat, and tears collaboration. Intense and personal, there is no one way to do it, and a million ways to celebrate it. “I’m in Recovery” does not promise perfection, but it does declare thismoment, this day, things are better; our effort is worth it.

The entire month of September is designated as Recovery Month; a time to gather our reflections on how far we have come, in both awareness and embracing of the world of recovery, be it in the incredible advances in treatment and understanding of the contributing causes of substance abuse and mental health disorders, or in the very humanizing illumination of those in pursuit of healing and wholeness.

2019 is the 30thanniversary of Recovery Month, and this year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger”, putting an emphasis on sharing and building. By sharing, we reinforce that “mental and substance abuse disorders affect us all, and that we are all part of the solution.” (SAMHSA) By celebrating the growing and proudly vocal community of Americans in recovery, Recovery Month activities further the reduction of stigma and misconception that might dissuade people from seeking or accepting help. Hand in hand with those in recovery, the families, friends, neighbors, and staffs of innumerable treatment and recovery programs share their successes, insights, achievements, and goals to deepen and strengthen the ever-expanding network of advocates for long term recovery. To share in the inspiring experiences of a few of the thousands who are living their recovery story out loud with joy and pride, offering their stories as beacons to present and future seekers and healers, click here and read stories or watch videos made by Recovery Month supporters.

At this time of the year, the world slows just a bit, drawing back into itself the wealth of energy and development of the spring and summertime. So it is in the recovery community, as well. Recovery is itself an action of harvest: reaching out and both bringing in and offering back the wealth of resources grown of individual and shared experience. Our communities, families, and friends are nourished by the opportunities and passions we share in support of one another’s vibrant mental and physical health. In the words of Sunday Adelaja, “There is a harvest field you cannot reap alone” – we are that field, and even as our process and progress toward recovery may be private, Recovery Month reminds us that we need never go it alone.