September is recovery month! What does that mean exactly? Recovery month? These days there seems to be a card for everything, a week to celebrate something or other and a national day for something else. Indeed in the last 6 months I have stumbled across ‘Jazz Appreciation Month’ ‘National Stop Snoring Week’ and the even lesser known ‘National Pig Day’
In my years at Aquarius I have spoken to many people about overcoming their addiction, most can tell me exactly how long they have been clean or sober. So from the point at which you gave up your addiction, you’re in recovery? It’s not like being in hospital and recovering from having your tonsils out, there is not an ending to this stage in life. Temptation will always be there so for every day you make the choice not to drink or do drugs, you are continuing your recovery.
So I thought to myself, why have a month to make a point of this? Surely it should be recovery year if it is happening every day? But then most countries across the world and most cities in the UK have a gay pride parade/day, for those who recognise themselves as LGBT it is an opportunity to celebrate their choice and in the case of the UK that they are recognised as having equal rights? Then we have world AIDs day in December, AID’s is not a nice disease, so what is the point of having a day to recognise it?
Then I got to thinking how it would be if we took these away, would people remember to talk about AIDs and donate to charities to help support people with it, to pay for treatments and researching a cure? Gay pride, if that went away then like minded people would not be able to meet up and celebrate their freedoms and that their lifestyle choices are recognised.
Recovering from an addiction is often not talked about enough, it is not in the same league as cancer; “I’m recovering from breast cancer” or “My Dad had Leukaemia but he’s in recovery now” is something talked about openly without embarrassment, and indeed said and celebrated with pride.
So what about recovery month, so many events take place, for example the recovery walk takes place in Manchester this year. Over 5000 people turned up to the walk in Birmingham last year, that is 5000 like minded people who are proud to be in recovery or are supporting their loved ones who are. What a fantastic opportunity to celebrate it, “look at me I did it wow” and quite right we should be proud and shout from the rooftops! So this is why we need recovery month, we cannot possibly have people shouting from rooftops every single day for a year, recovery is continuous but for this one month we can really shout loud and proud about our achievements and inspire others to take their first step towards giving up and entering recovery.