Happy summer to everyone!

I have to tell you; I love being in Recovery.  What does that even mean?  Most people haven’t heard the term since they aren’t in recovery so let me provide you with some information.  SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has developed a common, unified, working definition of Recovery that includes recovery from both substance use disorder and mental illness.  So here it is…”A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”  My definition of recovery is liking the person who looks back at me in the mirror every morning and knowing with complete conviction that no matter what, everything is going to work out.

SAMHSA goes on to say there are four major dimensions that support a life in recovery;

  • health
  • home
  • purpose
  • community

Not only that, there are 10 guiding principles to recovery, I will tell you that the first principle is hope, what a great place to start.  If you have suffered from any disease or situation that caused you to feel hopeless, believing there is hope is vital to beginning a journey back to health and wholeness.

Personally, I believe everyone should be in recovery even if one doesn’t suffer from  substance use  or mental illness.  I see so many people who are struggling with the “daily-ness” of life; add to that unresolved issues from the past and the present can feel overwhelming and hopeless.  Most don’t have a clear direction or set of instructions that can guide them on a journey back to wholeness.  Persons in recovery have faced their problem or illness and accepted it which is the first step.  I know it was for me.  Until I admitted I had a disease, the disease was in control, making life decisions for me without my awareness.  And then I would wonder why the same things kept on happening in my life and why I felt miserable.  When the lightbulb went off, things changed for the better!

In recovery

I found people that understood what I was going through because they had been there themselves.  I found tools to make changes in my life so I didn’t have to repeat old actions over and over again thereby getting the same debilitating outcomes.  Therefore, I truly felt freedom and joy.  Although I did have to work through overcoming some deeply held issues, there was support and love surrounding me.  In the end, it was all worth it.

Every September, SAMHSA sponsors National Recovery Month and there are events across the country celebrating Recovery.  Here in Fort Worth on Saturday, September 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fort Worth TAAP will host the Stampede to Recovery – Recovery in the Park 2016.  There will be food, speakers, games, prizes and more!  If you aren’t in recovery yourself, I can guarantee you know someone that is.

Help them celebrate hope, health and new found life.

And then the very next weekend in Dallas on Sunday, October 2, The Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA), Faces and Voices of Recovery and Texas Recovers will be the host this year for the “Big Texas Rally for Recovery“.  Faces & Voices of Recovery selects one city for each annual national hub event and this year it’s Dallas!  At the event, people in recovery, their families, friends and allies are encouraged to participate in civic life through voter registration and education and celebrate their growing visibility.  Events reflect the interests of the peer movement, organizers, providers and partners.  The event will combine family activities like face painting, music and great food with advocacy activities like opportunities to meet and speak with elected officials.  .

Make plans to attend both!  See you there!!

Remember, if you or someone you know needs help from substance use disorder or mental illness,  MHMR Tarrant’s ICARE call line is 800-866-2045.