Why we celebrate National Recovery Month

Steps to prevent a relapseThose of us who work in the field of addiction hear a lot of sad stories. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 17 million Americans are dependent on alcohol. That’s 6.6% of the population. Nearly half of the adult population has a close friend or family member addicted to drugs. But those are not just numbers to us  — they are real people. People we know and care about die every year from liver disease or accidental overdoses.

However, we also have a lot to celebrate working in this field.  Fortunately, many of the sad stories that begin at Cumberland Heights have a happy ending. Millions have found freedom from drugs and alcohol and are living healthy, sober lives. They include close friends and family, strangers and even celebrities like Elton John, Rob Lowe, Jamie Lee Curtis and Edie Falco.

Many of our employees here at Cumberland Heights are celebrating recovery. We asked some of them what recovery means to them.

“In recovery, I gained a sound mind. I found peace. I became comfortable in my own skin,” said Kelly M.

Paul C. recalled a moment when he was newly sober. He said, “When the police pulled in behind me I knew I had not been drinking. I did not have any weed in the car or roaches in the ashtray. I felt a strange kind of joy that I was driving legal and had no worries of getting arrested. It was the first time I was worry-free in years.”

To Russ T., recovery meant getting his family back. He said, “I gained the love and acceptance of my two daughters that I left when they were 8-10 years old. In getting back with them, I was gifted the joy of watching my four grandchildren grow into wonderful people. Without sobriety, I wouldn’t have any of this.”

Long-term sobriety is not always easy. We asked some of our employees what made them continue working the program through the tough times.couple laughing

“My first year in recovery, I watched my sponsor die over the course of a week in ICU & my daughter was in foster care. I kept going to meetings, working the Steps & sticking close to other women because it was all I could think to do. I’d tried other forms of relief, all of which had failed, yet the Fellowship offered serenity among the chaos; I knew if I didn’t continue with the program, I’d lose everything or die,” said Lylly B.

Cinde S. simply said, “I looked at others in recovery and wanted what they had – peace of mind and serenity I saw in their faces.”

Alexis H. echoed that sentiment. She said, “What kept me coming back was watching other women who were just like me in the program living wonderful, useful lives.”

When asked what those in recovery gained in sobriety that was lost in active addiction, these were some of the answers.

1. Self-respect
2. My soul
3. Self-love
4. Joy
5. Participation in life
6. God
7. Peace
8. Myself
9. Custody of my child
10. Spirituality

If you are an Alumni of Cumberland Heights and too want to celebrate your recovery, please join us for the annual picnic. This year’s theme is the Sydnor Horn County Fair.