September is the 32nd anniversary of National Recovery Month. It is a time to celebrate those in recovery and support new evidence-based practices within the field of addiction. This year’s theme is, “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, and Every Community.” While it is important to remember that addiction does not discriminate and can happen to anyone, it’s equally important to remember that people can recover from addiction, and that many of us are doing it every day.
I started using substances when I was 11 years old. During my active addiction, I had accepted the fact that I would not live past 30 and that was okay because, “only the good die young” and who wanted to grow old anyway. In my last couple of years of active use, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I was constantly filled with shame, remorse, hurt, fear, and disgust at who I was and what I had done. My relationships with family and friends were broken and I could be in a room full of people and feel absolutely alone.