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Recovery Month 2022

September is National Recovery Month which recognizes people in recovery from addition (and often mental health, but this is mainly focused on addiction). Each day of the month in September, I follow the trend of posting a picture on social media that represents what recovery looks like for me. I decided I’ll post some of them here, and give a sentence or two of what it means to me. Tbh, I have an entire album on my phone titled, ‘my why’. It’s filled of pictures that are my reasons to stay healing, avoid relapsing, and avoiding self harm and suicide. Some of the pictures are obvious, like family, friends, and places. Some are not so obvious, like a rock on the ground and a picture on a wall. There are always powerful stories behind both kinds of pictures, and I find myself scrolling through the pictures often as a coping skill. It hasn’t failed me yet, even when guilt and dark thoughts creep in while looking at the pictures.

This was me at 8 years old. I had already experimented with substances at this age and had significant trauma.
This was a gift that a past participant of mine gave me. When I first met them, they were homeless and severely struggling. I was able to get them connected to services and they have been able to find housing, maintain recovery, and are in a management role in their job.
Left: Matt, Right: Thomasi. These two were my closest friends. They both unfortunately lost their lives from an overdose. Matt rented a room from me for a few years and Thomasi was constantly over. We all hung out together and I picture them together in spirit as they listen to live music, practice graffiti art, and telling jokes.
This was on International Overdose Awareness Day in 2021(maybe 2020). There was a new statue being placed to represent loved ones who lost their lives to an overdose. Many of my friends names are on the statue. When they finished revealing it, I looked up and there was a rainbow only above where the statue was being housed.
This was cut out from a folder I had in prison. On the front, I had to write my name and inmate number. On the back, I decided to write a 1 year goal to have when released from prison. This goal came true and I became a counselor shortly after graduation.

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