What does Recovery Month mean?

September 30, 2020
Emily Carstairs

September is Recovery Month and today is Recovery Day … But, what does that mean?

It means whatever it means to you as an individual. Recovery is a highly subjective experience and it is important to have your own definition of the term that helps you get to where you want to be and to reach the place where you can achieve your goals.

As Ryan McGlaughlin, Executive Officer of SMART Recovery Australia states, “Recovery is whatever people want it to be. At SMART Recovery Australia we encourage people to set their own recovery goals. We advocate any recovery pathway that works for the individual. If people experience positive change, we’re all for that.”

While the notion of recovery can vary across countries and cultures, Kim McCreanor, Executive Officer of SMART Recovery International says, “Recovery is about freedom. Being free to live a life beyond addiction. SMART empowers people to find their freedom.”

No one else can tell you how to recover, feel happy or feel proud of yourself … that’s your call and ultimately your personal success.

Recovery Month is about reflection, motivation and aspiration for each person involved to reach or celebrate their stage of recovery. This may be the person with issues of concern, family, friends, colleagues or the professionals helping along the way.

Recovery is about personal choices and about being proactive within the scope of your own life. There are many people surrounding you to give you advice and suggestions but ultimately it’s all up to you.

A very important thing to remember is that this month and this cause is the time to think about all the things you want to move past and to allow yourself to feel supported in the future.

This month is relevant for all issues of concern including drinking, drugs, eating, smoking, gambling, sex addiction, and more. People all around you are dealing with their own behaviours of concern, so Recovery Month shouts out to all those people that are walking the recovery walk – whatever path that might be.

Recovery is about choice and taking control of your behaviour. Different routes work for each person in alternate ways. Whether it be cutting back, abstinence or seeking help from others – all these methods are equally valued, accepted and successful for different people.

Here at SMART Recovery Australia, we focus on giving people the option to manage their own path. We believe in harm minimisation and in empowering the individual.

Recovery has a wide scope, a wide spectrum. There are so many stories and so many different roads that people can go down, whether they choose it or not.

For all those people that have reached their personal state of recovery, we are all so proud and happy for you, and you should be too.

If you are not where you want to be yet, don’t worry because setting goals, being kind to yourself, and utilising support networks can help you get there.

Let’s not forget the phenomenal treatment professionals that have helped pave this road to recovery for so many people but also for continually helping the ones that are still walking that path and are still on the journey. This also includes our wonderful peer facilitators, who have championed their own addictive behaviours and are now using their lived experience to give back and help others. Thank you from us all – you are changing lives every day.

Remember that there is an inspiring and important point to keep in mind … ‘Life beyond addiction.’

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