September is National Recovery Month. For those of us who have been through it, recovery and staying sober can be a daily battle. Some of us have stumbled along the way – according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates for addictive diseases are generally between 40 and 60 percent – and some people have sadly fallen back down the rabbit hole, unable to get back out.
So, what’s the key to effective recovery? There isn’t one easy answer, but statistics show that individuals who seek in-patient or out-patient treatment followed by a year of aftercare (such as AA and other support/therapy) have a 90 percent chance of remaining sober and having a successful, lifelong recovery. Like other diseases, addiction can be managed, with hard work and the support of loved ones. And for those of you who have endured the struggle, sought help and maintained sobriety, you should be pretty darn proud of your incredible accomplishment.
So, the next few weeks are focused on celebrating you and the steps you’ve taken to regain control of your life. And you deserve it. Why?
Because you recognized that you had an uncontrollable addiction that was negatively affecting your life.
Because you had the strength and humility to admit this to others and ask for help.
Because you endured the difficult emotional and physical processes of withdrawal.
Because you have set, and stuck to boundaries.
Because you have battled through temptation, triggers and negative situations to stay sober.
Because even when you’ve faced setback and fallen, you’ve brushed yourself off, gritted your teeth and started over.
Because you have worked hard to rebuild relationships in your life.
Because you have regained responsibility, achievement and productivity.
Because you have overcome some of the most difficult obstacles in your life to become a better person.
Let’s all raise a glass (of a non-alcoholic beverage, of course) to all of our brothers and sisters who are celebrating years, months, weeks or even just days of sobriety and recovery. Congratulations and remain strong.