Recovery has given me a life worth living, and I am beyond grateful for that. Today I am able to show up for my life and be present which was not the case when I was using. When I was in the grips of my addiction, I was incapable of showing up to anything! Last week, I had the joy of watching my daughter graduate from preschool (see adorable picture above). My daughter was so proud and I was too. She belted out songs such as “Ready to go Off to Kindergarten,” presented her teacher with flowers, and walked across the stage with such confidence when she received her “diploma.”
Although graduating preschool may be not be a big deal to some, I was just so very proud of my daughter at her graduation ceremony. Still today, I am filled with gratitude to be able to be a mother and watch my little girl grow up (and she grows far too quickly I must add). Graduation - even from preschool - is an amazing accomplishment!
Recovery is a bit different from a preschool graduation ceremony. Recovery is a life-long process. Recovery is ongoing and there is no “graduating” in recovery. Although not using drugs and alcohol for one day, thirty days, ninety days, one year or even ten years are amazing accomplishments, there will never be a day that I can say, “I have officially graduated and don’t need recovery anymore.” I will always need a program of recovery in my life that includes a higher power and healthy relationships with other people that are also recovering.
The unfortunate reality is that very few people maintain a program of recovery after leaving treatment. This is one of the many reasons why Julie Funkhouser and I founded The Recovery Connection. If “treatment” and “recovery” is a life-long process, we need to start treating it as such and provide long-term programming, housing and recovery related services for those that struggle with addiction. Recovery is a life-long journey that I am grateful to be a part of. Remember, there is no graduation date in recovery. I try to stay resilient, stay focused and “keep on keeping on,” one day at a time. Although there is not a graduation ceremony in recovery, the gifts of recovery are so worth it!
Written by Meredith Speir , Co-Founder & COO of The Recovery Connection