Join Us in Celebrating Recovery Month!

September 13, 2016

Recovery is Possible sign with a beach on background

As summer winds to a close, September ushers in National Recovery Month —  a time designed to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover.

Believe it or not, this celebration began 27 years ago! Yes, you read that correctly. We have been publicly acknowledging recovery success on a national level since 1989. If you are like many of us involved in treatment and recovery, you may be wondering as you read this, why the stigma still exists. We have awareness months for many health concerns from breast cancer to birth defects, yet a stigma and fear still surrounds the disease of addiction and recovery.

The time is now for us to attack this stigma head-on in the way we talk about recovery. It is not a monumental change, but change nonetheless. Great journeys begin with smalls steps. Recently, I have witnessed friends and colleagues sharing openly on social media about being in long term recovery, reminding everyone that people get well every day. The willingness of people to shed their own personal anonymity to carry the message of recovery with pride takes courage. To be a person in recovery, takes effort and determination, one day at a time. This is an accomplishment to be proud of, just as we as a nation celebrated our Olympic athletes, we too need to celebrate the accomplishments of our friends and family members in long term recovery.

Athletes do not make it to the Olympics without putting in work every day and people in recovery do not achieve their goals of recovery without making conscious choices, every day. Athletes do not make it to the top of their game without support and coaching. Long term recovery is not achieved without support and coaching too.

As we celebrate this important month and continue the work of lifting the stigma of addiction and recovery, I invite you to celebrate the triumphs of recovery, your success story, and the stories of your friends and families. Just as other groups have shared their pride, the recovery movement needs to step out with pride, embrace their truth, and take control of their narrative. Please join all of us at Fellowship Hall in proudly recognizing people in long term recovery not only during this important month, but every day until the stigma is erased.

kelly-scaggsClinical Director Kelly S.Scaggs, LCSW, LCAS, CCS, MAC, ICAADC has over 25 years of experience in behavioral health. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.