For the last few years September has been the time for many former addicts or alcoholics, now in recovery, to face a dilemma. Since 2011 September has been designated as Recovery Month in the UK following the example of the United States which has been celebrating recovery in this way since 1998.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in this country whose lives have been transformed through alcohol or drug rehab and are enjoying the benefits of life without drink or drugs. Many of those people and the organisations that have helped them into and throughout their detox programme recovery want to celebrate their accomplishments together. As understandable as that clearly is, the fact that much of that celebration is in public is the very cause of the dilemma. Wearing a recovery badge and taking part in events like public recovery marches, although highly commendable, is not for all.
Nobody is obliged to tell anybody that they are in recovery; the freedom that comes from release from addiction to drink and drugs brings with it a freedom to decide who and what to tell. In the early days of recovery or alcohol addiction help, an alcoholic is often told that he need not keep his position secret because “those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind”. As the years go by circumstances often change and it is up to each individual whether he or she wants their workmates, employers or new acquaintances know this aspect of their past. The recovering addict may have become a parent while in recovery and it is entirely up to that parent to decide what their children are told. There are many social and family events put on by organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and similar groups that offer support for families of alcoholics and addicts. For others there needs to be a degree of separation between their preferred 12 step fellowship and their private and family life.
My hope is that Recovery Month continues to go from strength to strength and if it gives hope to one person struggling with addiction it has served a useful and important purpose. At the same time let us respect the rights of those in recovery who, for their own valid reasons, do not wish to take any part in the celebrations.
Are concerned about your own or a loved one’s relationship with addiction, take a look at our alcohol detox page or private drug rehab page. Alternatively, you can call the Providence Projects private rehab on 0800 955 09 45 for more information.