Monday Motivation: Road to Recovery

You are not defined by your past. You are defined by your present, your future, and what you choose to do with it
— Unknown

Angie G. is a recovering alcoholic who had dealt with mental illness for years. She claims her recovery started with the simple awareness that she has a problem and that solutions existed. Angie knew since high school that she had to confront her problems with bipolar disorder (manic depression), recurring depressive episodes, and most of all: her love affair with booze. 

Alcohol was always hanging around. It was the "norm" for her; normal for the entire community, she claims. But what she thought was an illusive escape from all of her problems, eventually left her delusional and hopeless.

One day, the single mother realized that her issues had come to a climax when she found herself systemically "contemplating how we (her family) could all leave this world together" (Johnson, 2017). Luckily a phone call to a close friend saved this entire family's lives. The friend quickly arrived with a babysitter to assist her in caring for Angie's three children.

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Alcohol was not my problem that night– it was supposed to be my solution. It failed at being the solution and almost made a bad situation much worse.
— Angie G.

After realizing the extent that she had gone through to "cover up" the issues over the past few decades, Angie sought help from a mental healthcare provider. She enlisted in counseling and began antidepressant medication to help manage her symptoms. 

Looking back, that state of hopelessness seems strangely amazing, because once there is nothing left, then anything is possible. I couldn’t see it that day, but if you are at that point it’s the most pivotal point in your life. From then on, it could only get better... Change has to start with awareness
— Angie G.

Tackling Addiction, Again:

When faced with a severe illness, Angie found herself in the face of addiction once again. Weening and detoxing was no easy task. She states that by running often, cleaning up her diet, and continuously challenging herself through higher education, Angie was able to bring herself to new heights.

There are so many different ways to recover, so many different paths, and so much misinformation about mental health disorders and substance use disorders. One thing is (in my opinion) essential and that is self-awareness. Be connected to yourself and be connected to something greater than yourself, whether it be universe, God, nature, anything you are able to fully connect to.
— Angie G.

Where is she now?:

Today, Angie is using her experiences to help others. She has set up a non-profit organization that assists communities in becoming "recovery ready," which is preparing to treat those who seek recovery within the community. She enjoys her life more and finds purpose in providing help to those who need it. She encourages everyone to remember that no one person's story or struggle will ever be the same and this means that their recovery process will also vary.


You must believe in yourself and also believe that recovery is possible. Finding support in family, friends, support organizations, and sometimes even just the neighbor walking down the street, can help guide you towards a path of new success. Like Angie, many individuals battling recovery do find comfort in giving support to others suffering from similar issues, ailments, or disorders. You are not in this alone!


Sources:

Johnson, S. (2017, January 18). Change Starts with Awareness. Retrieved March 09, 2017, from http://heroesinrecovery.com/stories/change-starts-with-awareness/

Motivational Quotes About Recovery. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2017, from http://quotesgram.com/motivational-quotes-about-recovery/