Claudine Knox, MS, NCC
Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Lead Therapist, Crossroads Centre Antigua
Many people fall into the depths of despair during active addiction. As the disease worsens hope may be lost, and it seems like there’s no way out. As substance use increases, self-harm, and suicide sometimes feel like viable options. In the wise words of alumnus Esther R.’s father, “Money lost… nothing lost. Hope lost… everything lost.” Sadly, when hope is lost, suicide may seem like the only option, the only way to end the pain. Many recovering addicts and alcoholics have experienced the reality, the power, and the depth of this despair. For the ones who make it out and find recovery, there was an angel by their side. Someone, a coincidence, or miracle inspired hope in a priceless way. Who was your angel?
September is National Recovery Month. This is our time to be an angel of hope for someone who needs it. This is our time to Help Others Progress Empathetically towards recovery. HOPE is a great gift to offer someone at the beginning of their recovery journey. HOPE can be the difference between a miserable existence and freedom from the bondage of addiction. In the spirit of step 12 of the Alcoholics Anonymous program we can show others the way by carrying the message and modeling recovery. Can you think of someone with an inspiring recovery journey? I bet the answer is, “Yes!” Recovery works!
Many of our alumni came to Crossroads with just a glimmer of hope. On behalf of our team, it was a privilege to watch each of you grow, to see the hope build, to see the light return to your eyes. Through connection people heal, the shame slowly dissipates. Freedom from the bondage of addiction provides the opportunity to build personal strengths, to be more than one’s consequences, to be more than a disease.
Alas peace…or maybe not yet! Recovery is a journey and years of damage can’t be fixed in one month. HOPE is still needed. In unity there is support. There is tremendous value in providing a listening ear, in sitting with someone in their pain. To provide empathy we need not fix, there are no magic words, we just need to be there. When there are no words, simply, “Thank you for sharing that with me. I don’t know what to say, but I care about you.”
Recovery is also an opportunity to celebrate! Celebrate with gratitude each 24-hour sober. It’s a victory! Celebrate with sober fun. Embrace music, deep belly laughs, precious time with loved ones, old and new. Embrace childhood curiosity for new adventures, hobbies, and experiences. Celebrate in community. Humans are social beings. You are a valuable contributing member of your community. Grow in career, embrace talents, and build your recovery legacy! Together let’s celebrate National Recovery Month with HOPE.
Happy National Recovery Month!