September Kicks Off National Recovery Month
National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.
Recovery Month also celebrates the gains made by those in recovery from substance use and mental health, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.
Each September, Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.
Congratulations, Ashleigh on over 2 years and 9 months, drug and alcohol free!!!
RECOVERY LOOKS AMAZING ON YOU!
Ashleigh got clean on the screen, and is one of our favorite virtual recovery ambassadors. Ashleigh is very active in her recovery. She attends meetings regularly online, and gives back by hosting meetings, and reaching out to newcomers. Ashleigh is engaged to a first responder, and is the proud mama of two adorable furballs; a cat and a dog, who are best friends :-)
MY STORY FOR NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH
The Judge Granted Me A Second Chance At A New Beginning
by Susan Wagenaar, CCR Founder
I was hiding-out from the law! I was in violation of probation behind an addiction, that had me in its steely grip. Despite the avalanche of negative consequences that I was experiencing, and the high probability that I might end up incarcerated for a couple of years (which scared me!) I continued using drugs daily, until my arrest.
Going public about this dark chapter of my life has taken deep self-introspection and courage, to rip off the veil and admit, that alcohol and drugs nearly destroyed my life, and turned me into someone I didn't recognize.
My big a-ha moment came in the form of a judge in Colusa County. I think of the Honorable Judge Jeffrey E. Thompson often, with deep respect and gratitude for what he gave me -- a second chance at a new beginning, by re-instating my probation, instead of sending me to prison.
Like so many of us, who arrive at the threshold of recovery, I needed a supportive hand to guide me through the recovery process. I feel fortunate that when I walked into Colusa County Health and Human Services seeking HELP that a compassionate social worker helped me. That beautiful soul 'Gricelda' is truly one of Colusa County's unsung heroes and a fundamental part of my recovery story.
I would also like to acknowledge Colusa County Behavioral Health Services and my indomitable Obi-Wan Kenobi's (i.e., My therapist - Susan, FSP case manager - Mayra, my drug counselor - Terri, and Valarie at Safe Haven.) This amazing team of caring professionals helped me overcome negative thinking patterns, develop coping skills, and build personal resilience. May the FORCE be with you!
Lastly, I wish to publicly thank Colusa County’s Department Of Probation, particularly my former Probation Officer, Kimberly Oliva, for keeping me accountable, and for being a positive influence in my life. Seeing Officer Oliva, through a sober lens, made an impact on me. I stopped resenting authority, and started valuing agencies and individuals, who are committed to our rural communities; public health, safety, and welfare.
I have been in recovery for over three years. I'm a productive member of society, who wakes up every morning, GRATEFUL for another day clean. Today, I like who I am.
Want to see more, before and after photos? Click here
MY RECOVERY STORY
24 Years In Recovery
Proof Recovery Works
My name is Darren, and I am a person in long-term recovery. I have been in recovery for 24 years! I couldn’t have imagined that when I was new. Now I can’t imagine not being in recovery. What a gift this has been for me and my family.
There have been ups and downs, however, I would not have gotten through them, if not for being in recovery. I have wonderful friends, who are also in recovery. I can laugh and enjoy myself without a mood-altering substance.
I am able to look at myself every day, and be proud of who I am, and my accomplishments, and be humble too.
Recovery works. I am proof of that, and it didn’t hurt a bit!
Mike is active in his recovery. He had a set-back in 2022 but is on the right path and taking it - one day at a time. He lives in Colusa County and is a contributing editor, and friend of CCR. Mike is a disabled, sober veteran, whose contributions to reducing the stigma associated with addiction, and mental health, have not gone unnoticed in our rural community. Mike enjoys spending time with his kids, playing the guitar, and interacting with others in recovery. Oh yeah, his dog is super cute!
Meet Recovery Ambassador
Hey there! I'm an alcoholic. Took me a while to come to terms with that, to see I had a problem. I've been sober for 838 days! I used alcohol as my medicine to deal with everything I've seen as a firefighter/EMT for 20 years. My time as a correctional officer, and the pain of my failed marriages and relationships. What I thought was helping, was really hurting me physically and mentally.
When I quit, I was drinking a fifth and a pint of vodka every night. Ending up most nights crying wishing I could give it up. It was my best friend, and my worst enemy wrapped up in one.
Thank God I got cellulitis in my leg. I went to the ER for that. The admitting doctor saw the shakes, and asked how much I really drank. I told her, and she put me on withdrawal meds. An addiction counselor who himself had been sober for 15 years came and talked to me. That was my rock bottom. The push I needed to quit. I was in there for 5 days on withdrawal meds most of the time. Been sober ever since.
I'm sharing my recovery story because if you're trying to get sober, or thinking about it? There is hope. Reach out!
Spotlight On Recovery
“The first picture is of me in full blown meth and heroin/fentanyl addiction. Yes, I know the picture is raw and gross but this is REAL ADDICTION. A daily look of me at my lowest. Today, I celebrate 6 months clean and sober . Today, I can wake up every morning and I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to make it through the day. Today, I don’t have to worry about if I’m going to end up in jail. Today, I’m holding down a full time job without missing work. Today, I’m living on my own for the first time in my life. Today, I’m beyond happy with my life and don’t want to die every day. Today, I don’t cry all day every day. HAPPY 6 MONTHS TO ME!” source: FB Group
I spent 20 years in a dark place using meth, destroying every relationship I ever had. Took me spending 2 years of my life in prison to see the right path. Thank you mom for always believing I had it in me!!!! You'll always be missed!!! 34 years sober when you passed, I will hit that mark!!!
2 years and 1 month today (8/25).