The month of May is so often celebrated with triumphant victories of Graduations and celebration. What parent hasn’t been proud to watch their child be acknowledged for these great accomplishments? So how much MORE important is it that family give the same respect and honor to their loved one’s success in the daily triumphs against the disease of addiction. What I’m referring to here is the difference between being “ashamed” to have been to treatment, embarrassed to share what should be the GREATEST of all victories.

There’s a saying in the program, “half measures avail us nothing.” This is the reality and the truth on our journey through recovery and onto discovery. Treatment is the beginning of a life-makeover, a drastic NOT-subtle change! Everything must shift for the changes to solidify and roots to anchor. Sheltering this new growth will result in failure to thrive and ultimately death. Such is our journey. Embrace it with pride, as it is a victory of life!

The mindset that still finds more alignment with the old lifestyle and old using friends and family members, is not one that will foster a lifestyle of recovery. Recovery must be the priority, above all else, because without it, we have gained nothing! All the life skills and new coping mechanisms that were gained throughout the course of treatment must be practiced in order to have staying power.

So the message I share is don’t be ashamed of your recovery (or of your loved one’s recovery). Don’t expose them to parties where alcohol and drugs are present. Don’t use in front of someone, even if they say it “won’t bother them” or “that wasn’t what my problem was, so it’s okay.” That is NOT okay! Especially in the first 12 months of early recovery, where 80% are likely to stumble.

Recovery is a VICTORY to be proud of, to honor and lift up into the light–NOT keep tucked away like a dirty little secret. Celebrate this gift of a new life with all the respect it truly deserves!

Until next time!
Dr. Kramer