Did you know September is National Recovery Month? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes this month as “a national observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible.” 

At Emmaus House, we’re proud to be a part of the community that offers transitional and affordable housing to men in recovery in an effort to see them be strong in their recovery and live independently again. And each September, we rally to elevate and listen to the voices and stories of the men we’re so privileged to serve.

This year we asked a few of our participants to answer the question: “What is one thing you think people don’t know about addiction/recovery that you wish they did?” Here are their powerful responses. 

Withdrawals and cravings can be awful. When an addict goes into withdrawals, they can have sweats, vomiting, shaking bad, all sorts of wicked side effects. When I have bad withdrawals, all I can think about is how to fix the problem. I have to walk, run, anything to change the thought.” – Richard 

“I wish people understood how painful it is to be judged by our worst moments. I am not the sum of my worst moments, I am something more. I have a Mother and a daughter and real people who love me and whom I love also. I have made some horrible choices but I am not a bad person. I love and care and create and bring substance and meaning to the lives of those around me.”  – Seth 

“I think people don’t know that you can be on medication and still be in recovery. As long as you still attend meetings are actively involved in the AA or NA meetings you are still in recovery. Some people don’t think people who are on medications can be in recovery and that they are still getting high and or using, but I do believe as long as you are using your sponsor and staying involved with AA or NA you are in recovery.”  – Joshua 

“One thing I wish the public/families knew about recovery is that recovery is a process! It can be very frustrating when a friend/brother/sister/son/daughter relapses. But the hard truth is sometimes (although hopefully not) relapse is a necessity to sustain long-term recovery. ‘Some quicker than others.’” – Jacob

“When I first entered recovery most of my family and friends thought my addictions and use were just a choice. At the time I also felt the same way. It was by getting sober and working the steps that I learned that it is a disease and something that is bigger than I am. By obtaining and maintaining sustained recovery I am showing them that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.” – David 

We believe our work is a critical stepping stone in the journey of recovery and envision a future where all people have a safe place to recover

This National Recovery Month, we invite you to help that vision become a reality by investing in our work at Emmaus House. Join us today as we continue the fight to improve the lives of men in recovery – men just like Richard, Seth, Joshua, Jacob, and David