I’m The Evidence



Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons by Maine Alliance of Addiction Recovery (MAAR)

Last week I completed an important step toward becoming an advocate and coach for others in recovery. The seeds were planted here.

I attended a Peer Recovery Coach Academy sponsored by a local non-profit recovery advocacy organization. I got to know twelve amazing people with the common goal of helping others achieve and maintain the freedom we’ve found. We were led by expert trainers who generously shared their passion and knowledge.

Let me just say that, as grateful as I was for this opportunity, it came at a most inconvenient time. In the wake of my mom’s death I’ve been working through a steady onslaught of family issues, and I’ve missed a lot of work. Fortunately, in recovery I’ve developed the ability to establish priorities and keep promises, even when it’s uncomfortable. This was a promise I made to myself last year and I’m so happy I honored it.

At the end of the week, each of us presented our “elevator” speeches. These are statements we learned to create describing who we are in relation to long-term recovery. This is the current version of mine:

“My name is Ginny and I’m a person in long-term recovery, which means that I haven’t had a drink since December 24, 2011. My dad modeled long-term recovery for me. I’m now able to be a role model for my three sons and other family members, and enjoy a mutually supportive marriage. Recovery has taught me that it’s never too late to build a more meaningful life, and the capacity for change lives in everyone. I’m inspired to carry on my mom’s legacy of service to others. For me, that means supporting people like me who seek change and better lives through recovery.”

One of my classmates shared that in another group she was offered the title of I.T.E., which stands for “I’m The Evidence”. I’m grateful beyond words to have had the opportunity to get to know L.K. and all the others at the Academy. The world has just gained a small army of people equipped to venture forth and present evidence of hope to those in need.