By Naami Resnick, M.S., LGPC, NCC
Recovery is a word that gets thrown around a lot. Someone can recover from an illness. A person can recover an item they’ve lost. In the world of addictions, recovery is the healing process. The difference is, in a different context recovery has a beginning and an end. When it comes to recovery from an addiction, it is an ongoing, ever evolving process. It’s more of a verb then a noun. The recovery process is the slow trek back from isolation, disconnection from self, to community, love and hope. Recovery is a person’s journey back to themselves. Substance Use Disorder (SUD) shows up in many ways. One thing it generally has in common though is that it isolates people. As people descend into SUD, they lose their sense of self. The substance becomes central to their daily routines. It becomes their why. At the same time, they slowly become disconnected from what formerly gave their lives meaning. Relationships, spiritual practices, work – they can’t compete with the high. So, almost without noticing, the isolation grows. September is Recovery Month, so I thought it would be appropriate to talk about what recovery means. Then I realized, it means something different to every individual. Each person’s journey looks different and contains its own unique challenges. However, there are some ways to support recovery that can be shared.
- Refrain from judgement. Recovery is truly a process. There are ups and downs, and good days and bad days. There are also bad days and worse days. We don’t always see the full picture and remaining non-judgmental is the best course of action.
- Let the individual know you care. Express your support. If you’re thinking about them, let them know. Even if you don’t really know what to say, connecting can be a powerful support.
- Educate yourself. There is so much information available. If a family member or loved one is using terms you don’t recognize, that can make you feel distanced from them. Close that gap! There is a wealth of information available.
JCS offers a service for families of individuals with substance use disorders. The JCS Family Navigator helps family members get the information, support, and resources they need to cope with the stressors and challenges they may experience in response to their loved one’s struggles with the disease. Learn more about the Family Navigator program at jcsbalt.org/sudservices or contact: Naami Resnick, LGPC, NCC at 410-843-7460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of September’s National Recovery Month, Jewish Community Services is partnering with Baltimore organizations on two free online programs to raise awareness about the impact of substance use, abuse, and addiction.
On SEPTEMBER 15 AT 7:00 PM, ADDICTION DURING RESTRICTION: FAMILIES NAVIGATING RECOVERY IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 will feature a moderated conversation among individuals with substance use disorders, family members, and professionals about the ways in which the stress, uncertainty, and isolation of the Coronavirus pandemic have created unique risks and challenges for people affected by Substance Use Disorder. For Zoom link, visit bit.do/sudCOVID
On SEPTEMBER 22 AT 7:00 PM, OF SUBSTANCE: A VIRTUAL STOOP STORYTELLING EVENT will feature real people sharing stories of how their lives were changed by drugs and alcohol — the thrills, the perils, the regrets, and the struggles. Their stories may be funny, sad, or serious, but they are all true. There will also be a special musical performance by Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, American Idol Top 10 Finalist. The program will stream on Facebook Live. For more information: bit.do/stoop-ofsubstance.
Naami Resnick, M.S., LGPC, NCC is a JCS Family Navigator
JCS provides individuals and families throughout Central Maryland with a broad array of services and resources for emotional and behavioral health, aging and caregiving, parenting, job seeking, financial stability, and living with disabilities. To learn how JCS can help you live your best life, please visit jcsbalt.org or call 410-466-9200.