By Brandee Izquierdo, Executive Director, SAFE Project
As a person in long-term Recovery from substance use disorder and mental health challenges, I tend to gravitate towards those with similar lived experience. There’s a powerful connection to those who have shared the struggles and triumphs of recovery.
Yet, through both my personal and professional journey, I’ve come to realize that I can also share the struggles and triumphs with others who have different life experiences. These “others” are not so different at all. As a matter of fact, they are our biggest supporters who want to see us thrive and flourish.
They are our “Recovery Allies”.
They are moms and dads, siblings, and other family members as well as friends and loved ones. They are people in our community, neighbors, our coworkers, our treatment providers, law enforcement officers, and so many more. We use the term, “Recovery Ally” often but what does that really mean personally to an Ally? So, I asked and here’s what I received.
Welcome to SAFE Project’s “I am a Recovery Ally because…” Initiative. This initiative demonstrates why our allies are standing up and showing their support. They are in our corner, working together with us to stop the addiction fatality epidemic. As a person in long-term recovery I pledge to embrace my recovery allies, walk hand-in-hand with them, seize every opportunity to both learn and teach one another, and honor them with compassion and dignity. Together, we can and do recover!
I am a Recovery Ally because…
I stand beside those who are in recovery and understand this is a lifelong journey.
I believe in the power of recovery and human connection.
I support a strengths-based and person-centered approach.
I support those seeking freedom from addiction.
I encourage, support, and love unconditionally.
I believe in the potential of all people and the gifts we can share with the world.
I fight and educate myself and others to end stigma.
I help other families avoid the tragedy that happened to my family.
Loving my parents means having unlimited second chances.
I believe substance use disorders are not a choice.
I have learned, through my experience, how quickly and innocently addiction takes control of your life.
I believe substance use disorder is a disease and needs to be treated with the same level of compassion and support as other diseases.
It is important to me to provide support to others trying to navigate substance use disorder.
I want others to believe in their recovery even if they don’t, yet, believe in themselves.
I remind people that recovery is possible and there are many paths to recovery.
I know that a failing system will fail everyone.
I advocate for resources and systems that offer long term recovery support.
I share stories of recovery, so people do not feel alone in their journey.
I empower people who have faced addiction to share their story.
Addiction does not discriminate, so neither will I.
Everyone who struggles or has struggled deserves to have the life they dream of no matter what!
Click the button below to download the Recovery Ally Pledge:
Whether you are in recovery, love someone in recovery, or help your community or campus, I ask each of you to take the Recovery Ally Pledge! Working Together we are force multipliers making a difference!
Join us on Twitter and Facebook to tell us what being a Recovery Ally means to you. You can also download a copy of the pledge here for display.