A friend of mine recently said about recovery, “There is room around the table for everyone.” In the beginning, I wondered if I belonged at that table. I was 16 when I was first exposed to recovery and was just shy of my 19th birthday when I ultimately entered my recovery. In addition to addiction, I struggled with depression, thoughts of suicide, a history of cutting and burning myself, a childhood head injury, and an overwhelming sense of not belonging.
When I entered an inpatient treatment program in 1990, I was
confused and scared. I did not intend, plan, or expect to still be in
recovery years later. However, after I completed inpatient treatment, I
found people in recovery who guided me, supported me, and encouraged
I am grateful for my family for intervening early and providing
support and resources for me to seek help. Staying in recovery has
required continued involvement with peer-based recovery supports, and at
times, professional assistance.
As a result of being in recovery, I have a college education and a
meaningful career. I have rediscovered lost interests and broadened my
experiences, and I am blessed with the support and love of others in
recovery, as well as friends and family who support and believe in
Today, I belong around the table. -Chris
To view more stories like Chris's, visit the "Voices of Recovery" page on SAMHSA's Recovery Month website.