Recover Out Loud & Share Your Story
By Kelly Fitzgerald Junco & Lisa Wall | SHE RECOVERS® Foundation
1. Consider your audience
Will you share your story online in a Facebook post, an Instagram post, or a YouTube video? Will you be speaking to a broad audience or within a family group chat? Will this be written as a text message or just spoken one-on-one in person with a friend? Think about your audience while you compose your story, then decide what you’ll say and how much detail you’ll go into. It can be as short or long as you want it to be! Not sure if recovering out loud publicly is for you but still want to make an impact with your story? Join the SHE RECOVERS Your Story Series to hear and share inspiring stories of recovery in a community of like-hearted individuals. (Launching October 3, 2021).
2. Stay true to who you are
Remember all you have control over in this life is you. Your story can not only help you feel less alone, but it can help others know they have the ability to recover. Share whatever details you feel comfortable sharing. And these may change over time!
3. Choose your language
Language matters and can help others to feel seen and heard. When it comes to sharing your own recovery story, you get to choose what language makes you feel most empowered. You may want to consider choosing language and labels that can help reduce the stigma and discrimination often associated with addiction and recovery.
4. You may experience a vulnerability hangover
Showing the world your authentic self and recovering out loud takes courage. Remember that your voice and your story matter. As with so many things, people may have opinions on you and your story after you share it. You are not obligated to take feedback if you don’t want it. Remember sharing your story will help and inspire many people, even if some say they are surprised to hear it. Other people’s opinions won’t change your bravery and your power. Make sure you prioritize self-care and connect with people who understand. Signing off of social media, joining a SHE RECOVERS Together Gathering, and connecting with a trusted fellow traveler are some helpful options.
5. Keep your story trauma-informed
Trauma-dumping is a phenomenon where we may overshare the explicit details of past trauma in an unfiltered fashion. We want to be mindful not to re-traumatize ourselves or others while still being honest about our story. To do this, leave out specific details that bring you back to a traumatic event in real-time. Speak about how you are doing now and focus on your strengths.
6. Focus on your strengths and solutions
Sharing your story provides hope because people see a solution that worked. Highlighting your strengths in recovery and staying in the solution allows you to be the change that you’ve experienced, instead of living with shame, guilt, and other labels that may define your past.
7. Learn from like-hearted fellow travelers
There is no better way to learn about the experience of sharing your story than to hear, and be inspired by, the stories of like-hearted individuals traveling the path of recovery alongside you. The SHE RECOVERS yOUR Story Speaker series is a great way to listen and learn.
8. Dive deeper into storytelling as a tool for healing
Watch the #MentalHealthMonday replay of ‘The Healing Power of Storytelling in Community’ With Meghann Perry & Mary Strong. Explore the use of storytelling in both the personal and community-wide healing process and examine how that process works within the context of Recovery Storytelling, which utilizes the art form of live, personal narrative storytelling to unlock us from our single, self-limiting “Recovery Story.”
9. If you are ready to recover out loud…
Be sure to use the #SHERECOVERSOutLoud hashtag on social media for us to reshare and amplify your voice so that all women who are in or seeking recovery can find and join our movement.
Now that you’ve got some tips – here are real examples on how to self-identify and recover out loud that you can make your own.
If you aren’t ready to recover out loud, that’s ok too.
Sharing your story one-on-one with a therapist is a great place to start. SHE RECOVERS Partner BetterHelp provides a network of licensed, accredited, and experienced therapists who can help you with a range of issues including substance use, depression, anxiety, relationships, trauma, grief, loss, and more. Until December 31, 2021, BetterHelp is providing the SHE RECOVERS Community with a 35% discount on the first month of therapy. SHE RECOVERS is grateful to BetterHelp for making a $100,000 donation in support of our mission in 2021.