Recover Out Loud & Share Your Story

By Kelly Fitzgerald Junco & Lisa Wall | SHE RECOVERS® Foundation

“When we’re ready we recover out loud so that other women can find and join our movement.” ~ SHE RECOVERS Intention & Guiding Principle

Happy and content black women sitting in a garden
Recovery Month is a great time to recover out loud in a way that works for you. As Canadian author, Ann Voskamp potently states “shame dies when stories are told in safe places.” We encourage anyone who wishes to share their experience of recovery to find a space and community where they feel most supported in this courageously vulnerable endeavor. We have come to learn that our shared stories hold the power to spread hope and save lives. We also know it can be tough to get started so we have developed a few recovering out loud tips to help you along the way!

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. If you choose to recover out loud on social media be sure to use our hashtag so we can amplify your voice! #SHERECOVERSOutLoud

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.

Recovering individual:

“My name is Lisa. I am a person in long-term recovery which for me means I have been focusing on healing my codependency, workaholism, and trauma since 2002.”
“My name is Taylor and I am in recovery from alcohol, drugs, and grief. I am grateful to be able to recover out loud today.
“My name is Nelly. I am a woman in recovery, which for me means I have been free from all mood and mind-altering substances since 2013. What helps me is connecting with other women and attending trauma-informed meetings online.”
“My name is Linda. I am in recovery from a little bit of everything. I found support and healing through SHE RECOVERS and I’m here to talk if you ever need to.”
“I am Ezra and I am a member of the SHE RECOVERS community. If you are curious about or seeking recovery, please reach out.”

Recovery Advocate/Supporter:

“I am Kelly and I am a supporter of someone in recovery. If you need support, please reach out.”
“I am Alex. Someone I love is in recovery and I’m so proud of them. They’ve found help through SHE RECOVERS and you might too.”
“I am Dez and I am a recovery advocate. Recovery is near and dear to my heart. By speaking openly about recovery we can smash the stigma and encourage others to get help. Here is a list of resources for anyone who might need them.”
Remember, we are rooting for you, always. You are courageous. Your story matters. Your voice has the power to empower others to find recovery. You are amazing.

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.

BetterHelp.com: The World’s Largest Online Therapy Service

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