UK Recovery Month 2015

The 26th International Recovery Month now draws to a close which saw people across the UK organising at least 150 local events from Aberdeen to Bristol celebrating the fact that recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs is a lived reality in their lives (compared to around 100 events in 2014).

The highlight of Recovery Month in the UK, and the largest gathering of people in recovery in Europe, is the annual UK Recovery Walk. This year the 7th UK Recovery Walk was held in Durham, writing another chapter in the history of addiction recovery in the UK. At the recovery, spirituality and families conference in Durham Cathedral the day before the walk and the walk itself on Saturday 12th September, we went some way in the North East and across the UK to challenging the social stigma attached to addiction experienced by families, organisations, fellowship programs , neighbourhoods, and whole communities. Many of us have, for too long, knelt with bowed heads, not in humility or prayer, but in shame.

The UK Recovery movement has matured further this year during International Recovery Month. As in our personal recovery, masks of arrogance and intolerance give way to greater humility and acceptance and as a movement overall we have celebrated greater unity in strength and experienced greater strength in unity inspiring our friends and allies in Australia and South Africa to take their respective movements forward too .

When we learn in recovery about accepting the imperfection in ourselves, it becomes easier to forgive what we see as imperfections in others, some of which later become understood not as imperfections but difference. We celebrate with FAVOR every year that differences cease to be a threat, and we experience true joy for another whose pathway of recovery is different than our own.

During International recovery month we had the opportunity to publicise that when we stop claiming that our way is the TRUE way and instead claim only that it works today for us & celebrate all the pathways to recovery.

There have been many people who have worked tirelessly all over the UK to make sure recovery month events went off without a hitch but with much fun and many games, with many people gaining new skills and friends along the way. It’s fantastic to see it go from strength to strength. With the conference and with the 7th UK recovery walk in Durham this year – many of the people of the North East got to know, see and feel what recovery is.

As a charity we are grateful for that and even more so for how the people of the North East worked with, cared and loved us at the charity. It has been a superb year and we will desperately miss you all. Next year’s UK Recovery Walk will be held in Halton. We are also now open to notes of interest and applications for the hosting of  The UK Recovery Walk in 2017 – see here for more details.

Our sincerest and deepest gratitude goes to every single person here in the UK & across the world that played a role in International Recovery Month this year.