Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month, an important month that many overlook.  Mental health specialists spend their days working for the good of others.  They attempt to prevent, treat, and transition into recovery those with addictions.  As a person currently in recovery for a self injury addiction, I find this to be a very important month.  In addition to National Recovery Month, it is also National Suicide Prevention Month.

With the many suicide prevention resources available, it's imperative for those who can to take action.  I find that many people will make a donation, join a walk, or wear a bracelet, but a lot of those same people won't take a moment to pass along important information.  It takes only a few seconds to Tweet or place a status on Facebook, but how many of your friends do you see doing this?  The more attention I pay to this, the more I notice that it is only a small percent of my Facebook friends and Twitter follows ever post about ways to help others.

One of the online movements that is near and dear to me is the Butterfly Project.  It encourages those who self injure to draw a butterfly on themselves (or use a rub-on tattoo) and put the name of a loved one who supports them under it.  The idea is to use this as a reminder that you are not alone.  Anyone who is a supporter can fake-tattoo a butterfly too to show their support.  Also, drawing the butterfly when you feel an urge to self harm is a great way to keep yourself occupied.  If butterflies aren't your thing then you can check out Recover Your Life which has many resources and a live chat to help anyone suffering from an addiction through the lonely moments when urges overcome them.

It warms my heart to see help groups reaching out to one another.  OneMillionScars is a website that offers information on self harm addiction, recovery, and support.  Most importantly this site is attempting to connect self harm support groups across the country so that everyone who needs it can find help in their area.

It only takes a few seconds of your time to reach out to others.  You may not even know who you are reaching out to.  One small Tweet, one quick Facebook status and you could touch someone's life who needs it.  Kindness goes a long way.

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