Discovering the benefit of giving back to others, patients and staff from A Forever Recovery participate in the 2015 “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” 5K walk.
As a person progresses through the process of recovering from addiction, they begin to shed their old habits and perceptions. What was once a bleak, gray outlook begins to blossom into a vibrant and colorful appreciation for life and the beauty that our world has to offer. Previously selfish and self-centered thought processes start to subside, making way for a more caring and compassionate manner towards others. A new purpose and a desire to help shape our world into a safer, healthier, and happier place arises where there was once only feelings of pain, chaos, anger and shame. A newfound hope for a brighter future starts to break through the clouds, and promise lights the horizon.
An Addict’s Role in Their Own Recovery
The substance abuse treatment program at A Forever Recovery seeks to help our patients find all of this and more. One of the most effective ways that we have found to help our patients to open up to the beauty of the world is through encouraging participation in the many community outreach opportunities that we engage in throughout the year. As they learn to give back, helping others in whatever ways they can, they discover a sense of being connected to the world in a positive and fulfilling way. They start to understand that every person has a role to fill, and that, by doing their part to make our world a better place, the rewards far outweigh those of the self-centered view that they once held.
Participating in a Noble Cause
On Saturday, October 24th, 2015, at the Mill Race Park in the heart of Battle Creek, MI, home to the A Forever Recovery substance abuse treatment center, some of our patients and staff members joined in an annual fundraising event known as “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”. The 5K walk, part of a nationally coordinated event with millions of participants in over 300 communities across the United States, was held to benefit the American Cancer Society, raising donations that will help support research towards finding a cure, treatment of those stricken with this disease, and services for breast cancer patients, survivors, and their families. With pink shirts, ribbons, and balloons everywhere they looked, the AFR team was excited and grateful to have the opportunity to help this noble cause.
Former Patients Express Their Gratitude
For a couple of those patients that participated, the “Making Strides” fundraiser had an even deeper personal importance. Peggy had come to A Forever Recovery seeking help in overcoming the substance abuse issues that had begun to take control over her life after her divorce around five years prior. Two years before that, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, something that had affected many of the women in her family, including her aunt, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother. “I survived,” she told us in an interview after the event. “The others did not make it through. That’s one of the things that these walks help with. They help fund treatment. I’m grateful to AFR for supporting the walk, and for allowing us to take part in it. It touched so many people’s lives.”
Tiffany is another of our patients whose life has felt the effects of breast cancer. Seeing her mother battling the disease was one of the toughest times that Tiffany had ever faced. “It was really hard for me to see my mom going through that,” she shared with us, “because she’s such a strong woman. I’ve never seen her defeated by anything, and I still haven’t.” Her mother survived the battle that she faced, due in large part to advances in treatment that have come about from the same research that is supported by fundraisers like the “Making Strides” 5K Walk. “Going on the breast cancer walk was pretty awesome,” she continued. “A lot of people from AFR made me feel better because I knew I had their support. Having my AFR family was awesome, because I really needed that through my rehabilitation process.” The personal connections that will help Tiffany form the strong support network that she will need to remain substance-free after graduating from our recovery facility is another added bonus that resulted from her participation in the walk.
AFR Offers a Complete Lifestyle Transformation
At A Forever Recovery, our unique approach to substance abuse treatment aims to help our patients make the complete lifestyle transformation that is necessary to free themselves from the bonds of addiction. Rather than simply addressing the symptoms of the patient’s compulsive behaviors, we help them to uncover and identify the underlying causes of their addiction, and to address those causes in a positive and productive manner. Our patients find a new outlook on life, and a new purpose in making our world a better place for all who live in it. They discover a sense of self-value and an understanding of the level of care and compassion that is desperately needed in our modern society. They find the strength within to build a better life for themselves and their loved ones, and the ability to reach a helping hand out to those who need it. Through their participation in this fundraiser, our patients weren’t just “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”. They were making strides towards recovery.