What does recovery look like to you?
In honor of Recovery Month 2020, we invited community members to share photos and describe how they represented “recovery” to them. Recovery is everywhere, so we also asked people to share photos representing personal recovery, family recovery, recovery advocacy, recovery pets, hope, recovery allies, recovery professionals, honor guard (10+ years of recovery) and remembering a loved one.
Thank you to everyone for sharing your powerful stories of hope and resiliency. We received over 200 photos!
PaulDespite a virus outbreak, Im heading to a Twin Cities Sober Squad Meeting during the pandemic at 2218 Alano Club.
SarahCelebrating eight years of continual sobriety from all chemicals, through the help of 12 steps and the fellowship.
GaryIn my garbage truck at work.
JessikaWill Work for Recovery 😊
PearlIt is important that peer recovery support leadership reflect the diversity of Minnesota.
CarmenRamsey County Sheriffs Department working in the Community to provide Recovery Resource Information. Congratulations on your recovery!
AdamMy girlfriend and I weathering the Covid winter of discontent and Fourth of July sober in recovery and loving it.
KaylaNever would’ve imagined I would ever be able to look in a mirror and like what I saw. Today I am so happy and so grateful and I’m not afraid to go out into public.
JulieWe are a family that stands with Recovery. I get to have an incredible life today loving and living with my family BECAUSE of recovery.
GeorgeGeorge and Gracie Lou , recovery is hard work and dedication ! One day at a time ! Thanks to Creator for second chance at life. Miigwech 🙏🏼 thanks !
LaDonnaRecovery means getting to spend time with my next generation and they get to experience a sober grandma.
Jay PeeIt means to me a better way of life.. a life that is not selfish.. building a life that is selfless, being of service to people, helping them find their way, as we was once lost and being that because of HOPE!!
Jay PeeCleaning myself up on the inside, healing and modifying my behavior was huge in my recovery. along with Living a new life with integrity!!.. Now I live my life with HOPE!!!
JessikaCommunity service during quarantine 😋
Missions Inc. Hart HouseShe is me, Together are we...Sisterhood and Sobriety @Missions Inc, Hart House
ShandelleHaving fun together.
JeremiahTo me, recovery opened the door to family ... and playing again
SeanAs a person in long-term recovery from clinical depression and anxiety, my recovery might look a bit different from my peers in recovery from SUD. However, we share so much in common in our daily efforts to sustain recovery. I'm grateful that Recovery Is Everywhere, because it has helped ensure I'm the father, husband and community member I'm meant to be!
CaddyGardening is my recovery!
BeckieTeam Kick it for Kellie 2020
RandiSupport, love, understanding and nature helps heal all
JoslynnRecovery means I can see magical places in the world and in my own heart. I am living close to my Creator and becoming the woman I was intended to be. I love myself and I love others, and i no longer self-sabotage. I live with a grateful heart and i have been given an amazing army of love in recovery!
IlhamRecovery gave me a chance to be a mother again!
Lizzie"Charlie" she keeps me going in my recovery, celebrating 29 months. Missions Inc, Hart House
HenryWe are recovery warriors and overcomers.
RebeccaI’m sober- I’m happy- I’m alive!
JeanaRecovery means finding and becoming a better version of oneself, and living a stable productive life.
I am participating in a family effort to honor my mother, by getting my lovely friend and terrific photographer to take this picture of me with a bas-relief my mother created of an angel. My mother's cruelty to me could scarcely be exaggerated, and, after decades of attempting to heal the relationship, I chose to give up, and seek only distance from her. Hope bloomed. I began a novel, exploring her early life, as well as mine, and finding and expressing my love that way. Letting go of any hope of reconciliation led to the most profound regeneration.
ChrisSober vacations are incredible!
GloriaMy first trip to DC to Advocate for Recovery.
Recovery has given me the opportunity to adopt this beautiful girl! Zena is my emotional support animal, reminding me to take care of myself first in order to share the love I have for the world around me and carry the message. In her spare time Zena enjoys napping, learning new tricks, and chasing her laser. Zena holds me accountable to stick to my routines and program and show up to support her like she supports me!
This is a picture of my best friend Tracy who passed away in 2011 from a drug overdose. She is missed by so many family and friends. Her picture in my office and at home is a constant reminder of why I am committed to helping others achieve long term recovery.
KevinRecovery means the freedom to explore new worlds - new places to explore, new things to learn, new ways to simply be me. I was finding it difficult to choose a picture for project because I have been blessed with so many new friends, so many new experiences.This collage shows some of the things I would have never experienced had I not found recovery.
HillaryRecovery is dancing in the street in the midst of a pandemic. Recovery is a celebration of life. At Wayside, recovery is EMPOWERMENT!
Recovery isn't that much different than climbing a mountain which I do frequently. Had this thought on my last hike where this photo was taken Broads Fork Trail // Salt Lake City, UT: "Don’t focus on the hill ⛰ Concern yourself with the steps in front of you. Those steps build stamina and contain their own wisdom. Their summation will lead to the summit or perhaps a path you discover and choose along the way. Pay attention." That's what 20 years of recovery has been for me <3
HeatherRecovery means I have friends I can always count on.
MelindaChefs Recover! Servers Recover! Restaurants Recover! Recovery is everywhere! Start where you are and don’t forget to share your story! Stories change lives!
Jeffrey14 months of sobriety, happy joyous & free
JennaWe are happy, joyous and free. We have fun, play, laugh, and cheer each other on. I am so grateful!
This photo means the world to me, not just because it’s with my fiancé and my nephew. It means a lot to me because it shows that when you grow and recover it affects everyone just like your addiction does. I’m able to affect my nephew in a positive way. We were all wearing our sober squad shirts with pride to a family event. I have family that loves me and still supports me from my lowest times. And I’m even more grateful that I have sober support friends that turned into family. Recovery is family! Squad!
TiffanyAfter my recovery I found the beauty in my birds! I never thought I would be a bird owner but after my recovery my mind has opened to more beautiful things in life.
PaulIt means that recovery has helped me to follow my dreams!
CaitlinI didn’t know how I would have fun when I stopped drinking. However, here I am 3 years sober and was upgraded to front row seats for Garth Brooks. I went to the concert with my sister, whose relationship I would not have today if it weren’t for my recovery. It is one of my favorite memories we shared together.
JenI don't always know how to be the best ally, so I just try to meet people where they're at. Sometimes that's in the slow moving waters upstream... Sometimes that's in the violently churning waters at the bottom of the fall.
BrianThis photo represents how recovery was able to reunite me with my family.
LauraAs a woman in long-term recovery, it means I get to have relationships with some of those from from my past. A past generation where using chemicals was the era in which we grew up. Not all of us made it, but some of us did! Here’s me with one of those friends that made it. 🙏🏻☮️💜
MikeGrateful for a life of clarity and possibilities.
CaddyFriends/allies - can't do recovery with out them!
SeanBella has been a lot of my support on my path to recovery.
KariI am a woman of long term recovery, I lost my mom and brother to overdose. 1 balloon to represent each of their lives. This photo was taken this last July on my 6th "birthday"
GloriaAaron would have loved MRC's position on being open to all pathways to recovery. Even in death, he was way ahead of his time.
JohnGrateful to be sober 42 years this year. Grateful to have the opportunity to share my recovery story with members and veterans of our Armed Forces.
DeetteIn recovery, I've learned I can do activities and have more fun doing it sober. I laugh harder, play better and enjoy the simple things in life! I'm so grateful for my recovery!
Recovery has given me the ability to be the wife and mother that my family deserves. I am able to give my son the tools I was never given as a child; to be the person for him that I needed when I was younger. Because of my recovery, I am able to teach my son how to deal with big emotions, how to talk about our feelings, how to cope in healthy ways, and to always stay true to who he is. Through recovery, I have also discovered my true and authentic self. I have discovered my purpose, and found success in a way that fits MY life. Recovery has given me goals, dreams, inner peace, and self love.
KyleThis photo was taken of me outside of Nuway 3rs and when I got my first taste of recovery and knew I wanted to give it a serious shot. This was after I had my first job interview after almost 3 years of active use. This photo makes me happy cause it was captured with no intention of the "change g" being so perfectly placed there. That's what I believe I need to do is change "g".
AngelaA whole new life...drivers license, reinstated cosmetology license, year long employment, and most importantly reunified with my twins and family. Loving Life!
JessicaMy brother Jake passed away January 26th, 2020 from a fentanyl overdose. His passing has strengthened my desire to stay sober and start a career in addiction counseling to help the addict who still suffers.
PorterThe poster behind me is my dad who suffered with addiction all his life.
NadineMaking Pepper happy everyday keeps me grounded.
Miche'leIn 2011 I walked through the doors of MRC. I was 9 months sober and fighting to stay sober. That day was the start of my recovery. I was welcomed by 3 women who embraced me. I showed up every day for 8 hours a day for two weeks. Something as small as shredding paper kept my mind occupied. As the time passed through the months I found a part of me that was empty filled with peace, love and joy. My recovery strengthened, and I am here today with 10 years of RECOVERY. MRC will always be the heart beat of my recovery. Love, Miche'le Cortinas
KariThis was taken on my "6th birthday". The 2 balloons I am holding represent my mom and brother who I lost to overdose
BaileyOne of the men in the picture Travis Koster passed away during this pandemic. In this picture we all got together in Duluth Minnesota and did a walk for recovery.
CindyAwesome walk to the park, and celebrate with Mountain Dew!
MariaRecovery means being aware of my place in God’s beautiful universe. My Higher Power has done for me what I could never have done for myself, and I get to show my gratitude for that by giving back and being present with my family, my community, and myself.
MelissaYou can't do it alone
MegThis photo is for my nephew "Robbie Maiers. He died 8/19/2020 at age 34. Robbie loved flowers, bug's, the color orange, and taking photos. I love you Robbie. RIP.
SheriMy photo represents the amazing transformation that Recovery has done for my life and how I continue to empower and encourage others to embrace Recovery.
EmilyThis photo was taken of me hiking on my honeymoon in Sardinia, Italy. Through the gifts of recovery, my world has gotten so much bigger - literally and figuratively. I've met more people, traveled more, and have a life I never could have imagined!
As a person in long term recovery of 12 years of continuous abstinence from all substances. Today I am a father to a wonderful 10 yr old boy. I Have sole legal and physical custody. I’ve raised Edward since he was an infant. Because of recovery, I have a relationship with my family again whom I was estranged from for over a decade because of heroin addiction. I’m a student and have 2 degrees in Human Services and a LADC! I have a partner who loves me and who I love unconditionally. I show up in people’s lives and am here to support those struggling within SUD. I’m a social justice advocate.
RobertoRecovery means appreciating natural beauty in the world.
Because I Have Surrendered My Will To The Power of Gods Will....I Am Sober, I Am A Mother, I Am A Daughter, I Am A Sister, I Am A Grand Daughter. Taking It One Day, One Step At A Time. Sobriety To Me Means Having My Life Back And Most Importantly My Kids And My Family Back In My Life....By The Grace Of God I Am Alive And Living My Life Sober.....
HeatherRecovery means that we as an alumni group get to show up for other who are embarking on the same path we walked.
Bernice28 years in recovery! Taking my life back and handing everything over to my Creator! So that I can give back to my community and help the next young Native American get sober!
In my recovery I not only learned to love myself, but I found the love of my life. Gary and I have been married for 15 years now. We share a passion for quirky Americana, giant roadside architecture, and local dives and diners. When I was in active addiction, I couldn't imagine having the love and joy I've found in our partnership.There's nowhere I'd rather be than with him, on a long and winding road trip, cranking up the volume to our favorite car songs, and in search of the World's Largest Donut!
KayleeThe Pride Institute recognizes that each recovery journey is unique and celebrates the individual differences within the LGBTQ+ recovery community. We invite you to dance with us and simply just enjoy recovery!
WendyIda Mae (the world's most beautiful cat) is just one of many feline family members who supported my recovery!
SaraEmmaGordon has an intuitive way of sensing the emotions of humans around him. Jumping in to snuggle those who need it most, without fail, at exactly the right moment, every time. He is most certainly a creature comfort who supports my recovery.
JeremyRecovery means having an authentic relationship with the world--to people, pets, and the work in my life. It is the ground upon which perpetual growth can spring.
GloriaNot many times when my family celebrated our Recovery together. After dinner we went to a Timberwolves game.
ShandelleCelebrating the birth of a recovery baby!
MikeHappy joyous and free!
Miche'leIt is because of Recovery that my family has their daughter, sister, and my son has his mom. My Cheerleaders!! My family, THANK YOU FOR Believing in my Recovery journey. Love, Miche'le Cortinas
AshleyJesus Is Back, Change Is On The Rise. My Pain Was Not In Vain. I Love You All!!!
RandyRecovery means I get to have my family in my life.
IanThis picture - taken on a Northern Minnesota lake, is a reminder that everything I have in my life (my family, my friends, my career, my hopes and dreams) is made possible by my recovery.