Celebration of recovery Saturday

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Celebration of recovery Saturday

By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

Recovery Nation, along with Muskingum Behavioral Health, are hosting a day to celebrate the beauty of recovery.

MBH CEO Steve Carrel said, oftentimes, the negative aspects of addiction are the focal point for many people, but Saturday’s event is shattering stigmas and celebrating the people in recovery.

“It’s going to be a celebration all day,” Carrel said. “We collectively, as a society, we talk about the overdose deaths, we talk about the carnage, we talk about, you know, the heartbreak and all of that’s very real. I don’t want to down play it. What we don’t spend enough time doing is talking about those people who actually get into long-term recovery and do well, get their lives back.”

From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Muskingum County Fairgrounds Veterans Building, guest speakers and musicians will be sharing their recovery stories with the community.

Once local people struggling with addiction get into recovery, Carrel said it becomes repetitive to hear the same recovery stories from the same people. Thus, the founders of Recovery Nation, Ember and Jeremy Ridgley, recruited guests from outside the community to speak.

Amy Dresner will be the main speaker at the event. Dresner is the daughter of a Hollywood screenwriter and grew up in a life of luxury with access to many substances. In addition to becoming addicted to drugs, Dresner was also a sex addict.

In sharing her story, Dresner, author of My Fair Junkie, will talk not only about the impact her addiction had on her life but how recovery has impacted her in many ways.

Blending their music and stories into Dresner’s, musicians Jam Alker and Alexis O’Neal Corey will provide entertainment, as well as their personal stories of recovery.

“This is a celebration of recovery, that’s what the whole thing is about. They’re not going to do a whole lot of talk about, you know, the uglies of their disease,” Carrel said. “They’re going to talk a little bit about it cause you’ve got to set the stage, they’re going to talk about, you know, what that recovery is to them and how they’ve gotten into recovery, what they’ve done with their lives.”

Carrel went on to state that for many years there was a cloak of silence draped over addiction, whether with alcoholism or drug addiction. In more recent years, people have taken the rule of anonymity in recovery and AA-type meetings and left in in the meeting which has led many people to share their personal stories of addiction and recovery.

Saturday’s event is focused on sharing those stories that were once kept silent.

“Most addicts don’t think they can quit. Most addicts don’t think they have a problem,” Carrel said. “But, when they hear these stories, it’s like oh my God, that’s my story. That can provide that step over the line into it’s time, I want to get in recovery.”

In addition to the stories and entertainment Saturday, there will be refreshments and a silent auction.

Many organizations, businesses and community members have donated funds and resources to make Saturday’s event as large as it can be, and Carrel is anticipating a large crowd.

With six surrounding counties’ recovery services potentially attending, an online recovery radio station from Chicago and many people in recovery, looking for recovery or touched by recovery, the organizers are prepared to serve a large crowd.

“My hope, and mine’s a little bit more ambitious than others, I want to see people standing outside. I want to have to open the doors for people to hear there’s so many people there because that’s how big I think … the problem is.”