What does it feel like to be clean and sober for 32 years? To be so far away from those dreary and dark days when I almost wished life would just end? To have life progressed from days of no purpose or direction other than continued self-destruction. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday and all those thoughts are right back in the front of my mind. Thoughts of what others might think of me … thoughts that I will never be good enough … thoughts that in an instant my life could change, and I would be back in that seemingly eternal place of hopelessness. To fear the hopelessness and despair of the trap of addiction that could once again control my life.
I don’t stay in that place too long. Only long enough to remember why I walk, and then I move forward. To remember that there was always hope. There was always a spark left to light. That given that one right moment, any person living with the disease and suffering the bondage of addiction can suddenly let go of the tight grip on that drug and with a free-fall surrender, find a new way of living a purposeful life. I found a reason to walk – not alone, but with others who understand and care for those whose lives have been impacted by addictions.
This is why we walk.
- We walk for the past, to remember those who came upon the same path as ours, who for a moment walked with us as we cared for one another but then stepped off our path to leave us forever. They leave us with reasons to keep walking and remembering.
- We walk for the present, to show those who need the hope and inspiration of those who are willing to take their hands and lead them along as we walk this path of recovery.
- We walk for the future, to be ready to light the path for those who are lost and will one day need to walk with us along their search for serenity.
Please join us on Saturday, September 15, 2018, for the 13th Annual Pittsburgh Recovery Walk.Together we will celebrate recovery past, present, and future as we take that one-mile walk together. Let’s be inspirations to those who are in recovery and for all who have be touched by the emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges of being human. We hope you’ll walk with Team Pittsburgh Mercy in our mission to be a compassionate and transforming, healing presence within our communities.
Alix Armstrong, MPH, CAADC, a certified advanced alcohol and drug counselor, is practice administrator for the substance use disorder outpatient team at Pittsburgh Mercy. Alix is also the Pittsburgh Recovery Walk captain for Team Pittsburgh Mercy.
Pittsburgh Mercy is a proud sponsor of the Pittsburgh Recovery Walk. The walk takes place Saturday, September 15, 2018, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Downtown. The walk begins at 11th and Waterfront streets in the Strip District, follows Penn Avenue, and ends with a recovery celebration and expo in Market Square, Downtown. To learn more about the Pittsburgh Recovery Walk, call 412-258-8561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We invite you to register for Team Pittsburgh Mercy and the Pittsburgh Recovery Walk. For more information about how you can join or support Team Pittsburgh Mercy, call 412-812-8442 or email Alix Armstrong at AArmstrong@pittsburghmercy.org.
If you or someone you love is living with addiction, hope and recovery are possible. Learn more about addiction recovery services at Pittsburgh Mercy.