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updated: 10.11.16
10.10.16, from Amanda B.
   Hi, A recent study revealed that the U.S. has seen an alarming rise in suicides. In fact, with the rate now at 13 suicides per 100,000 people, it's at an all-time high since the mid-1980s.
   I must admit, the idea that anyone could feel life isn't worth living — let alone thousands of Americans each year — knocks the wind out of me. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and I wanted to make a positive impact. I collected some resources that I think could help a lot of people, and I hoped you might share them with your audience.

How to Cope with Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings - In Yourself & Others
Anger, Depression, and Disability: Adapting to a New Reality
The Guide to Rebuilding Bridges With Your Loved Ones After Battling Addiction
Earlier Than Too Late: Stopping Stress and Suicide Among Emergency Personnel
Teens and Peer Suicide: Dangerous Potential After-Effects
After a Suicide Attempt: A Guide for Family & Friends
Left Behind After Suicide
A Forever Recovery

   Sincerely, Amanda,

   Recovering Addicts Explain How They Got Their Lives Back

   Addiction takes over people’s lives. Even when it doesn’t lead to the grave, it hangs a giant cloud over relationships and mental well-being. Fortunately, those who get themselves to treatment often experience life-changing effects and go on to become much happier and more comfortable with who they are.
   I’ve listened to numerous stories from recovering addicts, and this better life on the other side of addiction is a common theme.
   Doug, who went to treatment at 'A Forever Recovery' in Michigan for alcohol addiction, explained, “I started sliding down that slope again, and it was getting to the point where everything started to become more unmanageable in my life. I started getting to the point where I was really getting down on myself for falling back into the same situation again. I was very depressed.
   “I was a lost man in a fight for his life. I was slowly walking away from my family, my kids, and even God. I got to treatment a scared and broken man, hoping I hadn't lost, or been knocked out, by the demon in my face. This has been the toughest fight I have ever been in. ... I will win this fight.”
   Ben from St. Louis faced heroin and opioid addiction. He recalled, “All of a sudden one day, I woke up and realized that the life I was living wasn’t the right life,” he said. “I wasn’t headed in the right direction.”
   Ben said he was “very nervous” about what was going on his his life in the few days leading up to his arrival at rehab. Once he got there, things turned out much better than he ever could have imagined.
   “Life is what you make of it and that applies [to rehab] as well,” Ben said. “I enjoyed almost every second of the journey. And I feel like anybody could as long as they keep the right mindset.”
   “I know I’m ready for my next step in my life and I know I can use the tools that I gained here that I never once had before – to live my life to the fullest,” he said.
   One recovering addict, who requested he remain anonymous for this story, gave a very inspirational speech at his graduation from rehab.
   He said, “The past few years of my life have been a struggle. I beat myself down. I came here a broken man. I didn’t trust anybody, not even myself. My life was a struggle. My family was watching me die before their eyes and there was nothing they could do about it. I was in my own prison. I didn’t fear death, I welcomed it. I thought there was nothing left for me in this world. Now I like the man I see in the mirror every day. I find a piece of who I am and I can honestly say I’m happier today than I have ever been. At the end of my life, people won’t have to remember me for all the bad I’ve done. They will now remember me for the good things I’m going to achieve in my life. This journey through my addiction has been a broken road, but now I’ve got the tools to fix that broken road. I’m a new person and all I have to say to the world is, ‘Don’t judge me by my past. I don’t live there anymore."
   It’s clear that recovering addicts form a sacred bond with their rehabilitation facilities and the people they meet there. And why shouldn’t they? These are the people (both professionals and peers) who are helping addicts get their lives and families back. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.
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