Hope Is Real, Recovery Is Real

Gwen Henderson, Compliance Ambassador
September 12, 2023 by
Simplifyance, Gina Thorne

September is Recovery Month.  The purpose of this time is to recognize behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is necessary and recovery works!  

We invite you to hear more from our Compliance Ambassador, Gwen Henderson, as she shares the power of Recovery and its impact on her and her work in behavioral health.

Thank you Gwen for choosing recovery and being apart of a movement that shows that recovery is real.

August 3, 1997, was my first 24 hours of uninterrupted sobriety. That day I was completely unaware of what recovery meant. I was scared with no hope. I lost reality of what choice meant; believing I had no more choices left. Up until the day I chose to sit still, I felt hopeless with great despair. Little did I know, I was about to embark on a life of recovery where hope was real. A life I never dreamed could exist for me; a life in recovery from a hopeless state of mind and being.

Coming from a wonderful childhood with a strong southern family presence, I was completely unaware of the darkness and demons that lurked around the corner. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do. I went to college. Got a career. Married my college sweetheart. Raised a family. However, the concept of, “one is too many, and thousand is never enough”, came crashing through my front door. Before I knew what hit me, I had lost everything that meant anything to me. Most profoundly, I lost hope. My spirit was crushed. My soul was empty.

Through self-help groups (i.e., AA, NA, CA), others in recovery, wonderful women who took time to sponsor me, treatment engagements, therapy, and prayer, I found myself in the arms of God. There, I found hope that recovery was possible for a lost soul like mine.

As a result of living a life in recovery, I have been able to regain my health, both physically and mentally. Embraced by my spirit, I was guided to spiritual awareness. I went back to school to learn more about helping others. I leaned on all the tools set in front of me and was able to assist others in finding hope and recovery.

I’ve worked in the “field” for 25 years. I did not come into this profession for others. I came to save my own self. Someone told me to create environments that would hold my sobriety accountable, starting with my home, then my job and my social life. However, I stayed in this profession because of all the eyes that I’ve witnessed go from hopelessness to joy. Watching others find hope and embrace the wholeness of recovery has been life changing for me. In them; in myself, I see where real hope and recovery resides.