People share their stories on the path to recovery

JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman’s Ozark Center hosts monthly events focusing on mental health and substance issues. 

This month’s event is about people sharing their recovery journey. Individuals on the path to recovery share their stories of strength and determination. “One of the things about this type of event is that you have people that are so very eager to share their story and to be able to share the hope of what they’ve experienced and it’s just paramount to other people. Getting well is to know that they’re not alone in this. Getting people to come out and share the story is not,” said Spence Ellis, clinical director of New Directions at Freeman healthcare. 

The journey to recovery is ongoing and can be difficult. Speakers like Craig Whaley wants to share his story to inspire and support others. “Yeah, no doubt about it. I’ve been on this road for about seven years now, and so slowly but surely. But, you know, when you just relax and begin to tell what’s happened for you, it just seems to be something that, like I say, that it feeds on itself,” said Craig Whaley, a peer support specialist. 

Ellis wants the community to be aware how much addiction affects everyone. “Well, pretty much alcoholism or addiction is going to affect one in every four people you walk into. And so when you think about the pervasiveness and the prevalence of addiction in our community, what we don’t focus on enough is the prevalence of recovery in our community. And we have in this area a tremendous amount of support groups and recovery groups,” said Ellis.