The Recovery Walk in Hull 2023: Carl’s Story

Hull Recovery Walk 2023, t-shirts courtesy of Release

Recovery Month in the UK is now over. There is no doubt there were many exciting and inspirational activities around the country. Here are some reflections sent to me by a person who I first met over a decade ago.

‘As Recovery Month comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the wonderful experience I had just a few days ago at the UK’s annual Recovery Walk. On Saturday 23rd September, like thousands of other people, I attended the UK Recovery Walk in Hull. I went to see friends and colleagues from across the UK that I had not seen for a while, and honour my friends and clients who sadly couldn’t be with us.

I started my recovery journey in 2007, and my brother followed me 6 years later. Dedicated workers, peer support, mutual aid groups, good friends and family helped me maintain and grow my recovery. Seeing thousands of friends and allies of people in recovery on Saturday reminded me just how important this cause is.

For many of us, alcohol and drug use often takes a toll on our families. I know I put my loved ones through a lot of pain during my darker times. The Recovery Walk, for me, was a chance to express my gratitude to my family and show them and others the support that’s out there. It’s important for friends and family to know they’re not alone, and that there’s help available.

Manchester Recovery Walk 2014, my brother Steve (left) and myself (right)

The last Recovery Walk I attended was in Manchester back in 2014 (you can see a picture below). In that photo, you’ll spot me, my brother Steve and my Mam enjoying the day in our city. It marked the first year of my brother’s recovery, which is something I’m incredibly proud of. Helping my brother is my single biggest achievement.

Events like the Recovery Walk and UK Recovery Month are important because they show that recovery from alcohol and drugs is possible, and a reality for many. They provide a safe space for people in recovery to come together, celebrate milestones and achievements, and collectively challenge the stigma that still surrounds alcohol, drugs and mental health.

I hope some of the people who attended on Saturday, especially those from ROADS Rotherham, found inspiration to make those positive changes and reach their full potential.’

> The Recovery Walk in Hull 2023, Carl’s Story