“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” –Albus Dumbledore

I grew up reading Harry Potter and the wizarding world was there for me when I wanted to escape. It has been more than 20 years since the first movie was released, so the influence the series had is in the forefront of my mind. This quote has never been more relevant to how the recovery world is being shaped by person-centered practices.

In the past, mental illness and substance use were seen as obstacles that could never be overcome. People were not expected to recover. When I began having these experiences, I remember being overwhelmed by stigma. Once I had diagnoses, I felt as though I became just another chart, another number. All around, others started expecting less of me. I was told my life would be different, and I would only ever be able to achieve so much. I stopped hoping I could recover. I forgot I had the ability to turn on the light when things got too dark.

Once I was receiving peer support services, I was reminded that I had more power over my situation. I realized the importance of my autonomy and my self-worth should not be affected by my barriers. This quote highlights how much power people in recovery have. We are more than just these diagnoses we receive. We are more than the substances we have used. When surrounded by darkness, we have the choice to find that light switch.

Elizabeth Crews

Elizabeth is a Recovery Coach at an RRC in Henderson, NC. Her passion is to provide person-centered services and empower guests through strengths-based language.