recovery role model from addict 2 advocate marilyn l davis


By: Marilyn L. Davis

“I believe in recovery, and as a role model, I have the responsibility to let young people know that you can make a mistake and come back from it.”  Ann Richards


A Public Role Models for All of Us


Are You A Recovery Role Model? marilyn l davis from addict 2 advocate
Ann Richards became the 45th governor of Texas. She appointed record numbers of women and minorities to state boards and agencies and was a feminist role model.
After her death in 2006, the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders opened in Austin, TX to continue her legacy.
Richards also served on many boards of philanthropic, educational and public interest organizations.
However, Ms. Richards called “one of the great, great stories” of her life: her recovery from alcoholism and her nearly 26 years of sobriety.


We’re Private Role Models Every Day

Most of us are not going to run for political office. Although a thorough investigative look into my past might help me fill in the blanks and gaps, I’ll still pass. But that doesn’t mean that you, me, and all others in recovery don’t act as a role model for others when we mentor or sponsor. Taking someone by the hand when:
  • They’re scared or discouraged
  • Going through a rough patch
  • Just need to know someone cares
  • Have similar issues that we’ve solved

Being a recovery role model is more than being compassionate to those we know from meetings. It's when we are willing to let others know we are in recovery. Click To Tweet


Anonymous Can’t Model 


Going public can seem scary, but I gave my first newspaper interview in 1990 when I opened the recovery home. As my mother said, “Well, no one had to read between the lines to know you are an addict and alcoholic, Marilyn.”  She wasn’t being critical, in fact, she went on to tell me that she was proud of what I was doing with my life.

My mother hoped that more people would understand and value people in recovery when I went public. Her perceptions of alcoholics and addicts changed as well. They were no longer ‘just people under the bridge’, but her daughter.    

In many ways, that’s still how addicts and alcoholics are still seen because so many of us choose to remain anonymous.  So we can’t blame society for not knowing that we’re hard-working, law-abiding, productive members of society when we don’t let them know we’re in recovery and be a role model for those in recovery and not.  


We Modeled Addiction Didn’t We?


My actions made me a role model for addiction.

I know how public I was in my addiction and I frankly didn't give a good damn who saw me, who I hurt, or who looked down upon me. Shouldn't I be a public role model for recovery, too? Click To Tweet

Slightly modifying that attitude has helped me be alright publicly with stating, “I am a recovering addict and an alcoholic, and I hope I model those behaviors, too.” 


What Will You Do Today to Model Recovery? 


Are You A Recovery Role Model? marilyn l davis from addict 2 advocate


If you look around, you’ll find opportunities to model recovery. Here are a few ways to do that.

  1. Will you to do something today that reduces stigma? 
  2. Where can you model your actions that show that people in recovery are honest and upstanding? 
  3. Are there people who you need to make amends to that will know that recovery changes people for the better? 
  4. Have you modeled recovery for your family? 
  5. Can your children learn the hard lessons the easy way from you? 
These are just a few of the ways that people model recovery. 
So, what have you done today to model recovery? I’d love to know your ways in comments, thanks. 



Writing, and recovery heals the heart




Ready to help another? How do you model recovery? There’s someone, somewhere that needs to read about your struggles, successes, and ongoing recovery. Consider a guest post today. Here are the submission guidelines. 


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