When I opened that link and read about Google’s Recover Together website — which includes a searchable map to find nearby recovery groups and support resources for people and their families — let alone featuring an actual Googler in recovery, I knew I was in the right place. Addiction is still too often shamed and silenced, so it’s all the more commendable for a company like Google to use its technology, finances and branding capital to bring resources to the millions of people impacted.
The compassion and dignity of that story made me feel hopeful that I could make it at Google clean and sober – but I realized I may not have to do it “on my own.” After some searching, I found that Google’s Disability Alliance Employee Resource Group had a dedicated group for those in recovery from any form of addiction. I had already been taking advantage of individual counseling through Google’s Employee Assistance Program, but for me there is nothing like building community to support healing. Over the past year, the recovery group has supported me through onboarding, battling imposter syndrome and other work-related experiences that would have previously sent me searching for solace at the bottom of a bottle.
It’s difficult to express gratitude for the vulnerability, courage and wisdom the recovery community has brought into my life. Part of that is why I’m so excited to amplify my personal impact and be a part of the group working this year to host a slew of events for National Recovery Month.
On September 7, Google’s internal recovery group hosted an event embodying what recovery awareness and advocacy is all about: showing up, speaking up and standing up over and over and over again. This featured a stop from Mobilize Recovery Across America’s cross country tour and representatives from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Attendees shared personal stories of addiction and recovery, tips to ensure events are inclusive (like providing non-alcoholic options), information of where to dispose of prescription drugs properly, and tangible resources of how to help someone find recovery treatment or access immediate assistance (like the 988 crisis lifeline). To conclude the evening, the Google campus was lit up purple, the official color for Recovery Month.