March 1, 2017
It was a birthday with a difference. The birthday cake, the flash and click of the camera, blowing the candle, the clapping of hands…. were all too familiar. However, what was unusual was that for the 80 people gathered in the hall, this was a momentous occasion. From ruin to recovery, it has been such a difficult but rewarding journey for them…
March1, 2017, Sobriety Day, was a milestone in their lives of the several individuals and their families who had gathered at Trishul Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCA), a project of MS Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation (MSCT&RF), Madurai. A year back, they had decided to navigate the personal and social challenges in the long journey from addiction to recovery. Exactly a year later, they deserved every applause and encouragement as they celebrated one year of successful sobriety and freedom from addiction. Incidentally, March 3 also marks 22 years since the establishment of Trishul.
Sobriety Day is a unique programme of Sobriety Day Celebration & Follow up Trishul. The programme is held annually for people who have recovered from substance dependence of various kinds in order to motivate them to anchor themselves in the road to recovery and well being.
Several people present shared their stories of recovery with courage and honesty. For example, Karthik spoke of his ten-year dependence on alcohol and the personal, professional and financial difficulties as a result. Today, thanks to the exemplary services of the mental health professionals at Trishul and the unconditional support and love of his wife Valayapathy, he is well on the road to recovery. An overwhelmed Muniammal, mother of Ponmani, recalled how her 14-year old son has recovered completely from alcohol dependence and is now all set to resume schooling.
R. Gayathri Devi, B.A., L.L.B., Judicial Magistrate No III, Madurai, Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board, Madurai, was the chief guest. Passionate about her commitment to rehabilitate children and adolescents trapped in addictions of various kinds and help them resume schooling, she stressed the importance of family support in the recovery process.
K. Lavanya, social worker, Trishul, welcomed the gathering and A. Jeyakumar, Counsellor, Trishul, provided an overview of the activities of Trishul. K.S.P. Janardhan Babu, Director, Programmes, MSCT&RF, introduced the chief guest and M. Ramu, Team Leader, MSCTRF, proposed the vote of thanks.
At the end of the event, one realized that recovery is a journey and not a destination; and life is a series of choices. For the many recovered persons, this could well be the most important choice in their lives.