News and events News Remembrance Day – addiction, grief and stigma 26th July 2021 Wednesday 21st July was Drug and Alcohol Remembrance Day, which is marked by people from across the recovery community. It’s a chance for all of us to remember those we have lost to drugs or alcohol, celebrate their lives, and look to our own future free from addiction. At The Living Room, our hubs marked the day in different ways, but we all got together to remember loved ones and reflect on how their loss has affected us and what we want to do with our own lives. In our Watford service, we held a morning workshop focusing on grief and loss, then we spent the afternoon creating bucket lists and focusing on long-term goals; celebrating the positive things that wait for us. In St Albans, people who are currently in treatment with us shared photos and memories of people they’ve lost and how their death has impacted on their lives. They also reflected on how they’ve been given another chance at living their lives and used drawings and letters to express how they feel about addiction and loss. And at Stevenage, we marked the day with the release of (environmentally friendly) balloons with messages for loved ones that have left us. A poem written by one of our clients on the day: This disease of mine has led me down dark roads, Emptiness, loneliness, a life that corrodes, Conflicted, afflicted, an endless internal war, At my wits ends, battling the urge to score, I feel low but yet lucky, as I am still here, Many have lost those, that they hold so dear, To those that have fallen to addiction and fear, We take a moment of silence and shed a collective tear. We cannot understate the importance of days like these. Having a safe space where we can talk about how a bereavement has affected us, what it’s like living with an addiction that you know has taken other people’s lives and that you’re working so hard to recover from is vital. And being able to share some of that grief with people publicly is an essential part of taking away some of the stigma of drug addiction and showing that people in recovery exist, that we’ve gone through a lot, and we’ll never forget the people we’ve lost. We know that days like these can be hard and that it’s difficult enough to share your feelings and experiences around death and loss (and it’s even harder when addiction is involved), so we just want to thank everyone who got involved. Thank you for joining us, thank you for being brave and thank you for being committed to your recovery. If you’ve been affected by bereavement, don’t suffer in silence. Check out the support that Cruse can offer you.