Recovery Unplugged Thanks Teachers Everywhere on National Teacher Day

National Teacher Day: Recovery Unplugged Extends A Special Thank You to Teachers and Educators Everywhere

Today is National Teacher Day and Recovery Unplugged wants to say thanks to teachers everywhere. How many of us have had that one teacher that turned it all around for us? How many of us have had that invested educator and mentor who helped us become passionate about new ideas and subjects?

Perhaps a better question is: How many of us who have struggled with addiction had a teacher that helped guide us toward recovery? Addiction usually starts at a younger age, and it’s often the teachers of addicted students that are instrumental in identifying a problem and intervening. Many of our very own Recovery Unplugged family have been helped by their teachers in their past struggles with alcohol and drug use.

On this year’s National Teacher Day, as traditional education has been upended by coronavirus and teachers have been forced to quickly adapt to unprecedented and challenging professional conditions mandated by social distancing, Recovery Unplugged is saying a special thank you to teachers everywhere by sharing stories from our own staff about how important some of their teachers were in their lives:

Planting the Seed of Recovery

“My junior year of college at Stetson University was going really well. The first semester of that year, I was bright, cheery, always positive and productive in class.  The second semester, I had begun using painkillers intravenously and became physically addicted. I rapidly lost weight, was exhibiting major mood swings, and started missing class more frequently. Both semesters I took courses taught by Dr. Petrovic, so she witnessed my downfall in real time.

Dr. Petrovic was the first person to talk to me about those negative changes. She invited me to meet in her office after class one day and simply asked if I was okay. I broke down in tears and told her that I was struggling with pills, but I was afraid of getting in trouble or dealing with opioid withdrawal symptoms so I told her that everything would be fine and I was taking care of it on my own. Having a professor who I respected so much speak to me about my substance abuse made it real for me… that, in fact, I did have a problem.

Although I didn’t go to rehab or get help immediately after that, the seed had been planted that would slowly grow through my denial as time went on. Now, with over 4.5 years clean, I remain in contact with her on social media and am able to share the joys of my recovery with her through my posts and messages. I will always remember that afternoon in her office and am grateful for the genuine care and concern for her students both in and out of the classroom.” – Vicki Q. 

…Just Like Me

“When I was in high school, I was very lost and consumed by my drug addiction. During my senior year, I was put on house arrest.  One of my teachers took it upon herself to talk to me about my issues. After a lengthy conversation, she disclosed her personal experience with addiction. She told me that she used to be, “just like me” and then offered to take me to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. I obliged and while I was there, a seed of hope was planted. Later, this seed grew into a full-blown sober plant–haha. I want to thank this teacher along with the many others who helped me along the way.” – Jordan G. 

Empathy and Experience

“I’d like to thank my sophomore English teacher, Mr. Templet, for helping me understand the gravity of addiction. It was early in my sophomore year of high school that Mr. Templet disclosed to his class that he didn’t drink. When we asked why, he explained that he was a recovering alcoholic. I never truly understood what that meant, or why he was so keen on sharing it with us. But now, being almost three years clean, I am beginning to understand.
Later that year, when I found myself nodding off in our study hall, on the verge of detoxing, and unable to cope with whatever the day had to bring, I began begging Mr. Templet to use the bathroom, knowing that if I could just step out of class for one minute, I could get a fix. Mr. Templet was worried about me and had already notified my parents of my “odd” behavior. He looked at me and saw the desperation in my eyes. I had already been escorted out of that Talented and Gifted school by both ambulance and police, but he knew me. We discussed life together. We had both examined and scrutinized abstract ideas and concepts together. And together, in the classroom in which I was now detoxing, we conceptualized the world, and, he understood, at that moment, that the pain I was facing was something much larger than ourselves. He excused me to use the bathroom, on the condition that another student went with me, lest I fall. I later dropped out of that school due to drug use.
About a year ago, Mr. Templet posted on social media that he had obtained so many years clean, and I congratulated him and thanked him for introducing me to a world of which I had been unaware. He said he was proud of me.” – Gabi D. 

If you’ve had a teacher that has helped you in your addiction or recovery, please share your thoughts with us on social media. Recovery Unplugged reiterates our gratitude toward teachers everywhere for their wisdom, dedication and compassion, and wishes them a Happy National Teacher Day.