Sobriety is a cause for celebration for those who’ve embarked on the rocky road to recovery from addiction and walked out the other end, like Carmen Villalovos.
“You have to be ready for it”, Villalovos says, “you have to want the recovery, but if you are ready, then they are here for you.”
Villalovos was among many who gathered in Buena Vista Park to celebrate National Recovery Month in September and Recovery Day in Santa Maria hosted by Good Samaritan Shelters.
“It took me from rock bottom”, Villalovos says of his own road to recovery, “its gotten to a point where now I have a place to stay, I’ve got a car, I”ve got a job.”
Villalovos credits the staff and volunteers at Good Samaritan and its various treatment and support programs.
“They helped me through all my struggles”, Villalovos says, “they got me off the streets.”
“Recovery is a huge celebration”, says Good Samaritan Shelters CEO Sylvia Barnard.
Barnard says the annual carnival in the park is for those who’ve taken the plunge for recovery and their families who endured the long journey with them.
“The important thing about recovery is that it allows people to get their Mom’s back, it allows people to get their daughters back, their sisters, their family, it allows people to get back into the community and be productive citizens”, Barnard says, “it really gives back more to the community than simply leaving someone stuck in their addiction.”
“The biggest first step is wanting recovery”, Villalovos says, “as long as you want it, then they are here to help you go through that, they are here to give you that hand to help you through the extra steps that its going to take.”