Recovery Story: Monty Burks

                photo of Monty Burks (on far left)An introduction to this blog wouldn’t be appropriate without first mentioning that I am an example of the true nature and impact of recovery.  My name is Monty Burks, Director of Faith Based Initiatives with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.  I have also been in recovery for almost 16 years.  My story, like so many before me and so many after me, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to successful stories of people like you and me that have fallen and found a way to get back up.  Whether it be through choice, support groups, The Faith Community, or sheer chance, recovery is real and living a wonderful fulling lifestyle is possible. 

                In 1997 my father passed away, leaving me void of a voice outside of mine for guidance and reasoning.  What I discovered was a party lifestyle full of people and things that were a perfect storm for a life of addiction and all of her friends; hurt, despair, pain and isolation.  I lost everything during a three period that seemed to pass in a matter of weeks.  Yes, I had gotten myself into a pickle and surrounded myself with people who were just as blind as I was and then one day someone reached out to me.  She confronted me about my negative behaviors and invited me to a support group at a local Church…..

                That wasn’t the end but the beginning of what I’ve done with my life and the countless number of lives I intend to impact with my story, your story, our stories of recovery.  Please understand that there is no one path to recovery.  There are so many roads that lead people to higher ground.  That is why the 52 Stories of Recovery in 52 weeks (52-n-52) is only the beginning of our journey as voices of humanity that are banded together, by cause, to combat addiction through reducing  stigma by openly telling our story in the hopes that more people will stand up and say “I TOO AM IN RECOVERY!”