By Vanessa Kahin
Stepping out in faith: It’s not an unfamiliar concept for those who have recovered from issues such as abuse, PTSD, drug dependency, alcoholism or divorce.
Those who are on the path of recovery — any kind of recovery — are invited to step out in faith once more to celebrate their triumph, raise awareness and mingle with others on the same journey.
The fourth annual Walk for Recovery is set to take place Saturday at Greene Acres Park.
“It’s to celebrate those who have already succeeded in recovery,” said Laura Leeder-Martinez, coordinator of the nondenominational, faith-based event.
“September is Recovery Month all over the United States,” she said. “Every September, we put on the Walk to Recovery to celebrate (and) join voices.”
The event will feature live testimonies from those who have walked their path toward recovery; as well as words from friends and family members of those who have recovered.
Children of those who have gone through some form of recovery will be given a goodie bag and be honored during the event.
Leeder-Martinez said this is the first time that Walk for Recovery will include recognition of children.
“People don’t realize what our children go through when the parents are getting sober, (or a) divorce,” she said.
The event will also include family-oriented activities, face painting, pizza and live music. There will be door prizes in the form of Bibles featuring 12 steps to recovery.
Awards will be given: One to a woman who’s been dedicated to recovery, another to a man who’s done the same. A third award will be given to an undisclosed group of community members who have aided recovery for others.
Leeder-Martinez said this group will not know they are being honored until Saturday.
Aside from commemorating Recovery Month, Leeder-Martinez, who is also the program coordinator for Junctions — an outpatient facility for those struggling with substance abuse — has a deeply personal reason to be involved with the walk.
She said she was addicted to meth for 12 years, and has been sober for 11 years.
“This is kind of my homecoming, my celebration,” she said of the event.
Walk for Recovery is a joint effort of organizations that strive to help those who desire to begin their own road to recovery. These organizations include the G.L.U. Factory, Matt 25 Hope Center, Celebrate Recovery at Highland Baptist Church and Legacy Life Divorce Care.
Leeder-Martinez said all the agencies that back the event are the reason why she feels the awareness that’s spread from the walk is important — she received the support she needed in Clovis to recover from her meth addiction.
This contradicts an excuse Leeder-Martinez said she often hears from substance abusers: That they can’t get clean in Clovis.
“I got clean and sober in my hometown,” she said. “We have really good support networks in (Clovis). It’s possible to get clean and sober in your hometown, it really is.”
Although she no longer struggles with meth, Leeder-Martinez said she continues to struggle with co-dependency and food addiction. She said she’s open about the issues she’s faced in the past and those she continues to battle, in hopes that her testimony will positively affect someone going through similar trials.
“Someone might relate,” she said.
It is this sense of community, as well as spiritual conviction, that Leeder-Martinez credits as pulling her through her addiction.
“I couldn’t do it without the support of my community,” she said. “But, first and foremost, I did it through Jesus Christ
“You don’t have to do it alone.”
• What: The fourth annual Walk for Recovery
• Who: The event is for all who have succeeded on their path to recovery from issues such as divorce, PTSD, alcoholism, drug addiction or abuse.
• When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday n Where: Greene Acres Park, between 21st Street, Main and Mitchell
• Cost: Free
• Information: Call Junctions at 575-935-8522 or Celebrate Recovery at 575-309-7770.