(a chapter from Telling Ed No! by Cheryl Kerrigan©)

Recovery was tiring work, and at times I got depressed. To help pick me up and stay focused on my goals, I decided to create a recovery poster. I hoped that looking at it would motivate me when I was feeling down.

I bought a large, pink board at a crafts store, along with markers, glitter, stickers, and glue. Then, over a period of a few weeks I gathered images and words that I found to be inspiring. Some were personal photos, others were magazine pictures that represented my hopes and dreams. I collected affirmations like, “Trust the process,” “I am worth it,” and “Freedom is Within Reach,” as well as meaningful quotes, including one of my favorites from Eleanor Roosevelt, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Finally, I gathered up all the pieces and sat down to make my recovery poster. One by one I attached the items, happily looking over what I had selected. There were snapshots of my dogs and family members, a picture of a beautiful sunset and another of Vegas that I especially liked, because it’s a place I have always dreamed of going. I added stickers of smiley faces, rainbows, dogs and stars all around and made designs with the markers, as well as numerous other embellishments.

When it was done, I felt proud of my accomplishment and I had confidence that it would make me feel empowered. Since I wanted to put my recovery poster where it would impact me the most, I found a perfect place. I hung it on my bedroom closet door, which is the first thing I see when I wake up every morning and the last thing I look at when I go to bed. It would be there to start each day with the right message and stay with me until I drifted off to sleep at night.


What do you “look” to when you are feeling discouraged, down, or in need of motivation? Can you “see” your dreams and aspirations? Gather some images that are special to you and your recovery and make a poster of your own. Where will you put it?

With health, hope and strength,