'Recovery Night' open mic celebrates those who have battled addiction

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September is National Recovery Month, and later this week there will be a celebration for those who are in recovery from addiction or living with a mental illness.

From rock 'n roll to spoken word poetry - it's all on stage this Thursday - all in celebration of recovery at Recovery Night open mic event at Joy Manor in Westland (go here to learn more).

"There's a lot more people that I know that are musicians and performers now that are in recovery," said Chris O'Droski. "But back 14 years ago, I was one of the few in my immediate circle."

O'Droski is now an addictions community specialist - having battled alcoholism and attempted suicide. He's now known as the sober rock n roller - and because it's national recovery month and national suicide prevention awareness month as well - it's time to celebrate.

"I think that's important to bring that to the light," he said, "That's why we're inviting performers, poets, musicians, different performers from all walks of life to come to our open mic night."

It's free and it's for anyone who is in recovery and for those who have struggled with mental illness. Often times the two go hand in hand.

"It's okay to not be okay - and it should be okay to talk about it to somebody - so we want to raise awareness with that as well," O'Droski said.

"I saw something traumatic in my own community and I realized there was definitely a stigma about mental health in my culture and my community," said Andrea Rodgers. and I really wanted to be able to personally speak to it

Rodgers is the director of Children's Outpatient Services at Hegira Health. She says Covid has been especially challenging for children - but for adults as well - depression, and anxiety, leading to suicide.

"In 2020 alone, we had a suicide death every 11 minutes," she said. "Suicide is totally, totally preventable."

Rodgers says parents, and friends, need to ask people direct questions - do they want to harm themselves - do they have access to weapons or pills - do they know to call 988 - the National Suicide Prevention Hotline - for help.

Help is available - hope is available - and let's just continue to have the conversation," she said.

"We've been through what you're going through - there's life, there's great things on the other side of it," O'Droski said. "Yes it's a struggle - yes it's going to be difficult but it's worth it."

And, they say, it's worth celebrating.

The open mic Recovery Night is Thursday at Joy Manor, located at  28999 Joy Road. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the event starts at 7 p.m. Find them on Facebook HERE and let them know you're coming.