Running to Recovery

Michael Run Facebook post



Michael Bailey began his journey to recovery in September 2013 and in April 2015 became a volunteer for Addiction NI. Michael is a member of our User Representation Group helping in the development of events and services for individuals struggling with alcohol and drug use.

Over the last 2 years Michael, with the help and support of others, has turned his life around. He has rebuilt relations with his family and children, regained his driving licence and recently secured a new job. He has also entered into part-time education to help facilitate his new career.

As part of his recovery Michael started running.

“I first got involved with running to help me take my mind off things, like a form of meditation I suppose. The biggest challenge I faced in recovery was the battle inside my own head. I found that running helped to slow down my thinking and process my thoughts more clearly. Not only did it help my mental health I always felt great after my run as well!

As my confidence grew I got involved with local park runs joining them every Saturday morning. Runners of all abilities take part so there is never any pressure to keep up or perform. It was also a great way to meet new people and develop new friendships. I can be quite competitive with myself and got a real boost when I saw myself improving! I have also discovered that there are some great parks in Belfast right on our doorstep.

When I started running I didn’t like myself very much. I had low self-esteem and self-worth. It has definitely helped with my confidence and not only do a feel much better about myself I also look much healthier as well.

Running may not be for everyone but I would encourage those taking their first steps in recovery to find a new activity, something that gives you some head space and makes you feel good.

I will be running the Race to Recovery to help celebrate the thousands who have started on this journey and to encourage and support others who have yet to take that step.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by alcohol and/or drug use please join us to run, jog or walk on Sunday 5th March. Bring your friends, family and your dogs and help us raise awareness of these issues and challenge the stigma of addiction.

Register here for Race to Recovery

Running helps those in recovery by;

  • Making use of free time
  • Increasing mental strength and resilience
  • Helping the body to repair and recover
  • Helping to develop new social network not connected to alcohol.
  • Improving self-esteem.


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