By: Marilyn L. Davis
“…you share an objective with all other advocates: to have your story move audiences from apathy to empathy to action.” ― John Capecci and Timothy Cage, Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference
My story is not much different from yours. We’ve all faced hardships, endured painful circumstances and situations, failed as many times as we’ve succeeded, and today, we’re alive, and if we’re alive today, we can make a difference.
Once Upon a Time…The Story Begins
29 years ago I was the subject of an intervention that worked. They expected me to go to treatment or they would fire me. I went to treatment and began listening to people who helped me mend the broken pieces of my mind, body, and spirit.
The defining moment for me was when a counselor said, “If I can do this, so can you.” Feeling so broken, damaged, and without many redeeming characteristics, I didn’t think they could have sunk as low as I felt.
However, I was willing to listen to their story, and ultimately, I understood that it isn’t how far down we have gone, but how far up we are willing to climb that matters.
I Encourage You to Climb
Addiction traps us in what seems like a bottomless pit. There’s nothing there but an endless cycle of use, withdrawal, more use, fractured relationships, financial ruin, and shattered dreams. For some, they die.
Even if you’re still in that pit, there is a way out. It will take time, energy, and effort, but there are those of us who are telling you, “If I can do this, so can you.”
- Are you listening to the people supporting your efforts at recovery?
- Do you know how much we hope you make it?
- Will you try our suggestions?
Writing Your Story
Because we initially relate to gender, circumstances, or feelings, your story of redemption and renewal will touch someone in ways that mine can’t. That is why it is important to tell your story of recovery to anyone who is still struggling. When you advocate for recovery, you are letting those around you know that recovery works and that people do change.
The Bigger Story
But it’s not just the people in your meetings, or family, or a few select friends. It’s advocating and supporting the organizations that represent us nationally. Supporting their efforts by attending events, donating your time and money, or giving whatever help you can.
- Get involved.
- Read blogs about recovery.
- Share events on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media outlets.
A Call to Action
While I celebrate 29 years today, I’m only one of about 23 million people in recovery. Together, we can bring hope to those still in the grips of addiction. How can you do that?
- Advocate where you can.
- Become involved in the life of another.
- Encourage someone else.
- Live the message, “recovery works” to help end the stigma.
- Support the efforts of people and groups that foster positive examples of successful recovery.
Use Your Resources and Help Them Tell The Stories
There are so many advocates for recovery that I know work diligently every day to improve the lives of others, including mine. Thank you for helping me celebrate:
- Aaron Lebold
- Alone I Can’t, But Together We Can
- Anna Shouse
- Catherine Townsend-Lyon
- Christine Campbell
- Craig Dickinson Daad
- Craig Stratton
- David Gale at Hope for Humanity
- Donna Ritter
- Donnie Huffman
- Ed Brazell at The Addicts Mom
- Frances Potts Ellington at Share Your Recovery Links
- Gregory Chapman at Writing Works!
- Jeannie Rabb at Keys to Recovery
- Joan Daniel
- Kevin Coughlin
- Mark Price
- Maureen McFarland
- North House Graduates
- Robert Henslee at Stop Frying Your Brain
- Roland Bagwell
- The Way Up Graduates
Thank you all for helping me !
Sharing Your Story
When you’re ready to share your story, I hope you will consider submitting to From Addict 2 Advocate.