In the documentary Anonymous People, actor Kristen Johnston sits on stage and openly tells the audience, “I’ll tell whomever I damn well please that I am in recovery.”I feel the...
In the documentary Anonymous People, actor Kristen Johnston sits on stage and openly tells the audience, “I’ll tell whomever I damn well please that I am in recovery.”
I feel the same way and have for years.
Without even knowing it. I felt the stigma of being a ‘flawed’ woman when I first got sober. While everyone around me knew it, my addiction told me it was “our secret.” Even though I felt weak, afraid and despised my behavior I was chained to the dark side. Walking into my first 12 step meeting over 23 years ago I was certain everyone was going to point their finger at me adding to my shame. Oh, how wrong I was.
It took time, patience, guidance and understanding — that I am one of the many who have the disease of addiction.
Through the years I’ve witnessed a growing movement of people who are speaking out and stepping out of the shadows.
Why do we do this?
How else will people know that continuous recovery from addiction is real? That people like you and me can lead successful lives; we work, we marry, we raise families, and we love, we laugh and we show others that while this deadly disease cannot be cured, it can be treated.
Deeply entrenched social stigma and mass participation in widely successful anonymous 12-step groups have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. The vacuum created by this silence has been filled by sensational mass media depictions of addiction that continue to perpetuate a lurid public fascination with the dysfunctional side of what is a preventable and treatable health condition. Just like women with breast cancer, or people with HIV/AIDS, a grass roots social justice movement is emerging.
Courageous addiction recovery advocates have come out of the shadows and are organizing to end discrimination and move toward recovery-based solutions.
The moving story of The Anonymous People is told through the faces and voices of the citizens, leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, and public figures who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. This passionate new public recovery movement is fueling a changing conversation that aims to transform public opinion, and finally shift problematic policy toward lasting solutions.
Please join me on November 14th at the Shea 14 theatres in Scottsdale. The movie will screen at 7:30. Tickets must be purchased in advance. To get yours, go to http://gathr.us/screening/5843.
See you there!