Just because National Recovery Month is over doesn’t mean the work is over! Our continuous mission to spread awareness and encouragement for recovery doesn’t end on September 31st; in order to see real and lasting change in the way society views addiction, we must not allow the conversation to die down or go unnoticed. In keeping with that commitment, we are publishing a new eBook called Raise Your Voice: Stories of Addiction Recovery!
RELATED: Check out our other eBooks!
In Raise Your Voice: Stories of Addiction Recovery, we also touch on the darker, rippling effects of addiction. Through the shared stories of those indirectly affected by substance abuse and addiction, we hope to help people understand that this is not a matter of ‘your problem, not mine’- we are all touched by the adverse effects of this deadly epidemic. This includes stories from parents, children, and even grandchildren who are impacted by addiction.
In the final section of the eBook we included art inspired by the recovery journey, including poetry and photography from an incredible ongoing project by Fiona McCosh called Sober & Sexy.
Here’s an excerpt from the story of Cara Johnson:
1 year ago.
One year ago today, I was walking the streets, high as a kite. Drugs pumped through my bloodstream at a slow and steady pace, infesting my body like a disease. All I can remember is thinking I wanted more. More, more, more. Drugs had taken over my body like a sick form of cancer. I had developed a need for it, a yearning for it. It was a prison ship and I its lonely captive. For what seemed like so long, pills were the captain of that ship, steering me through all the storms the sea could throw at me, plunging me into its depths each chance it got.
One year ago today, drugs ruled my life, inside and out. Despite the fact that I’d managed to hide my addiction from family and friends, it was affecting my ability to get out of bed in the morning. It began to keep me from class and rehearsal and spending time with anyone outside the confines of my room.
One year ago today, I wasn’t the same person because of those drugs. I was an empty shell that barely even went through the motions. I wasn’t living. I was just there. And I was there for the pills.
One year ago today, I looked in the mirror and saw what I was becoming. What I had become. I saw the circles under my dim and tired eyes. I saw the inability to even keep those eyes open. But more than that, I saw my broken soul in that mirror. I saw all the days I had missed, the friendships I’d lost, and the adventures ignored. I saw the look in my best friend’s eyes the first time she had found me using. I saw the disdain of the people I passed in public that watched me slip by in an intoxicated haze. I saw my worst nights playing on the mirror like a drive-in movie with a private viewing just for me.
I saw everything I’d missed, everything the drugs had taken from me. Everything I’d taken from myself.
So one year ago today, I made a choice: to live for the days I had missed and all the days that were to come. I made a choice to strive for a look of pride in my best friend’s eyes and heal my broken heart; to find the pieces of my soul in the world around me to put it back together. I made a choice to pour the poison into the toilet and flush them, watching them swirl like a whirlpool. I made a choice to change- for me.