A few months ago our friend and Evolved Recovery Show guest, Allison Hudson (It’s A Lush Life,) shared that the folks from I Am Not Anonymous would be in Charlotte hosting a photo shoot. Seeing as how I never pass up the opportunity for a fancy photo session, I signed right up! Kate and Tom were so wonderful and kind at the shoot. The energy in the room was spectacular. I met people in the recovery community in my city that I hadn’t met before and one woman has become a great friend since. (My story is posted below.)
Kate is an incredibly talented photographer and she has this way of making people who’ve probably spent most of their lives in shame and self-loathing due to addiction, suddenly feel like the most beautiful person on the planet when they see themselves through her lens. The work Kate and Tom are traveling around the country doing is crucial to helping people recovery. The I Am Not Anonymous mission is to bring the SOLUTION into the conversation in hopes of helping the millions of people who remain untreated and help the world understand that addiction is not a moral failing. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be part of this project. If they make it through your town, I highly recommend this experience!
This is an excerpt from my story posted on I AM NOT ANONYMOUS:
I am an equal opportunity addict. Whether it’s red wine, Facebook, men, Twinkies, or Netflix, I don’t discriminate.
The first time I self-medicated I was ten years old. I was a child in pain with no coping skills. I didn’t have that taste for alcohol that I sometimes hear people talk about. I wasn’t “hooked” after that first experience. In fact it took me until I was 30 to even like booze. But the thing I really liked was not feeling and that became my quest. Over the years I used eating disorders, hard drugs, promiscuity, control, and whatever else I could find to numb out the pain that radiated from my self-loathing. At 21 I hit my first real bottom. I was a radio personality living in the spot light with a very bad and almost deadly drug addiction. I knew I was close to losing my job…or worse…my life after a couple of near overdoses. But I couldn’t quit. I wanted to die but I didn’t want to die. That’s a tough place to be. There is a part of me that has always been a fighter and refuses to ever give up. She tends to show up at exactly the right times.
I reached out for help to a friend with years in recovery. I stayed sober for a few years but just because the alcohol and drugs were out of my system didn’t mean I was recovering. I just replaced the addictions. This is when I realized that excessive caffeine, junk food, and sick relationships with the opposite sex fulfilled the same receptors that were previously filled by the substances. With all of that running the show and an undiagnosed mental health disorder, eventually I talked myself out of sobriety…
Read more on I Am Not Anonymous.