Please read this. I need your help and support.
I read a statistic that 42% of American adults are affected by addiction, either directly or indirectly. Whether you have struggled yourself (or continue to struggle) or have ever loved someone who has, nearly half of American adults have felt the sting of addiction in some form.
And yet it remains one of those topics that isn't talked about openly very often outside of recovery meetings or therapist's offices.
When I finally dragged myself into a recovery meeting and heard another woman, someone I had never met. share my story, my feelings, I was floored. Up until that point, and despite the staggering statistics of how many people struggle with addiction, I honestly thought I was the only one who did the things I did, who felt the way I felt. I believed with all my heart I was morally corrupt, weak-willed, broken beyond repair.
For the first time in a long time, I felt a stirring of hope. If she can get sober, maybe I can, too.
I started Crying Out Now almost one year ago to bring the same feeling of relief and comfort I experienced by hearing other people's struggles and triumphs to other women who may feel the same way I felt - totally alone, isolated and scared.
I'm only half joking when I say I want to change the world one story at a time.
The response to Crying Out Now has amazed me. I wasn't sure that anyone would ever have the guts to submit their story - anonymously or not - but I figured it was worth a try.
Since last March nearly 125 women have stepped forward and shared their truths. Hundreds of people have commented to show their empathy and support. Every time I get an email from someone who says they are reading the posts at Crying Out Now and feeling less alone, my heart soars.
I had been struggling to find a way to honor Crying Out Now's first birthday. And then I saw this video at Violence Unsilenced. VU was founded by one of my most favorite people in the world, Maggie. The idea for Crying Out Now came about because I was so inspired by the bravery, grace and truth in the voices of the women who post there. I wanted to do for addiction and recovery what Violence Unsilenced is doing for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual abuse.
And so, with continued admiration and respect for Maggie and Violence Unsilenced (and with Maggie's permission), I want to create a video honoring the voices of Crying Out Now.
I'm asking for your help.
To all the people out there reading who have ever struggled with addiction or recovery, who love someone who has (or is), or who admire and support women raising their voices to overcome shame and addiction, please go here to read about how to contribute one simple photograph (and it can be done anonymously) to Crying Out Now's one year anniversary video (submissions due by March 2nd).
You don't have to be sober, in recovery or even have any direct experience with addiction to show your support.
Together we are raising our hearts and voices, and together we are healing.
Here is another link to the post about how to submit a photo: http://www.cryingoutnow.com/2011/02/your-voice-matters-come-show-your.html