Voices Project

I Am Open About My Life In Recovery. I Will Not Be Silenced, Shamed, Or Invisible. - by Fay Zenoff, #VoicesProject
I am open about my life in recovery. I will not be silenced, shamed, or invisible: I have a disease. And I battled my addiction alone for years. I didn’t have role models, doctors, friends, or colleagues who showed me how they had struggled with addiction and succeeded to find paths back to wellness. I would like to believe if I’d had models of open recovery when I was struggling, perhaps I would have found help sooner. This is one of the reasons I am open today. But recovery has been a journey. And I understand now that it’s one...
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Addiction Was Hell But Recovery Made Me A Son, Brother & Friend Again - by Garrett Hade, #VoicesProject
If you had looked at my life from the outside growing up, it’s kind of hard to imagine that one day I would find myself completely alone and hopeless wishing that I would be dead. I actually welcomed that idea at one time in my life. I was raised in a loving family. They instilled positive values in me, made sure I got the best education, and showered me with love. They never could understand why I would behave the way I did sometimes. They constantly were getting calls from teachers, “he has so much potential, if he would just...
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My name is Mackenzie Phillips. I am Shane’s mom, I am a drug and alcohol counselor, I am a writer, singer, actress, but above all this: I am a woman in recovery from substance use disorder. Had I been asked to define myself a while back, this would not have been the way I would have answered. Addiction is a tricky thing, a shape-shifting monster, and it will twist all that is good and right and true about you to its own advantage. To the point where the answer could have been – my name is Mackenzie Phillips: I am...
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I Survived the Columbine Shooting but Addiction Almost Killed Me
I wasn’t always an addict. My parents weren’t addicts. Their parents weren’t addicts. My aunts, uncles and siblings weren’t addicts and neither were my friends. My path to addiction wasn’t all that uncommon, but the catalyst was. April 20, 1999. I was seventeen years old and a junior at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. I walked into the library to meet my best friend Corey and others for lunch. I remember hearing what sounded like gunshots, but we immediately brushed it off as construction noise, until a teacher ran into the library screaming for everyone to get under the...
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How I Got Sober & Found A Life Worth Living
The absolute last thing I wanted to be was sober. I knew it meant the end of fun, and since I thought happiness meant flinging yourself from one fun experience to the next, I considered that the end of life. Yet the crazy part of my staunch belief that sobriety was the absolute worst thing is that I knew sober people who were not miserable and actually seemed quite pleased with their lives. My brain—overactive, overprotective instrument that it is—edited that information out so it could cling to the idea that sobriety would not be for me. I wasn’t in...
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Locked In Prison I Found Hope
My name is Tim Ryan. I am a grateful recovering alcoholic and drug addict. My journey is just like many others: I let my world be taken over by drinking and drug use. I first tried heroin in 2001 and that took me down another 12-year road to hell. Many consequences occurred in those 12 years, including a number of overdoses. One of which happened behind the wheel of a car, putting four people into the hospital. Thank God everyone survived. In and out of county jails for a long time finally landed me in prison twice. My last trip to...
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Nearly ten years ago, I stood in a doorway with nothing but a couple trash bags of clothes, a Jeep on a car title loan, and a decision to make. Behind me were fourteen years of obsession and insanity surrounding drugs and whatever I had to do to get them. Fourteen years of putting those things in front of my family, my daughter and myself. In front of me was an opportunity for help that I wasn’t sure I even wanted. It was a small office, with a large, loud man trying to talk to me when all I could...
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Ryan Hampton
At the end, there were only two things I cared about: the bag of heroin on my glass topped coffee table, and the cell phone next to it. They were my two life lines. After a decade of abusing opiates, I couldn’t stop using heroin. I was psychologically, physically, and emotionally dependent on it. My phone, too, was an absolute necessity. It linked me to my network – which I’d started building since I worked in the White House as a young, ambitious staffer. On the last day of my drug use, I stared down at the table. To my...
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Alcohol almost cost me my life. Today I'm an advocate for my community.
I nearly died from alcohol poisoning when I was seventeen. It was the bottom-shelf, plastic-bottle vodka from a liquor store in Portsmouth, the kind we see discarded in alleys and not recycling bins. I was hospitalized and intubated. The nurses accidentally ruptured and paralyzed my vocal cord, leaving me whispering for the next nine years. Over those nine years I endured periodic arrests, near-misses with death, progressive drug addiction, and graduation to daily injection and suicidal thoughts. Help came later than some would have appreciated. I’m grateful to have survived as a result of the treatment I finally received five...
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A Mother Shares Her Anguish
A friend accidentally sent me a text message meant for someone else: “Hi. Here with a friend who just lost her son.” Then: “Oops.” Although the text wasn’t meant for me, it was about me. I am that friend who just lost her son. I am the woman with that sobriquet of sorrow that seems as apparent, even to strangers, as a slogan on my T-shirt or a neon sign above my head. I am different from who I was on that sunny morning two weeks ago when I walked out my front door and left behind my normal life...
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