Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Hello good people,
I wanted to check in to see if any of you would be interested in a project called I Am Not Anonymous. The goal is to reduce stigma and inspire hope by putting a face and voice on recovery. There is more information in the below email from the folks leading this project.
The quick and dirty version is that we are looking for folks to submit their recovery story (using the attached talking points to guide the narrative) and then get your picture taken on Saturday, August 9th. This is an awesome project that I had the honor of participating in and I think you'd enjoy it as well!! Check out the below email along with their website,www.iamnotanonymous.org , and let me know if you are interested!! Also, if you know of anybody else who may be interested, please connect them to me.
Thanks for your interest in participating in the I Am Not Anonymous project! This is a black and white portrait project that Kate Meyer (co-creator) is photographing. The focus, hope and vision of this project is to bring a face and a voice to recovery, in order to aid in breaking the stigma of addiction.
Most importantly, everyone must understand that this project is IN NO WAY affiliated with any 12-step program. We take the tradition of anonymity very seriously here and respect the fellowships that so many of us have recovered, and continue to recover in. However, this project is all about breaking PERSONAL anonymity. And the deal is that it is all about the principle of attraction ironically. However, again, it has nothing to do with AA or any other 12-step fellowship. It just has to do with RECOVERY.
Currently the stigma of alcoholism / addiction is tremendous and terrible, and for good reason. The only vision of our kind is negative. The only thing that the public sees is the untreated alcoholic/addict. So what advocacy work, the recovery movement, and specifically this project is about, is about bringing a face and a voice to the treated addict/alcoholic. Showing the public what we look like. Breaking the stigma of addiction and alcoholism by showing how beautiful, funny, intelligent, helpful and productive we are when we are treated.
Unfortunately what happens is so many of us get sober and just matriculate into society wearing this cloak of 'anonymity,' which is not a bad thing. And everyone is entitled to personal anonymity if that is what they so choose. However, oftentimes there is a misconception about in order to be a "good member" of my 12-step fellowship, and follow the traditions; I need to be quiet about my sobriety. This is false. What the traditions do is ask for us to not identify specially as a member of said fellowship; and they also ask us not to expose anyone else's membership. That is all.
So I can talk about my personal recovery all day!! And so can you! We just exclude directly tying ourselves to a particular fellowship. Recovery and AA/NA/CA ... although for many of us are simply synonymous ... truly are two very separate things!
My personal opinion is that the stigma of alcoholism and addiction cannot and will not be broken until the recovering community of alcoholics and addicts becomes visible. That onus falls on our shoulders.
Now that we have the fine prints out of the way... On to the fun stuff!
The photo shoot with be held:
DATE: Saturday, August 9th
TIME: 10:00am - 5:00pm (Please let me know what time you can arrive!)
LOCATION: 123 S Broad St. 22nd Floor ; Philadelphia, PA 19109
Along with your photo, is going to be your accompanying story, in your own words! And you need to write this before the photo shoot and email it back to me. If I do not receive your written submission before the day of the shoot, we cannot shoot you. We are asking that all written submissions be about 1000 words- however; please feel free to write more if you feel so inclined.
To give you some guidelines for your writing...
It is up to you what parts of your story you would like to share. Please keep in mind the goals of the project while you are writing your story. For those of you are members of 12-step fellowships, this is more than a normal "Experience, Strength and Hope" share. The goal is to combat the negative stigma surrounding addiction and spread a positive message about recovery. This should be more recovery heavy, then addiction heavy. Really try and think about how the stigma affected your journey. How you felt while you were still active... How you feel now that you are in recovery... Were you judged... Are you still judged even now that you are in recovery due to people’s ignorance or lack of understanding? Tom and Kate have compiled a list of questions (which I have attached) that may spark your interest and help you think of specific instances that you can write about. Also I am here to help you form your story. Please don't hesitate to call, text, email me, and we can go over it! Most importantly, write from the heart. There is nothing more powerful than an authentic share to help shape and change someone's mind.
Along with your writing, we will also need for you to choose the message that will be placed on your image. Just a couple words, but a couple of words that scream you, your story, and your message. A couple of examples that other subjects have used already are: "You Are Not Alone," "God Shaped Hole," "Seeing Through New Eyes," and "I Am No Less Than You."
If you have ANY questions, comments, concerns... Please feel free to contact me. I am so humbled and excited to be a part of this project. Kate and Tom thank you from the bottom of their hearts for your involvement.
THROUGH OUR SILENCE, WE LET OTHERS DEFINE US.