International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. For too many of us, this is a day of grieving for those we have lost. But it is also a day of hope, in recognition of the tens of thousands of lives that have been saved from overdose, and a call to further action to end the overdose crisis.
What breaks my heart more than anything in the world are the friends and families who get left behind when one of their loved ones dies from the disease of addiction, alcoholism, mental health or suicide. I have lost one too many friends to this epidemic and am on a mission to spread awareness and end the stigma of addiction. For some reason beyond my knowledge, I was one of the lucky ones who found a way out. I know my rock bottom was much lower than many who didn’t survive. I will never be able to understand why some make it and some don’t. However, since I did break the chains of my own addiction (which had me bound and buried for years) I know I MUST help others, give love, and share hope!
Today, my mess is my message! It’s so important for me to share my story of recovery, in fact, it’s what helps me stay sober. It’s become my purpose, and to this day, that still blows my mind! It’s been a process, but I ABSOLUTELY trust and believe that all the bad decisions, self-destructive behaviors, and the pain I put my family and friends through happened for a reason. Please don’t get this confused with not taking ownership for my past mistakes. I’ve owned all of that, made my amends and done the work to let go of the guilt and shame. That’s the beauty of 12-step programs and journey into a life of sobriety. If we are willing to do the work, we can all have a life beyond our wildest dreams. That’s my promise to anybody out there who has lost hope!
If you or somebody you know is struggling right now, PLEASE reach out to me directly. This is something that we CAN’T do alone, and the more we talk about it, the more awareness and connection we can find through it all.