I Received an anonymous letter today Saying I am 'a filthy derelict drug addict Who deserves death.' Anonymous went on to say that 'every addict is the dirt and down fall of our society.' Anonymous wished me 'failure and relapse.'
There is nothing you can say to me I have not heard a thousand times before. Your words roll off me, easily, smoothly without question or pain.
I am a woman who knows the desperation of needing a drug so badly you are willing to die for it, I have been a lair, a thief, a derelict living off the scraps I found in dumpsters and the change dropped in my styrofoam cup, on the street corner. I am a woman who broke the hearts of the people who loved me most, promising over and over I would be different, only to sneak out the back window, in the middle of night, not be heard from for days, weeks or months.
I am also a woman who is a mother, a friend, a trustworthy family member, a business owner, making it my life's work to help addicts and their families, an author, an all American athlete and yes an all American drug addict, with 20 years sobriety.
We derelicts and scourge of society are your law makers, school bus drivers, teachers, CEOs, government workers, fireman, union workers, nannies, doctors, lawyers and neighbors, to name a few. We are everywhere, living sober, bright lives full of love and laughter.
I know this, that those who spit hate, have hate in their lives. My guess is you are yourself addicted or have been hurt or abandoned by an addict.
To this I say, if you are addicted, there is hope. You can find recovery. Change is possible. You do not have die the cold, painful, lonely death addiction guarantees. There is an expansive and beautiful life for you outside the small dark hole, from where you wrote your letter.
If you were hurt or abandoned by an addict I am truly sorry. Addiction is a awful ugly disease and we cause incredible hurt to the ones we love most. My addiction changed and altered the lives of my family and this heavy and painful truth I still carry with me today, two decades later. Whatever happened, it was not personal to you and I am certain you did not deserve it.
I hope you find your way to heal the hate in your heart, find peace and live a better life. And next time you send a letter, sign your name. Be proud. Own your shit.
You have caused me no pain. You have only refueled my energy to wage the war against addiction and fight for addicts everywhere. We are an exceptional group of individuals and I am very proud to be a member. Your letter inspires me to shine brighter, love deeper, live bigger and continue to thrive in recovery. For this, I thank you Tonight, I am grateful.
We will save a seat and keep the fire burning for you. When you are ready, we will be here.
Sober and Shameless,