Choose Freedom – By William Marotta

Choose freedom. How did I come to that? Why did I choose that as a name for a blog? As a title for what the thoughts are that go through my mind. It’s because a moment of freedom creates so much clarity, confidence & inspiration inside ourselves. This isn’t meant to be professional. Honestly, it’s raw. This is my experience and mine only. I want to change perception. I want to change families beliefs on addiction. I want to change the world. Period. So I departed from this company, and when I did, some words that were thrown around pierced my character and crushed me to the core. I wanted to die. I was a walking billboard for “let’s change the world.” I wasn’t in a church basement, or a room talking about how we end the stigma. I fucking wear my recovery like the shirt on my back. It… Continue reading

It Was That Day – By Aaron Emerson

Walking up to the Volunteers of America homeless shelter on that bright sunny day, in the downtown outskirts of Michigan’s Capital City with my Dad was a surreal experience. I was sure he was going to see the run down building, the mean-mugging, desperate-looking older men outside the door, and decide that the decision he made to leave me there was not the right one. Tears streamed out of his eyes and down his face. That sour, depressing, hopeless look was etched on his face as he walked me up to the place that all but spelled out “last resort.” He was out of options. He really meant it this time. The day before he said that if I used heroin one more time in his house, I was not welcome in the family home. Even though I was 21, it was still a family home to my siblings and… Continue reading

Life Goes On – By MaryBeth Cichocki

We’ve all heard the saying, Life Goes On. It wasn’t until this year that I really felt the impact of those three little words. The day I lost my son my life stopped. The third day of the New Year. It came to a screeching halt. Spun right off my perfect little axis and shattered at my feet. Not only did I not want it to go on, I wanted it to rewind. To give me a do over. One more hug…one more I love you. Give me time to undo things already done. I wanted it to just stop. As much as I tried to fight, to curl up and stop, life moved on. Dragging me along kicking and screaming. At first I counted the days, the weeks, then the months since Matt’s death. The saying is true, life did go on. The yearly celebrated holidays came and went.… Continue reading

My Daughter the Addict-A Suburban Mom’s Nightmare – By Katie Donovan

I was the PTO mom, the carpool mom, the Brownie leader.  We ate family dinners at the table, taught our children manners and took family vacations.  My husband and I were blessed to have very good jobs.  My daughter, Brittany, the beautiful girl in the photo, was the honor roll student, the volunteer at the city parks and recreation department and loved playing sports. THEN OUR ENTIRE LIVES CHANGED Growing up, I had skewed images of what a heroin addict looked like.  I envisioned them sitting in an ally, or a gangster or a criminal.  The stereotypical hippie from the 60’s and 70’s that grew up in a bad home. I had preconceived notions that you had to stay away from them…that they were BAD PEOPLE. NEVER ONCE DID I ENVISION MY DAUGHTER.  I am very ashamed of my thoughts now.  I never really had a “real” exposure to addiction. … Continue reading