by Kerri Rhodes
Helping to End the Stigma of Addiction and Mental Illness was not part of my original life plan. Life and the universe thought otherwise.
I spent the better part of 30 years thinking being brave meant never letting people see you struggle or cry. I was raised in a “you’re fine, suck it up kind of culture.”
Taylor’s addiction taught me that showing your broken pieces and telling your truth is the stuff real Courage is made of. If you know someone struggling with addiction, their families deserve your compassion and help, not your judgment. They are beautiful people with the biggest hearts you can imagine. They are regular people.
NO ONE CHOOSES ADDICTION.
I hate that it chose Taylor and our family
If there is a silver lining in all this, it is the people that have surrounded us with love and support. As fate would have it, Dr. Jon Avery, whom I have never met in person, is one of those people. He is someone who is helping us tell Taylor’s story to end this stigma. He sent a film crew to our house and had this piece created.
Dr. Avery is the Director of Addiction Psychiatry and an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. We are so grateful to Cornell Weil Medical and Dr. Avery.
I hope you will take a few minutes to watch this and share it with anyone that can help us end the stigma. I am so grateful to Sarah Kamaras and her film crew and Jon Avery.
There really are no words for what you have done. Taylor lives on in this piece and in each of us. Thank you for sharing our story.