It’s not shame you see in the eyes of your loved ones

To those with substance use disorder-

You see the faces of your loved ones when you use or relapse and you translate that look on their face as shame. Because you feel shame.

But it’s not that. It’s fear. We are gripped with mortal fear that you will die from substance use disorder.

We want to understand it as a disease. But it’s hard because it is so different from our usual definition of disease. We are not tempted to throw cancer patients out the door because we’ve had enough.

When you steal from us, we struggle not to be … Read more...

Paying it forward gives another hope

letter by Christopher Doyle

Scott Zebrowski died from overdose and a scholarship fund established by his twin sister, Jill, has given Christopher a chance at recovery

“About four months ago, I was in such a dark place that I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it out alive. To be hones, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. Thirteen years of heroin addiction and failed attempts at getting clean had brought me to a place of such hopelessness and despair that giving up seemed like a viable option.

Scott Zebrowski didn’t die in vain. If his family can … Read more...

Dear Suicide

dear suicide

For years you stalked my son’s brain, took it hostage, lied to him and made him feel worthless and undeserving of life. At first he was frightened and confused but unwilling to tell us how much he hurt.

Because when you deposit pain you inject shame.

Charles didn’t understand because he didn’t know who you were, how unrelenting and convincing you could be, or how that you’d come back over and over to torture him. Over time, you wore him down until he was desperate for solutions. He thought he found it when he first started using — marijuana and … Read more...

Why should I stay alive when I want to kill myself?

by Anna Wieder

Dear Me who wants to die,

I know are you in so much pain right now. It feels unbearable and I am SO sorry. 

I know it feels like the pain will never end. 

It feels like it is crushing your spirit.

I know the terror you feel in your heart. The fear and panic feel like they are running through your arms and body, even piercing you like needles. 

I know everything in your brain might be fuzzy as your body sensations overwhelm you.

Stay here, in your body. BREATHE.

It is OK if it doesn’t … Read more...

Thank you to my parents for loving me through my addiction

by Tiffani Borello

Thank you to my parents for loving me through my addiction
Tiffani’s dad on the left. Pic on the right shows her grandmother, brother, sister, Tiffani and her mom. One of her siblings at bottom of article.

Dear Mom and Dad, This letter to you is long overdue, and it took me a while to build the courage to write this to you two. First off, I want to thank you. Thank you for always being there and picking me up when I fell down.

You’ve invested so much time, sweat, pain, tears, and money trying to fix my mental health and addiction. You tried so hard until … Read more...

Jared’s last words

by Jared Murphy

Note from his mother: “This is a letter my son Jared wrote to his friends before he died. He died from accidental overdose. Jared had given me the note a while back. He asked that I post it to his Facebook page. Through tears, I am sharing and awe fills my heart to have had the honor to be his mother.” Maureen Mahaney

To be posted to my Facebook – just in case (Please)

If you are reading this then the war is finally over. These words are mine and have been written as a half-baked last … Read more...

Letter from a drug dealer

Dear People,

You all think of me as the worst possible human being– a drug dealer. Most of you invest all your hate and resentment for your loved one’s addiction on me.

Every arrest is celebrated like some progress has been made in the war on drugs. What a joke. All of us “dealers” are products of demand. Once one of us is arre