Isnt it funny how all of the positive feedback in regards to our creative endeavours can be completely washed away by one piece of negativity.
I remember when I worked in the hotel industry my sales manager told me that “one complaint is more powerful than 20 good reviews “. I think this is a similar concept to how we perceive negative feedback when we are putting our passion, our creativity and our hearts on the line for the world to critique. For those of you who have read some of my blog posts, most importantly the ones that dig a bit deeper into my past, you know I had a few very honest moments. My motivation for this raw honesty was to rip the band aid off and expose myself for where I’ve come from and who I am today. It wasn’t easy becoming vulnerable to the world and to my family and friends, but my end goal is so much bigger than a “ hey everyone, look at me, I’m super raw and vulnerable.. now pat me on the back because I’m amazing” moment. It was the first real step in the direction of helping the women and families who have in the past or are currently suffering from addiction and its destructive elements.
When I was in Ventura a week ago, I met a beautiful woman who had lost her gorgeous 26 year old daughter to drugs just this year. Her daughter had left her with a grand child whom she is raising. I briefly heard her story and my heart ached for this stunning young woman who had fallen into the same traps I had so many years before in the very same town. My heart broke for this mother whose unconditional love for her daughter was so apparent and the broken pieces of her heart showing clearly through her kind smile. I listened with tears in my eyes and chills up my spine because I knew it was no mistake meeting and speaking to this woman… and in that moment I knew what I had to do. Imagine if I had put myself out there sooner? What if there was something I could do to help? If sharing my story and showing up for some of these woman had even a 1% chance of giving hope or saving a life, I believe the shame that comes from being judged for my past is worth it. What if dredging up my past and identifying with this group of social outcasts was the key to changing the stigma, to putting a pause on the judgment and bringing attention to an ever growing social problem that desperately needs some attention. One person can initiate change, one light can illuminate darkness and one story could save a life… I know because I was given hope in the darkest of times by one person.
So with all of that said, I have begun the process of writing a book. I’m going to tell my story, I’m going to bear my soul and I’m doing it for the hundreds even thousands of young women out there who are existing without hope of full recovery. I’m doing it for their children who desperately need their mother’s happy and healthy… and I’m doing it for the families, parents who are lost to know what to do to help and are watching their daughters fade before their very eyes..The story that I have to tell is mine and I earned it with blood, sweat and tears… heartache, abuse and despair. My love for these woman and my heart for their plight is so much bigger than any judgement or shaming I may receive…
So call me an addict.. I am.. with 14 years clean. Judge me for my past wether you know who I am now or not. I’ve dealt with much more troubling treatment at different times in my life, I’m strong enough to handle it. And I’ll brave it for the cause.
And for those of you who support me, I am forever grateful.. it’s individuals like you who gave me the hope and strength years ago to climb out of my personal hell and a future so grim it didn’t seem worth sticking around to witness, so I could show up today for the women I hope to help.