FEATURE STORY: Out of the Shadows

VOR Shadows_Artboard 4I belong to a fellowship that speaks to anonymity. The anonymity I must follow relates to the fellowship and who I see there, what I hear there, stays in the fellowship. That does not mean that I can not speak to my own person truth of being a person in long time recovery and being sober. As I continue my journey in recovery, I desire to pass on hope. Hope that recovery works and hope that people¬†can and do get better. Not just people in the 12 step help groups, but people from every formal and informal pathway. There are almost 24 million people in long term recovery in the United States and 32,000 of them live in Berks County! That is a lot of people! We live, breathe, walk and talk and are productive individuals, parents, grand-parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, professionals, volunteers and sons and daughters. We have a right to live sober and free. We also have a responsibility to help those that are still lost in the whirlwind of the disease of addiction. I share my full name because I want others to know that I understand their struggle, their pain and their desperation. And, I want to share that unless we are willing to honor and acknowledge who we are, there is a certain segment of the population that will continue to stigmatize and berate our humanness. We are worth treatment, we are worth dignity and we deserved to be valued. Let’s rise up and be counted!

“Don’t count the days, make the days count”

–¬†Yvonne Stroman

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