I think what Koriann wrote below sums what my feelings exactly.
I love when people that have been through hell walk out of the flames carrying buckets of water for those still consumed by fire. – Koriann E.
These are the HOPE Warriors, they have and still are battling the demon of addiction and helping others reach for recovery. Recovery can be from addiction, mental illness, tragic events and so much more.
Society is full of so much hate and needs more compassion. I am fill with joy when I meet people in recovery that are sharing love and hope. They are trying to make the world a better place by exposing themselves and showing there is hope.
The stigma that people have with addiction (addicts and loved ones) hurts people and prevents people from reaching for help. It confirms the incorrect idea that they are no good and not worth anything in their minds.
We believe that if we can eliminate the stigma we can help more people start the road to recovery. This is NOT the only solution, but one part of the solution. This one part every single person can help with.
Sunflower Effect, was created in memory of Amber and all of those that lost their battle with addiction and mental illness will share the stories of the HOPE Warriors. We will stand with them and help lift them up and defend them from the hate that is spewed from others.
We have meet so many passionate and courageous people in recovery that are willing to share their stories and face ridicule to help others know that there is HOPE. This makes them warriors to me. I don’t understand why someone would put a person down who has changed their life and is trying to help others.
So, I ask you when you see stories that you show hope, compassion and empathy. Think of how you would feel if you revealing your past. Post comments of LOVE and SUPPORT. If you see a thread, add hope, love and support. Stand with them, become a warrior of HOPE.
They are NOT seeking attention, they are bringing awareness.
Personal stories and experiences connect with people who are in the grips of this disease. They need to know there is hope. Opening your mind and showing empathy and compassion is what we need as society. We don’t have to agree, but to share thoughts and understanding will make the world a better place.
I ask you as you see the stories from people who have suffered and are suffering to think what how you would feel if this was your son, daughter, mother, father.
In 2015, Substance Use Disorder affected 20.8 million Americans. Approximately 1 in 12 adults and adolescents. – Surgeon General’s Report. — Facing Addiction.
These people are the warriors of hope. They are people that inspire me and I am proud to help share their stories and encourage others to move to the road of recovery. Looking down a person doesn’t do anything.