Stigma and shame rob us of self-esteem. When we choose to take action we need our full power. Thanks to Charlie Thweatt for his musical reminder!

There are always two choices; two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it’s easy. Denis Waitley

What is most important to you?

Here are ways others are making a difference:

  • Ria focuses on Friends Don’t Let Friends Die Read more…
  • Larry’s work as a pharmacist led him into activism related to prescription drugs.
  • Sherry writes books and articles. Read more…
  • Doe helps find rehab and legal resources for parents in Harford County MD. Read more…
  • Gail brings issues regarding Oxycontin to our attention. Read more…
  • Margaret puts together addiction centered art shows Read more…
  • Bill’s “on fire about the impact of addiction and need for solutions”. Read more…
  • Howard’s a retired law enforcement office who opposes prohibition. Read more…
  • Go to our “weblinks” page for lots more ideas and options.

Each of these individuals have been affected by addiction and chosen to step forward in ways that make sense in the context of their own skills and life plans. There are countless others; how about you?

What can you do immediately?

Many have offered to help with Shatter the Stigma. Here are some ideas:

  • Order the wristbands – No Shame or Blame – Just Love™. Give them out to family, friends, at 12-step meetings, church or other gatherings. This is a simple way to engage in positive conversations about the broader aspects of addiction.
  • Post your favorite websites on a Facebook page and send them to be included here. Submit your favorites here.
  • Read books and share why you found them helpful. Submit your favorites here.
  • Smile at someone you pass on the street who may be homeless, addicted or afflicted in some other stigmatized way.
  • Like to do public speaking? Watch this site for a future presentation and press kit!
  • Find an organization such as HOPE and join where it suits you; volunteer with a local recovery program; start a blog; research a topic of interest and write articles – your options are vast these days.
Give what you have. To someone, it may be more than you dare to imagine. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Coach Talk

All change begins within us and these days change begins at the grassroots. Energy goes where attention flows. Where do you put your energy? If we grouse about the opinions of others, we invest energy towards their opinions. When we shift our perceptions and voice them, we invest in different ways of seeing the world. When we take care of our own values, our own sense of what is right, we are in better condition to offer hope to others.

On a plane; the instruction is “in the case of emergency, place the oxygen mask over your nose first; then assist others.” In order to make effective change, we need to be in good shape – mentally, physically and emotionally. We establish what is important and how our personal values come into play. From there, we begin investing in the change we want to see in the world. Getting our own house in order first is the first step to effective change.

The issues of addiction are complex; they cover a wide range of varying aspects of society. Where do you start?

  • What do you need to get into activism shape? Do you need to carve time from your current schedule to invest in an initiative? Do you need agreement from others? Do you need to get in better physical condition?
  • What values are calling you to this choice? Remaining true to what is important keeps us on track especially when attacked, discouraged or tired. If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.
  • What fits with your life style? Are there limitations on your time and energy? Is it important to stay within a two hour drive radius or less? What financial investments can you make for gas, contributions of any needed resources such as food, books, medicine?
  • When should you start? If you are newly bereaved or coming out of a health challenge, perhaps you need to set a target date to begin a new effort. Otherwise, start now!
  • Need some help? Contact me.
All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.