KickStarter Update: 72% and Rising!
If you’ve been following this blog, Greg Williams, a guy in long-term recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction, and a talented filmmaker, has a KickStarter project underway. The Anonymous People is meant to bring to light the sensationalism of recovery; Greg intends to tell the recovery story as a way of advocating that others speak out about their own recovery.
He has until August 26 to raise the funding requirement and at this writing, he’s 72 percent there.
Recovery advocacy is contagious
Greg and I had a great conversation recently. One of the things we talked about was some of the history about what I call the “positive” recovery movement, especially as it relates to the tradition of anonymity supported by 12-step organizations.
He was quick to point out that The Anonymous People doesn’t suggest people go against traditions; it does make the distinction between speaking about personal recovery and indicating membership in a 12-step program.
The concept of anonymity is often misunderstood, he said. After all, Bill Wilson himself–the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous–famously said before Congress, “I can see the day when hundreds of AAs will fill the halls of Congress to demonstrate wellness and recovery.”
He passed his attitude on to Marty Mann who became the first female member of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939. Mann went on to found and serve as the first executive director of the National Council on Alcoholism (NCA). She championed recovery, writing in her book, The New Primer on Alcoholism:
“The prevailing mental climate of ignorance, misconception, and prejudice concerning alcoholism has not been a healthy climate for the growth and spread of recoveries; it has been a climate which fostered the monstrous growth of alcoholism itself.
“If we are ever to bring alcoholism under control, as we have other scourges of mankind, we must change that climate.”
Marty’s vision for NCADD (the successor to NCA, adding Drug Dependence to its name) was:
- To share the joy of recovery and knowledge
- To break down barriers of ignorance and stigma
- To encourage individuals, families, companies and communities to seek help
Many others have continued Marty’s work by showing that recovery works. In 2001–the same year Greg got sober–Faces and Voices of Recovery formed as a result of a national summit in St. Paul, MN and took a huge leap forward in mobilizing a recovery constituency.
Famous names–many seen in this film–went public with their recovery stories.
Greg hopes many more still will. One tool that can help them is a pamphlet called Advocacy With Anonymity, published by NCADD, Faces and Voices, The Johnson Institute and Join Together.
Another great reference piece that addresses why recovery messaging is important is called Our Stories Have Power.
Greg’s vision–and I’m so honored to support him–is for the entire face of social perception around addiction recovery to shift to one of acceptance. Instead of the current trend of passive acceptance of anonymity, we’ll embrace a culture of people living from their truth, instead of from compartmentalized, even secret lives of recovery.
Stigma around addiction will become a thing of the past. The dream begins with one voice added to another and combined with a third. Suddenly an entire constituency is mobilized and the dream is born.
A quote from the film: “We want to sensationalize recovery because recovery is sensational.”
I know that to be true. B Here Today wouldn’t be here without it.