Ryan Donnelly's Blog

I’m Not Hiding


Everywhere I look, it seems like addiction is followed with some sort of negative connotation. Don’t get me wrong, addiction caused horrific pain and misfortune in my life and the lives of other addicts and their families but, because of this negative association, people are afraid to come out and get help. Why? Well, society doesn’t exactly paint a pretty picture on the subject. Perhaps addicts are afraid they will be looked at as weak minded individuals when the truth is, in fact, quite the opposite. Some of the most driven human beings have addictive personalities. The difference is that they put those minds towards POSITIVE goals. That is where we, as addicts, need to put our focus. Imagine the power of our addictions put toward a greater good. Imagine what could be accomplished.

This past year I spent many a day in the basements of AA. The comfort you receive in those hidden little rooms is unexplainable. For people searching for help, as I was, AA meetings are your first stop. Members are ready and willing to give up their own time to help a fellow suffering human, without judgement. Now, I want to make something VERY VERY clear. I believe in the healing power of AA. I know AA is helpful…I’ve seen it. My own Pop-Pop got sober in AA, and I am proud to say he has over 50 years sobriety because of that fellowship.

Now that being said, there is something that has bothered me since I started this journey. Why is everything so anonymous? Why isn’t there an outlet for addicts that are proud of their sobriety? What are we hiding from? I am damn proud that I am clean and sober today – that I am not living my life in the insanity that was my addiction. I want people to be proud of overcoming their personal demons with substance abuse.

My name is Ryan T. Donnelly and I am an addict and alcoholic. Guess what? I could not care less what people think about me. I want people to feel the same freedom I feel. I will be anyone’s voice. I will throw myself into the oncoming traffic of society’s negative thoughts on addiction. Because the truth is, I am an addict and I always will be, but I am proud of the beast I am overcoming everyday.

I believe with every ounce of my soul that an addict’s mindset, steered in the right direction, is a danger to mediocre minds. I believe with everything I know that society would like nothing more than to keep us hidden and tucked away. Why? Well, because who really knows what our minds are capable of when put toward something good, something healthy, something postive. So step up and be proud of yourself. Let’s change the way society looks at addiction. Let’s not be afraid to have our voice heard. Let’s make it easier for people to come out of the shadows of hell and get judgement free help.

My name is Ryan T. Donnelly and I am one damn proud addict.

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