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Hey, so I grew up here in Somerville and lived a pretty typical suburban life growing up. I’ve been part of NOT AN EASY FIX from its beginning, and for the past decade I was blessed to have had the opportunity to live around addicts in all phases of their addiction. I know for a fact that none of us woke up one day and said “Yeah dude, today is the day that I dedicate my life to chasing substances to feel okay.” Most of us were pushed by others or by our environments.

For me everything really started when I was 16, after suffering a traumatic brain injury and being prescribed an absurd amount of addictive prescriptions. And, since doctors were still pretty trusted back then of course we followed their recommendations. I learned the only difference between medication and poison is the dosage, and when the doctors’ prescriptions stopped I definitely increased the dosage and started self-medicating. That led me down a path full of jails and institutions, some that are here, and a few rock bottoms in a couple different states. I was ruining most things that I had and some things around me for some dust in a bag.

Most of the people who stood by me were addicts who were the most amazing, talented, down-to-earth, caring people that I've ever met. They were always way more than just their addiction. The world is truly lesser every time an addict loses their life from substances. Learning all that and talking to Jack[son], this organization's founder, we knew that we could help our communities by using our experiences through the world of our addiction to help other people find ways to get the chains of addiction off and help free them from their obsession. With anything from religion, meetings, MAT, detox, and rehabs to show them the potential they have and the life they could have themselves and for their communities - if they could put just half the energy they used for substances towards something they would love doing, I’m sure they would run laps around people that are just normal people.

Doing Good isn't something you are, it's something you do, and the mission this organization wants to accomplish will help communities and other individuals do good by ignoring the judgment of addicts on their worst days, but to lose the stigma and help these incredible people not feel alienated and alone but worth helping back toward their true potential.

Other addicts helped me hold on and find reasons to stay clean, which is the exact opposite Society had taught me about addicts growing up. They got me out of the same hell they went through and they didn't hesitate to treat me as family.

If you told me a year ago that I would have 8 months clean and be a couple months away from being a drug counselor, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you. I will forever be grateful for the people who stuck by me to help me get where I am, and NOT AN EASY FIX will definitely be my favorite story that I tell my kids.

If we create better environments, it will produce people to be more comfortable asking their loved ones for the help they need, rather than having environments that profit off the misfortune of other people. Everybody feels fulfilment by helping someone else and when it happens it's contagious, and the more it happens the better it feels, and so as a community, if we stop competing and start working with each other rather than ostracizing people who are a part of our own communities we could help people realize their own strengths, values, and talents by just supporting people. I know firsthand how much things like this have the potential to keep the friends that I’ve lost alive by using their stories and the lessons I've learned from them over the years to prevent other people beginning this path, and help the ones looking for help out of that lifestyle. Once we start doing that, we’ll all win. Thanks for listening.

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