T H E R E I S A C R A C K I N E V E R Y T H I N G -Leonard Cohen
In this evolving project, I portray a distinctive interpretation of the female addict archetype. These portraits challenge societal personifications of women addicts as haggard, perpetually in angst, and destitute -attributes ubiquitous in pop culture and documentary photography. And there are no deficits of photographers exploring these devastating narratives with accuracy. However, as a recovering addict myself celebrating fifteen years sober, I became woke to the missing representation of women addicts who share my story. Through extensive research and interviews, I began to document women embracing a minimum of ten years with continuous sobriety. Some women attend twelve-step programs, which encourages anonymity, and chose to hide their identity in creative methods. I honor their requests with an understanding it is not from shame, but rather a decision that adheres to the sacred principal of the program. With the opioid epidemic reaching astronomical death rates, these women graciously share their stories in hope of encouraging other women to seek help and put an end to their suffering. My subjects come from various upbringings, race, and economic status and rejoin society as productive empowered women who confront bliss or hardships without the use of impetuous vices. They volunteer their time with a firm public message acknowledging that without a solid foundation and proactive recovery plan, death by way of addiction is inevitable.
My objective is not to negate other photo projects depicting the shatter lives women endure because of drugs and alcohol. My goal is to demonstrate that successful long-term sobriety is achievable, despite the statistics. And even though our stories are not the rule but the exception, I am determined to locate and document these women so we may celebrate their strength, dignity, perseverance, and provide a high-profile platform that amplifies their voices.