New Canaan’s 4th Annual Community Addiction Awareness Vigil is back this year, on Wednesday, September 2 at 7:30pm.
This vigil has extra meaning for me because not only is addiction a strong part of my story, but I grew up in New Canaan. I graduated from high school thinking I knew how my life would and should turn out. The pressures of “being the best,” “putting on a happy face,” and “keeping my problems to myself” began to catch up with me and I slowly started to spiral into a severe addiction to alcohol.
I knew nothing of recovery, or addiction for that matter. I knew I was an alcoholic but the stigma around it was so strong that I was too scared to talk to anyone about it. I was under the impression that everyone I knew had their act together, and admitting that I had a problem I couldn’t handle alone would be like a big red X on my forehead. Advertising to the world that I was less than.
I am overjoyed that New Canaan, and the world in general, are starting to become more vocal about the reality of addiction as well as the importance of mental health. With New Canaan becoming more of a recovery friendly community, it is a goal of mine to spread my story and lend my ears to others. It is so important to continue to get the word out that no one is spared from this disease. It doesn’t discriminate. And it is only fueled by people keeping their mouths shut and their eyes blind.
I used to be scared of others finding out about my “secret.” Now, with the support of my family and my community, I am encouraged. I will be sharing my story at the vigil and covering not only the addiction itself, but what led to it and most importantly, how my life has changed since making the decision to get sober.
Please join me on September 2nd for a virtual vigil that will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. Go to ncparentsupportgroup.org for more information.
Elisabeth Connolly NCHS ’04
Residential Program Director – The Lighthouse Sober Living for Women