Addiction and Recovery: Stories Can Save Lives
The next Nashville Storytellers confab will focus on addiction and recovery. It will also serve to remind everyone how stories can save lives.
Addiction and Recovery: Nashville Storytellers
Nashville is as full of songs as it is stories. That’s what makes it such a swingin’ song town to begin with. Some of those stories are happy. Some of those stories are sad. And some will downright tear your heart out.
Those are addiction stories. And the more those stories are told the likelier they’ll help an addict seek recovery. At the very least, the stories will help bring about compassion and empathy to those whose lives have been impacted by substance abuse. They’ll undoubtedly also serve as a form of catharsis for the storyteller themselves.
That’s why the next Nashville Storytellers will be focussing on addiction and recovery. It’s called “Through Hell and Back.” And it will take place June 20 at The Factory at Franklin.
Nashville Storytellers puts local people on stage to talk honestly about their lives. These are the stories that inspire and connect us. The stories that make us laugh, as well as cry. How? By not shying away from life’s more complicated truths.
Take Brad Schmitt. Schmitt’s been clean and sober for six years now. He also happens to be the Nashville Insiders columnist for The Tennessean. Not a bad gig for anyone. A damn near miracle job for a recovering addict.
Then again, recovery is full of miracles. And it’s a cinch Schmitt’s storytelling will prove just that.
So will Rob Briley. Briley lost everything back in 2007. Family. Material things. Love and support. Self-respect and self-esteem. During his DUI arrest he even lost his composure. Crying, shouting, struggling, sobbing. There’s police dashboard camera footage to prove it.
That was then though. Briley’s now in recovery. He’s been married five years. He has three young children. He’s happy. And he’s dedicated to sobriety.
“We have had a lot of illness and disease and tragedy in my family,” Briley told The Tennessean. “And what keeps me coming back is that my life today is so much better than it’s ever been before. And I want to share that with people because that’s what recovery is really about.”
Addiction and Recovery: Miracles Do Happen
Of course, not every story has a happy ending. Nor does every story come from an addict — ex or otherwise. They all need to be told though. Regardless.
“Working in addiction is incredibly hard,” pastoral therapist Carrie Fraser said. “There’s a lot of heartbreak that goes along with being in this field, and so it takes a lot to continue to show up every day.”
“But on the other side of that,” she adds, “you do get to experience watching someone’s life transform.”
It’s amazing “to see the miracles that happen as a result of [recovery].”
Addiction and Recovery: What’s Your Story?
Heroin. Fentanyl. Alcohol. Cocaine.
Addiction comes in many forms, with many substances and behaviors. It affects your co-worker. It affects your friends. And it affects the family down the street. It probably even affects you. No matter where you’re from.
We at Healing Properties know this. We also know how important it is to tell addiction and recovery stories. And for addiction and recovery stories to be heard. As far and as wide as possible to boot. That’s why we feature Testimonials, both written and visual. And that’s why we’ll continue to feature Testimonials so long as there’s a story to be told.
No, Nashville doesn’t have a monopoly on addiction and recovery stories. Far from it. Yet that’s all they more reason for more cities to follow Nashville Storytellers‘ lead. And if every story would save even one life, we could start a whole new epidemic — an epidemic of recovery stories.