Announcing the Recovery Photo Contest Winners

We recently asked you to share an original photo showing just what recovery means to you. And so many of you did!

First, we want to thank every one of you who shared your experience, strength and hope with us through the recovery photo contest. Whether we included your photo in this post or not, your submission was an inspiration to us and we want you to know just how thankful we are that you chose to share a part of your story with us!

Best Nature Shot (tie)

We received many beautiful nature shots, so it was hard to pick a winner in this category. That’s why we ended up picking two!

“I have been sober 29 years,” Paul shares. “My favorite thing to do is go backpacking, I take a lot of photos. Backpacking is always a spiritual journey for me.”

Thanks, Paul for entering this beautiful image showing the serenity of the Trinity Alps!

Kevin shares his moody photo of the Oregon coast at dusk.

“I’ve been in recovery for 28 years and have just now found my passion that has turned into a profession. Duffy’s has been a part of so many of my friend’s life that I just want to give back”.

 Most Brave

Emily shared a photo from the first day she arrived at Grand Central Station in New York City after she got sober and took a job in modeling.

“For the past six years drinking has controlled my life, my thoughts, my relationships, my home life, and my career,” she shares. “I knew I was an alcoholic at the age of 14 when the first time I drank I couldn’t get enough. I was an embarrassment on photo shoots or fashion shows smelling like a bar constantly and always being hungover.

Life changed for me on thanksgiving when I checked myself into detox, followed up by an iop program and hundreds of meetings. Everything started falling into place when I got sober. I was blessed and honored to be offered a three year contract with a modeling agency in NYC and I am now living here and working with huge brand and designers.

As soon as I’m settled in I’m planning on starting an AA group for those in the entertainment industry who struggle like me. If I had never given up the drinking I would have never had this opportunity and if I did it would’ve been taken away before this started. I am finally free and am enjoying a new chapter in my life.”

Thanks for being brave and sharing your journey and hope with us, Emily. We wish you well!

Most Heartwarming

Jesse shared a photo of his beautiful family standing at the entrance to their first home they recently purchased. He tells us “this wouldn’t have been possible without the support from Duffy’s and my family.”

It’s so beautiful to be a part of seeing lives changed in recovery! We are so happy for you and your whole family, Jesse!

Best story

Victoria’s entry brought us to tears. You just have to read it for yourself:

“30 years ago in fall of 1984 I spent two weeks at Duffy’s Myrtledale. It changed the very fabric of my life and I have been sober since that visit.

The sobriety journey that started there allowed me to marry a man with six years more sobriety than me (Sam passed away 3 yrs ago with 36 years sobriety). We adopted four foster babies (all were affected by drugs and alcohol in utero) who are now amazing adults and teens who do not drink or do drugs. And I went from a shipping clerk at my job to Executive Administrator for the Vice President.

None of this would I have ever dared to even dream of for myself without the tools I learned to use at Duffy’s Myrtledale. I went to meetings at least three times a week – got a sponsor – and worked the steps. My life became a life I could be proud of.

My four children were the culmination of 9 years of hard, wonderful work in AA. I never dreamed we could qualify to adopt four babies in four years—all of them infants with special needs. They are the greatest gift, next to sobriety, I have ever been given.

I am submitting a picture of them in our first new home because without Duffy’s and the tools I started to learn there none of these things would have been possible for me.”

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Victoria! May it inspire many others in their journey from active addiction to life-long recovery!

Best activity shot

Ashley’s entry was a ton of fun and we couldn’t help but include it!

“This image is of myself and my husband,” she shares. “We have over 16 years of recovery between us and we are only 25 and 26. We love to have FUN and go on adventures in recovery!”

We couldn’t agree more! Recovery is fun. Thank you for proving that with your entry!

Overall Winner

When picking a winner, we took several things into account. We wanted a photo that was striking and beautiful in it’s own right, but we also considered the significance and story behind the image. Tom’s beautiful entry strongly stood out to us as having both.

“One of the hobbies I have been reaquainted with in Recovery is photography. I took this picture of the Matterhorn in Switzerland July 2014.”

I have been clean and sober since Sept 2, 1988. Duffy’s “graduate” Oct 1988. Without my program of recovery, there is no way I would have been in Zermatt, Switzerland photographing the Matterhorn.”