Bravery manifests itself in a thousand different ways. This time, we see it in the form of a headband wearing 19 year old girl, Chiara De Blasio.
Chiara, the daughter of New York City’s incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio, shared her personal history of drug and alcohol problems in a very public video that was released on Christmas Eve.
Political opinions aside, nobody doubts the validity of Chiara’s message and the courage it took to share it: We can’t treat addiction if people aren’t willing to talk about it.
So Chiara talked about it
“I’ve had clinical depression from my entire adolescence. So that’s been something I’ve always dealt with, or not known how to dealt with. It made it easier, the more I drank or did drugs to share common ground with people that I wouldn’t have. It didn’t start out as a huge thing for me, but then it became a really huge thing.
“When I went to college, I didn’t do the proper mental or emotional work to prepare myself. I just thought that everything would be okay if I got on a plane and flew 3,000 miles. I went to class—I was always somebody who would go to class—but I didn’t understand what I had to be doing to be a successful student.
“I had physical insecurity about where I was, and I kept I kept reasoning and using this really fake rationale that still justified to me that I could keep doing this stuff. ‘Oh I won’t drink, I would just smoke weed.’ Or ‘Oh, I won’t smoke weed; I’d just drink.’ It was this kind of bartering for equally bad outcomes.
“My therapist referred me to an outpatient treatment center in New York City. I was looking for an institutional group therapy thing where I could work with other people my age to work with the issues of depression and anxiety that I was facing.
“Removing substances from my life has opened so many doors for me. I was able to participate in my dad’s campaign, I’m doing well in school, and I’m getting to explore things that aren’t just partying.
“It’s just important for people to realize that if you’re suffering or depressed or dealing with mental illness and if it has something to do with your drug abuse or your drinking—or if you’re suffering from both at the same time and you think they’re completely unrelated to each other—that getting sober is always a positive thing. And it’s not easy. By no means is it easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s so worth it.
“There’s still so much work that needs to be done in modifying the way we think about alcoholism and drug addiction. A lot of people fail to acknowledge that it’s a disease, and we’re not making it an open enough environment for discussion.
“I want to speak out because people are suffering and dying from this disease every day, and we can’t do anything as a society to help those people until we start talking about it. Nobody can do sobriety on their own.
You have to keep relying on those that have been there, finding people that have gone through it, being open, honest and willing…and you will see the most immense change you have ever seen before.”
Share you Story Today
She’s right—nobody can do sobriety on their own. Like Chiara, you can help break the stigma and advocate for recovery by sharing your story with others. Add your voice to the many, and let your story encourage others to seek treatment and recovery.
Here at Duffy’s, we firmly believe in the power of helping others by sharing our “experience, strength, and hope”. Our founder Gene Duffy shared his story and used his experiences to establish Duffy’s and dedicated his life to helping others find hope and freedom from addiction. Today, Duffy’s offers you the opportunity to share your story on our guest blog post today.