It’s me again, Jillian. I’m writing about the last few exciting but busy months we’ve had!
As many may know but some may not – August was Overdose Awareness Month and September was Recovery Month. During these months I attended 4 different Rally’s and Vigil’s. In New Hampshire I attended them in Concord, Manchester, and Claremont. In Vermont, the vigil was held in White River Junction.
The candle light vigil in WRJ is the vigil I have most attended in the last 3 years it’s been held. I have been a familiar face there, in 3 different ways now. From just attending, to speaking, and most recently working to recruit pregnant mother’s.
Each event was separate in their own ways – but with the same message. RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE. The meaning behind these events is to shed light on the epidemic at hand and give resources to all whom are attending. The audience is an array of women, men, and children. It ranges from all ages. Addiction doesn’t discriminate and neither does the message of recovery.
At each event, we set up our table and with each passerby we explained the purpose of the contents on our table and he purpose of our project. Not just women were interested, but many men as well asked questions. I wondered around to each of the other programs there and handed out our flyer while gathering my own variety of resources.
Although there is a deep misunderstanding of addiction, these Rally’s and Vigil’s bring together those in who don’t usually mingle. For the duration of the event, everyone is a person. There is no judgment, there is no stigma, there are no negative vibes. I was welcomed at every table with a smile. I wasn’t shunned away at the words “I’m in recovery”. The people at these events are kind hearted, embracing, warm and understanding individuals.
Recruiting the women was the main purpose of our trips. We were successful in doing so. The fliers handed out attracted not JUST pregnant women but also programs which pregnant women attend on their own. Each woman who was interested was given a consent form to sign. Once the consent is given and signed, they are ready to take our survey or do an interview.
Going to the Rally’s and Vigil’s was an extraordinary experience. To see so much support from a community full of excellent individuals was breathtaking and heartwarming. I’m honored, again, to be part of this study. It has taken me out of being “shamed” and given me the voice to speak out and help others! I can’t wait to embark on wherever this journey takes me!