A CALL TO ACTION
BY: TAMI HARPER WINN
A recent call to action has had me quite busy this last week and has called upon what I have learned in my recovery – to show others what “integrity in action” looks like. Upon reading a post by a very prominent organization that receives funds for advocacy of another topic I am passionate about, I stumbled across some language that was used by the writer of the post and leader of the organization that was felt to be harmful to the individuals that they advocate for. Now, this isn’t the place to bring their actions into question, as there is a place for all things and that is being sorted out in its on medium. But, it got me to really thinking about advocacy and what it truly means to the individuals that are on the other end reading what I write. You see, some would consider me an advocate for those individuals in the community that struggle with addiction and recovery issues. This is something I do not take lightly.
It is a huge responsibility for those of us who have followers, readers, and people we deal with directly that look to us for some measurement of reason and hope. They begin to trust us and rely on us to help pull them through in whatever way that we are set-up to do. When the moment comes that someone else is reading what we write, we have a social responsibility to be cautious and empathetic to the audience we are reaching – especially if we have made ourselves a public figure in any way, even as small as blogging communities such as ours is. The founder of Drunkless.com has from the very beginning made this his number one priority. It is mandatory of all his writers to be conscientious of our audience and treat them with the same respect as we would want.
Most know that I am one of those who has recovered from a seemingly hopeless disease. I am a survivor. I am one in more areas than most know – yet. I have positioned myself to be honest in all of my dealings. I strive to be authentic and as real as it gets – sometimes pushing the envelope with some of the pieces I share about with my own personal experiences and the topics I broche. Still, it is how I survived and recovered. I do today what has always worked for me since that first day.
I have been blessed in these last few years to have a string of a stalwart followers, friends I have made all over the world through social media, and individuals and organizations that have even considered me a strong enough voice to speak on behalf of the topic of recovery. For that I am honored. But, there has never been a moment that I forgot where I came from that I can recall. If so, it was brief before something smacked me back into reality. But I believe I have the trust of others because I am transparent enough that my vulnerability shows strength to those who are frightened and feel alone. It is because of what I call “integrity in action” that I can be considered a voice for the community I am working with.
With that said, I have had to redefine what “integrity in action” means to me as I push forward to help others that are in need of a voice in all areas of my life. I was born to help others. It is in my nature. I am still learning what healthy helping is and that I believe may be a lifetime learning curve. Today, with the tools I have gained in my recovery I get to be an example to others that advocate for those who stand in need. I get to be part of the solution today which excites me. I get to stand with grace in my learning process.
This blog is a call to action for my fellow advocates for recovery and any other advocate that feels prompted to join. I am challenging others who advocate for individuals in their own community, whatever it be, to pledge to always be empathetic to the audience that is looking to you for strength and guidance, to protect your words and use them with the utmost consideration for all individuals that are in need, to honor your position with honesty and integrity, and to speak the truth in love. I have recently discovered that some lives literally depend on those words. Although it is not my responsibility to save anyone, as I know that I cannot, it is my responsibility to not harm anyone knowingly and if I do promptly clean it up and make it right. We here in the recovery community understand the deadliness of our disease and the seriousness of our mission. I pray none of us ever lose sight of that.
I am truly blessed to be a part of such a powerful and beautiful host of friends in the recovery community. If you are reading this, I consider you one on those friends as well. May you always find hope, comfort, a solution, and love within the confines of my writing. May you always know that you can reach out to me for help, to offer me suggestions with ways that might better serve you, and to call me on my bullshit if you feel like I’ve stepped over the line. I depend on you to do that. In fact, my very life as well depends on it. It has saved me time and time again – being held accountable. I do not shirk from my responsibility as an advocate for recovery. I embrace it head on.
I hope that those in a similar position as I am, that may be reading this, understand that we have a moral obligation to stay true to our mission and our followers. I hope that those reading it because they are in a time of need can trust the words that I write and the mission that I embrace. I always want this to be a safe place. We all deserve a place to feel safe.
If you agree, please share this with others who may benefit from this reminder and feel free to comment with your webpage, blog, organization, or cause below so that we may support you in your mission as well.
Light and love,
~ Tami Harper Winn ~
Drunkess™ does not endorse nor support any one kind of recovery path, it supports all forms of recovery if the path is healthy, positive, and leads to the light.
The story written here is solely the work of the author’s. Any use or reproduction of this article is prohibited without written consent of the author or credit to the author through works cited.