Join Kimmy Haynes, Community Outreach and Alumni Coordinator at SunCloud Health for the SHATTERPROOF RISE UP AGAINST ADDICTION 2022 Walk!
The event will be held this Saturday, September 10th and Kimmy will be a featured speaker – details and registration here.
Where: Soldier Field, Stadium Green, 1410 Special Olympics Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 – 8:00 AM start time.
We hope you will join our team and contribute.
Here is a map Chicago Shatterproof Site Map of where you can find us at the event.
Below is an except from her story and the important role that organizations like Shatterproof play in supporting the path to self-forgiveness, empowerment and recovery.
My name is Kimmy, I’m 55 years old, and I am fantastic.
The problem is that for decades of my life, I didn’t know I was fantastic. I believed that I was worthless. And that it was my fault.
I’ve always been addicted to something. As young as four years old, I was eating obsessively. Drugs and alcohol came into the picture in grade school, and that’s when things snowballed.
As I got older, I couldn’t function without drinking and drugs. Not that I was functioning with them. I dropped out of school. I couldn’t hold a job. I became homeless. My family was terrified of me, and I don’t blame them. As far as they could see, I was a liar and a thief. I would do anything – to anyone – to feed my addiction.
I didn’t know that I was suffering from a disease, just like cancer or diabetes. There was no national organization like Shatterproof promoting the idea that addiction is not a moral failing. In my mind, my life was a waste. And it was clear to me that everyone else agreed. So I hated myself. And when you hate yourself, you don’t treat yourself very well.
I started hurting myself and hanging out with dangerous people. I felt completely alone, blamed myself, and had no reason to believe that anything could change. I couldn’t stop drinking or smoking crack. I believed I would die because I just couldn’t stop.
But I was wrong. I could stop. And 21 years ago, I did. But I didn’t do it alone. Nobody can. Because the opposite of addiction is not personal strength or willpower. The opposite of addiction is connection. It’s community. It’s finding a group of people who are willing to face addiction with love, and keep pouring on the love until you love yourself.
The fact that I’m standing here still feels like a miracle. In my 30’s, I thought my life was over. I wanted it to be. Now, I love my life so much it makes me want to cry. I restored my relationship with my family. I went back to school and earned a master’s degree which I use every day to help people with addiction. I found love – true love – and I’m getting married next week! And all of that is possible because now I know how fantastic I am.
That’s why Shatterproof and this community are so important. Shame stops recovery before it has a chance to start. And every step we take toward replacing shame with love – toward replacing stigma with compassion – is a step that saves lives.
To all the people who are struggling with addiction, I’m here to tell you something that I wish someone was able to tell me. You are fantastic. Your disease doesn’t change that. And you are not alone. You are part of a community that loves you and that know that, You. Are. Fantastic!
Thank you for being you.
Kimmy Haynes, MPS, CAAP, PRC
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Community Outreach & Alumni Coordinator
Direct Line (773)678-8122
Intake & Admissions (847) 916-0767