Why do you want to remain anonymous and not have your picture connected with your interview? Why do you want to have your image connected with your interview?
To help get rid of the stigma of addiction. And to let people know it could happen to anyone. It doesn’t discriminate.
Because I’m your average middle-aged white woman mother of an addict. Mother of two addicts. I am you. I am everybody. I love my children desperately just as any other mother loves their children desperately. And we have to help each other and identify with each other.
I’m not afraid. I’m a voice and I have nothing to be ashamed of. I’m out on the front lines fighting for Brady, because I feel like if he would have survived his overdose, he would be the one doing the presentations, not me. So I’m his voice now. And I’m doing it for your children I’ve never met. I’m doing it for other children that I’ve never met and their families. We have to have soldiers in the trenches. So I’m not afraid to have my name and my face out there.
For two reasons. One – because I am a public figure, it would have a much larger impact. I know that that sounds selfish, but at this point I’m just not ready yet.
And two – my daughter has asked me to. My guess is that the reason why she doesn’t want a picture of my face connected with this interview is because she got burned by her friends. She’s afraid she’ll have more friends burn her. The stigma is huge. We’re not quite there yet. We’re getting there.
Because I think people need to see that I’m a normal person. I’m a normal person. And there are plenty of other moms out there who are as passionate as I am. And sadly the way the world is, they’re probably going listen to me before they would listen to someone else. You know what I mean? That’s what made me start talking because I’m just the average person in Fishers, Indiana that has a decent life and shouldn’t have these problems. But I do. And so I know there’s other people that have them. And hopefully someone will see their own face in mine.
Shelly: We’re not ashamed of it. We’re out there trying to share our story to help others.
Travis: I ran in shame for five years during Tyler’s active addiction. And I’m not running any longer. And so I’m three years running the good race or however you want to say that. I have a lot of work to do. I already ran in shame. I already did that. I already hid. And that didn’t work for me. There’s no freedom there. I’m different now.
Wayne – We’ve already aired our dirty laundry. We know that it is not a moral failure. And how are we going to help the next group if we just close our doors and go into hiding with our photo album? How are we going to help anybody? It is going to continue to get worse and worse. So we want to be part of a solution. Not part of the problem.
Christy – Absolutely. Lifting that stigma because we’re an average American household I guess. Three kids. We live in the suburbs. Addiction affects all walks of life. It crosses all boundaries.
Wayne – When you watch these tv shows about drug users and they show that person in the alley when they’ve hit rock bottom and they’re filthy dirty and homeless and they’re using drugs – that’s not all of them. It’s also the kid driving the BMW. Show me more of them. Why? Because suburban parents are not looking. They think it’s not going to happen where they are.
Christy – They still show images that continue to feed that stigma. The ones who least suspect it are the ones who are really in danger. These drug dealers – they deliver it like pizza. The narcotics commander said it is like a pizza delivery system. And those drug dealers love to come into these suburbs where there is money and young people.
Wayne – The opioid epidemic started in medicine cabinets and then heroin is delivered to the suburbs. If you got money, it’s coming.
Christy – And you’ll see so much of this in middle-income suburbs. We were the parents that least suspected it. We were them.