In 2010, I was addicted to pain medication and overdosed twice before going into rehab in 2011. Treatment and a 12-step program saved my life.

President Obama and performer Macklemore join the conversation on the epidemic of opioid abuse in America. They break down the disease of addiction and its misconceptions beautifully.

2:38 Another way our country can help those suffering in private is to make this conversation public.

2:59 But shame and the stigma associated with the disease keeps too many people from seeking the help that they actually need. Addiction isn't a personal choice or a personal failing and sometimes it takes more than a strong will to get better. It takes a strong community and accessible resources.

Are you suffering with chronic illness and pain? I am, too! You are NOT alone! Check out some of my favorite organizations dedicated to raising awareness and offering support.

1) Suffering the Silence.

Suffering the Silence (STS) is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to leveraging the power of art, media and storytelling to raise awareness around the life experiences of people living with chronic illnesses and disability. We work to build impactful relationships within those communities, and to empower patients, friends and family members to speak out and share their stories. Together, we believe this act of sharing can and will transform the medical and social perception of life with chronic illness.


2) Chronic Compassion Circle. This support group meets on the 4th Tuesday of every month in Studio City, Ca. I've been attending this meeting for a year and a half.

We vent. We cry. We breathe. We offer solution.

They are my peeps. They can be yours, too.


3) Renal Support Network.

Lori Hartwell is my hero! 100%. She has sustained 4 kidney transplants and a total of 14 years on dialysis. Yet she remained unstoppable! Her physical trials only fueled the creation of Renal Support Network. This organization offers monthly support meetings for patients with kidney disease and their friends and family. There's a annual Patient Education Seminar informing patients of the very latest in dialysis and transplantation. RSN offers the KidneyTalk podcast, craft afternoons for those struggling with purpose and an annual prom for teenagers on dialysis.

Lori Hartwell and I at the Patient Education Seminar on September 15th, 2018.

Lori Hartwell and I at the Patient Education Seminar on September 15th, 2018.

My KidneyTalk podcast interview (10/4/17). Click here: An Open and Honest Discussion About Addiction.

If you, or someone you know has kidney disease look no further than Lori Hartwell and RSN!