T H E R E I S A C R A C K I N E V E R Y T H I N G
Through this developing project I reveal a distinct interpretation of the "female addict” archetype. These portraits challenge societal personifications of women addicts as haggard, perpetually angst, and destitute -attributes ubiquitous in pop-culture and documentary photography. My objective is not to minimize statistics estimating 200,000 American women will either die from complications of addiction or be incarcerated this year alone. And no deficit exists of photographers exploring these devastating narratives with stunningly beautiful images. However, as a recovering addict myself since 2007, I recognize those reports potentially misguide audiences to perceive addicts are perpetually doomed. Through extensive interviews and collaborative production of the subjects' portraits, I capture uplifting images of women in long-term recovery. All these women have achieved sobriety dates of ten years or more. Some women attend twelve-step programs and therefore choose to remain anonymous. I felt a deep responsibility to honor and respect their request with an understanding it was not from shame but rather a personal decision. These women embrace long-term sobriety and graciously share their stories in hope they might help other women come forward and seek help. My subjects come from various backgrounds, races, and economic statuses and have rejoined society as productive citizens who confront hardships without the crutches of their vices. These willing volunteers possess a firm understanding that without a solid foundation and a proactive recovery plan death is inevitable.
My objective is not to degrade images that document shattered lives women endure as a result of their self-induced crisis, nor proclaim that my subjects no longer encounter hardships. My goal is to demonstrate that successful long-term sobriety is achievable -despite the odds against us. These successful stories do exist; and the strength, dignity, and perseverance of my exemplars are surviving manifestations.