Nine years ago, I started Workit because I struggled to find a recovery program that worked for me. For my friends. For my family. Many people told me I couldn't do it. Investors questioned whether I had the "right background" (i.e., an HBS MBA). Friends and family predicted that I would surely relapse. My recovery group shunned me for using phrases like "harm reduction" and "medication first approach." I am a woman, artist, queer person, mother, alcoholic, addict, bulimic, anorexic, and I curse. A lot. I don't fit the mold. But, in true Workit form, I found a team of like-minded people and through hard work and a healthy dose of luck, we forged onward no matter what.
Last week, a beloved friend and member of our Oakland recovery and LGBTQIA+ community was found dead in the Tenderloin, in San Francisco. They had double-digit sobriety and had helped many of our fellows out of the deep despair of active addiction. They lived out loud in full authenticity, unapologetically heart first. But then, the disease took what the disease takes. Like blowing out a candle, in a second, they were gone—lost.
September is national Recovery Month, and today is Overdose Awareness Day. Please allow my friend’s death to serve as an urgent reminder that our work is not yet finished. There are more mountains to climb, more barriers to shatter, and more people to help. We must continue fighting for a world in which equal access for people like us is possible. A world where health plans pay for healthcare, where investors support agendas of radical change and innovation, and where our government - who we trust to protect us - increases, rather than decreases, access to care for our most vulnerable populations.
For the lost and for the living, always,
Originally published on Workit Health
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