We all have a deep longing to belong, to find assurance that others appreciate and accept us for who we are. This is easily compromised in our human weakness, when we judge another based on their past.
The women we serve at the SA Foundation are given the tools and the community to confront the shame and pain of their past, assured that it does not limit or define who they are today. We know freedom is in releasing ourselves from the judgement we pass over ourselves regularly, and being welcomed for the person we are today. This is why we have anonymity as a foundational core value, as well as in our title. It is the promise and the hope that we all deserve a new beginning freed from shame and labels.
Discussing the effect of anonymity on her life during and since graduating from an SA Program, R states
“I never valued it until later into my recovery journey. I didn’t realize why it was so important while I had little self-esteem and direction in life. I had always been defined by what others told me I was. However with 7 years of recovery experience now, I understand that my story is only MY story to tell. Previously I had no choice…but today I have the choice to share or not to share. The thing that I have learned is that I only share now if it is going to benefit another going through a similar struggle. It’s not an obligation to share my whole journey with everyone!
My freedom looks like not being defined by my past, and therefore my son now gets to experience that freedom too. He is not labelled as an ex-addict’s son, he isn’t burdened by the baggage of my past, he has the right and the privilege now to be known purely for who he is. It is my heart’s desire that he be protected from the stigma and judgement of others.
If it wasn’t for anonymity in my life, I wouldn’t have the confidence to do the things I am able to do now. I wouldn’t have faith in SA’s recovery program and I wouldn’t have faith in my God. I would feel exposed and judged.
Within the safety of anonymity my experience or story isn’t sold for a price meaning I don’t become exploited yet again. This is true freedom to me.”
This is SAF Life! Join our community and know that you are so welcome here to share your life of liberty and your authentic struggles with us. What is freedom to you and how does that show in your life? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your stories, your words of hope and your photos of life.