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09 July 2018

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7/9/18 #SameHere Hero: Emma Oakley Cook

Today’s #SameHere Hero, a close friend and partner of WAALC: Emma Oakley Cook

 
Emma is the graphic artist from New Zealand, who has done ALL of the animations and drawings we use for our programs for K-12, Colleges, Corporate Office, and Vets. She’s supremely talented. Unbeknownst to me, she shared yesterday on her own social page, the story below – about trauma she had faced, and about the 12 years of sobriety since, that she is now enjoying. I am humbled that her involvement in this movement encouraged her to open up. Stories like these are so heart-warming and show the power of spreading #SameHere. Thanks, Emma!

 
“In 2005 my family and I lost two boys to suicide. 5 months later, I fell into AA, and then 6 months after that, I stopped drinking and doing drugs.

 
I don’t usually talk about it, but this year, I’ve been working with an organisation that believes in speaking up and sharing our dark experiences, in order to help other people: @weareallalittlecrazy

 
I’ve always tried my best to help or support people – sometimes I’ve not helped much and perhaps made things worse. But by sharing this, I want people who are struggling to know there is always someone who cares about you, and no matter how hard things are, have been, or might be, there are ppl who give a shit. Don’t make a temporary problem, a permanent decision.

 
One of my close mates got married 12 yrs ago. He shared his anniversary and then I remembered, it was MY anniversary too! That’s when you know it’s just another day. I had forgotten my own ‘sober day.’ In the early days, I counted every hour, every month, and every year. Doing that made it so tough to just live life. By that was my coping mechanism.

 
Wherever you are in the world – if you’re struggling, please talk to someone. There are thousands and thousands of groups online if you’re afraid of talking.” .
 
We are even working with a group called @irel8org that provides peer to peer access to discuss common challenges, via an app.

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