OK guys, I'm gonna be real and spill the beans.
I'll start by telling you a story. I was going to start this story by saying: thanks to how many photos I take... and I do take a lot, but this particular instance doesn't seem to be documented. Didn't I at least take a picture of my breakfast?
It was a delicious breakfast. I was with my family. My hubs, kids, and in-laws. As we often do while visiting Park City, UT, we went out to eat. Shawn recalls that we tried hiking to the donut shop, but it was already closed down. Was that why we ended up at this adorable cafe? It used to be a different restaurant altogether, one I had eaten at before. I decided while we were there this time around that I preferred the change. It was very classy, with kind of a minimalist-art thing going on, however upon entering and being asked "would you like to sit inside or outside today?" and literally everyone turning their heads to see which decision I would make (why was it my decision?) I enthusiastically declared "outside!" and I suppose that's why everyone looked to me to answer the question. If outside is an option, outside I will always be, ruining everyone's chance to enjoy the aesthetic of their indoor seating.
I remember ordering the Eggs Benedict, one of my favorites, and too much coffee-because coffee. Obviously it was either breakfast, or brunch-time. I ♥ Brunch!
Anyway, everyone's having a good conversation, and the kids are playing Pokemon Go on Grandpa's phone because their attention spans are terribly short, and this is the age that we live in. Devices! Well, I had to pee. Most likely, too much coffee.
As soon as I stood to leave the table I had what I considered to be a napkin-worthy idea. An idea so good, you jot it down on a napkin. When I came back to the table I discovered they were cloth napkins. That's how nice this cafe was... so nice I couldn't jot down my idea. Or I could, but that would probably have been considered vandalism. So I had to just sit and think about it. Hold my mug of refilled hot coffee in my hands, take in the sounds of my chatting family, and the traffic, and breeze through the trees near us, and think about what I now really wanted to pursue.
This was about a year ago. Maybe more, but I can't remember anything outside of my kids complaining that it was cold, but we were high up in the mountains and it was warm enough to sit outside, but my kids are usually complaining of cold up there in the middle of July. So, who knows.
The point is the thought was overwhelming. I'm inclined to guess that it was right after I started writing my story again, which was July 2017, right after we moved into our new town home.
What was this napkin worthy idea?
To create a foundation.
Specifically a foundation for people like me, or how I used to be while growing up in the midst of the opioid epidemic. I thought to myself "what would I have needed back then?" what did I wish had been available to help me cope with what my family was struggling with. What did they need? What did we all need together?
My foundation needed to include ways to help the entire family. The thought that popped into my head that day at the cafe was remembering my son's speech therapy foundation. They are a non-profit organization, and they helped not only my son learn to speak, but they helped me as a mother learn how to use my own voice as well, how to reconnect with the people I was losing because I was in the throws of a deep and unending depression and grief over the loss of the people I had cared about, but didn't know how to take care of.
Suddenly, I desperately needed to create a foundation for families like mine.
That need to create this has been desperate since that day, when I came back to our table in search of a napkin and told Shawn a little about it before I sat to contemplate my new ideas that were rushing around in my head.
Since that moment Shawn and I have been calling it The Foundation. We've had countless conversations about what it will look like, what it will have, who will be a part of it... etc. I've been outlining this idea in my head for the past year. I've been hoping to finish my book and use any money I might make on that to actually build this place in my mind. I've sat with my close friends and family to discuss what it is, and an event Shawn and I came up with, the same event that ended up becoming the name of the foundation with the realization that this needs to happen not later when/if my book becomes published, but right NOW!
I notoriously get a lot of ideas in my head that I act on and let go after giving it a reasonable shot. Most I just let go of because a person only has so much time in their lives to accomplish things. Having this idea, and working towards finishing my book hasn't stopped new idea from popping into my head, but I've had to reign them in and tell them to "hold on a sec...".
For this particular idea I have two visions in my head. One that will have to wait until I make some real money or learn more things that I don't know yet. Like how to run an actual non-profit, and what it needs to succeed. That is a HUGE undertaking, when I'm still working on the 3rd draft of my book, going back to teach preschoolers, and now working on the second vision I've recently had to come up with in order to bring to the world the first vision right now without having the knowledge the first vision requires.
My current vision, and I now have almost everything I need to launch this and get it going:
I will be putting up a website, a very pretty one, in order to start sharing everyone's stories about the opioid epidemic and what it's been like for YOU. Whether you're an addict or not, or were, or watched someone you love deal with it, and overdose, or overcome it, or your like me, you grew up watching your family do it, or your had a friend, or a friend of a friend, or an uncle/aunt/cousin... etc. Maybe you're a new mom who was paranoid about drugs during the birth process. Maybe you've never seen the opioid epidemic up close, but because you've heard so many horrible things about it it's caused you great fear and to second guess your decisions when at a hospital for yourself or your family.
I literally want/need every single perspective on this I can get.
What is your experience with narcotics/opioids?!
I believe that the more people who are willing to share, the more we can connect on this issue, and the ways in which we begin to solve some major problems surrounding this issue will then come to light. That is huge.
Already I have had people say "well, it's not a very good story..." or "I don't know what good it will do..."
To this I say, there is no wrong story. All stories are good, and you don't know the impact you can have yet unless you share what you've been through. One of the BIGGEST problems surrounding this is that no one is willing to communicate about it. It's shameful, it's embarrassing, it's taboo. No... It shouldn't be any of those things. Don't ever feel ashamed of what you've been through or what you've witnessed. Let's get rid of all of the misconceptions surrounding this horrible problem, and share!
So, now you know what I'm trying to do, and I definitely can not do this alone.
I don't have a link for the new website yet, but I will very soon. I promise to share the second it's live. Until then, please share your story with me! If you ask to remain anonymous then I will happily respect that and exclude your name or the names of anyone in your story. It can all be changed, and I'm happy to help you figure out the best way to share it. However, if you can share publicly I think it would have an even greater impact, but I understand that not everyone wants their information blasted on social media.
Here are two links you can be a part of right now on Facebook:
Bottle Up Family Foundation Page (go LIKE this page!)
Facebook Group: Bottled Up - This is a group page to start connecting with others with stories like ours.
Send a message to me in either place, or personally on Facebook and I will include your story as we kick-start the website.
Guys, this is going to be amazing!