27 minutes | Jul 26, 2020
Black Pain identifies emotional pain — which uniquely and profoundly affects the Black experience — as the root of lashing out through desperate acts of crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, workaholism, and addiction to shopping, gambling, and sex. Few realize these destructive acts are symptoms of our inner sorrow. Black people are dying. Everywhere we turn, in the faces we see and the headlines we read, we feel in our gut that something is wrong, but we don’t know what it is. It’s time to recognize it and work through our trauma. Terrie Williams knows that Black people are hurting. She knows because she’s one of them.
29 minutes | Feb 8, 2020
Actor, Producer and Restaurateur Danny Trejo (@officialDannyT) loves “playing the bad guy in movies, because the bad guy always dies. That’s the real world. If someone asked me to play a bad guy that always gets away with it, I’d pass. That’s the very message I preach to youths who are in crisis and in trouble: the bad guy always loses and the good guy always wins. It’s the one thing movies and real life see eye-to-eye.” Trejo has developed a prolific career in the entertainment industry. His road to success has been hard earned and is anything but typical. From imprisonment to helping young people battle drug addiction, acting to producing, Trejo’s name, face, and achievements are well recognized in Hollywood. Trejo grew up on the streets of Los Angeles. Despite spending the latter part of his youth and early adulthood incarcerated, he has risen to become a great actor and better person. Upon his release from Soledad Prison, Danny became involved in programs aimed at helping those who, like him, battled or are battling drug and alcohol addictions.
29 minutes | Jan 15, 2020
Discovering her daughter’s addiction to opioids forced Maureen Cavanagh into the dark work of caring for a child with addiction. Now, she is the founder of Magnolia New Beginnings, a nonprofit peer-support group for those living with or affected by substance use disorder. She has been recognized by The New York Times, CNN, and other outlets for her work fighting the opioid crisis and the stigma that surrounds it. Cavanagh is also the author of If You Love Me: A Mother’s Journey Through Her Daughter’s Opioid Addiction.
22 minutes | Jan 14, 2020
One Hundred Aspirins
Born in Europe, Reva’s childhood was an unhappy one, and depression set in so badly she tried taking her own life at age 13 by swallowing 100 aspirins. She survived her suicide attempt, but upon waking from a deep sleep she learned nobody in her family noticed she had tried to kill herself. But it wasn’t until she turned 21 while in New York City for college that she started drinking. Instead of class, she was at a bar – any bar. The booze helped quell her anxiety. Sobriety came later, and only with the clarity that came from controlling her disease did she realize her own mother was also an alcoholic.
21 minutes | Jan 13, 2020
Kim grew up in a “beautiful suburb” as an only child of a “severe” alcoholic father. She says he was drunk daily. She remembers as a child telling her father that their lives would be okay if he didn’t keep drinking. But in her early teens, she began drinking herself. Kim would steal booze from her friend’s parents’ liquor cabinet at a party; she became so intoxicated she couldn’t go home. From that moment, she had a new favorite activity. It made her feel less uncomfortable in her own skin. It was a relief of emotion – and she kept chasing it. Soon she needed the alcohol just to have the courage to leave the house.
22 minutes | Jan 12, 2020
Raymond is an alcoholic and an addict. Growing up in with an alcoholic mother in Brooklyn, he now knows it was booze which killed his mom. As a child, he would sneak drinks but his true drinking began at age 14 when sneaking out with friends. His drinking persisted from that moment on. His drinking took over his life to the point he twice attempted suicide. Raymond would wind up in psychiatric care at New York’s Bellvue Hospital, where a nurse told him that he wasn’t mentally ill, but that he drank too much.
18 minutes | Jan 11, 2020
Tommy was raised in New York’s Staten Island. He was eleven years old when his father gave him his first drink, declaring Tommy to “be a man, now.” But his regular drinking started age 13 with friends. His mother beat him when he came home drunk. Tommy’s drinking continued though his teenage years, dropping out of school by age 16 and working for a living. His job allowed him to save money each week in order to go out drinking. But his drinking took up too much of his time and he soon lost his job and Tommy wound up homeless. Attempts to get into a better job, including the New York City police department, where all thwarted by alcohol.
20 minutes | Jan 10, 2020
Sophie’s problematic compulsive gambling started later in life, when she was 60-years old. She had achieved sobriety from other addictions much earlier but started gambling as an activity and it quickly progressed into a problem. While making beach walks near her home in Atlantic City, she took a liking to slot machines in the city’s casinos. But her nickel bets turned into dropping hundreds of dollars in a matter of hours. Her attempts at limiting herself were fruitless, as she she would run home from the casinos to get more money.
17 minutes | Jan 9, 2020
Not About Winning Or Losing
Paul’s life revolved around gambling from the time he was young. He played poker and flipped baseball cards. Paul always wanted to be a winner and pursued winning aggressively. He worked in a bowling alley at 12 years old and loved to watch the men play poker afterwards. He liked the “action” of gambling. It wasn’t about winning or losing. Paul’s focus became on gambling and he thought about it all the time. When the game was over, he would feel sad and isolated. At 16-years-old he dropped out of high school. Paul grew up and got married, but his gambling persisted, progressing to the point he was lying to his wife about his whereabouts.