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  • Olivia Felton

Walking for a Compassionate Future: My Shatterproof Experience

By Olivia Felton, R.O.S.E.S., Inc. Intern


A brisk autumn morning marked the day of the Shatterproof Walk, a heartfelt event with a profound mission. The goal? To build a future where our healthcare system and society treat addiction with science and compassion, eliminating the shame and stigma that so often accompany this chronic illness. Attending the Shatterproof Walk was not just an opportunity to join a community of compassionate individuals, but it also became a personal journey of understanding, empathy, and reflection.

Shatterproof's mission to transform the way we address addiction resonates deeply with me. Addiction has left an indelible mark on my family, as my uncle's life took a tumultuous turn into the abyss of substance abuse. It all began with alcohol, a seemingly innocuous escape that soon spiraled out of control. But the real turning point was a motorcycle accident, after which he found himself entangled by the clutches of morphine.


As I walked through the crowds at the Shatterproof event, I couldn't help but think of my uncle's journey and the collateral damage addiction left in its wake. Addiction doesn't just affect the individual; it reverberates through families, creating ripples of despair and helplessness. My dad and grandad, who had seen my uncle grow from a bright-eyed child into a shadow of his former self, have endured a prolonged period of mourning. Mourning not for a loved one lost to death, but mourning for a past self and the gradual deterioration of someone they've called a brother and a son.

The Shatterproof Walk brought the reality of addiction to the forefront. I had the privilege of listening to the personal stories of those who had walked a similar path. Their experiences were raw, unfiltered, and gut-wrenching. The stigma they faced, the countless hurdles in accessing treatment, and the feelings of isolation and shame all struck a chord with me. I couldn't help but see my uncle's story mirrored in their struggles.

My uncle's journey and the stories I heard at the walk serve as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to change the way we perceive addiction. It's a stark reality that, for far too long, addiction has been misunderstood and stigmatized. It's not a moral failing but a chronic illness, just like any other. As Shatterproof envisions, addiction should be treated with science and compassion. We need to provide those affected with the support, resources, and understanding they deserve.


Ending addiction stigmas is essential not only for the individuals battling the disease but also for their families and loved ones who feel the impact. It's time to embrace a future where addiction is addressed with the same empathy and care as any other health issue. My uncle's story, my family's pain, and the experiences shared at the Shatterproof Walk reinforce the urgency of this mission.

As I left the Shatterproof Walk that day, I was filled with a sense of hope. Hope that one day, addiction will be destigmatized, and individuals will receive the care and compassion they need to overcome this chronic illness. It's time for us to be part of this change, to help build a future where addiction is no longer a source of shame, but an opportunity for healing, recovery, and support. Together, we can shatter the misconceptions surrounding addiction and pave the way for a more compassionate society.



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Guest
Nov 30, 2023

I love your post about your time spent there! I had a positive experience when I went as well!

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Janey Wells
Janey Wells
Nov 12, 2023

What a deeply moving and beautifully articulated reflection on the Shatterproof Walk and the profound impact of addiction on your family. Your personal connection to the cause, especially through your uncle's journey, adds a layer of authenticity that is both powerful and relatable!

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Grace Batavick
Grace Batavick
Nov 10, 2023

I loved how personal this post was in connection to the event. It was very powerful. Thank you for sharing!

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Guest
Nov 08, 2023

Thank you for taking the time to share your own story relating to this event. It is such an important event and I am glad that the emotions you felt after were hopeful.

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Guest
Nov 08, 2023

Thank you for taking the time to be vulnerable and spread awareness on this difficult topic to discuss. I appreciate you sharing this touching, personal story.

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