I met Anita when I was looking for a new apartment. She was the tenant in this really cool luxury loft in the financial district. I randomly went to see it and Anita struck up a conversation with me. I was living in the Upper West Side and wanted a change. Anita was in the same situation. Believe it or not we ended up swapping apartments. That was more than 12 years ago. Anita went from complete stranger to life long friend. Anita is an amazing person. She was working for many years in Real Estate and also as a film producer. Then her family, which I can tell you for sure are most important in her life, had a crisis. Her son became addicted to drugs and her life changed forever. Anita and her son wrote this incredible book S.O.B.E.R about their experience, which is now being made into a film. She has made her life’s work about raising awareness and helping other families. We all go through hard times and these inspiring stories of people that make it out of darkness are so needed. I admire Anita for having the courage to tell her story.
AUTHOR/SPEAKER FOR CHANGE
RHODE ISLAND/CAPE COD
RYE NEW YORK
THE OCEAN AIR
SOUND I LOVE:
HOUND DOGS HOWLING
LEARN TO DO:
PRIEST’S DAUGHTER DEVIL’S GRANDAUGHTER
WHY WE WROTE SOBER:
WE WROTE S.O.B.E.R.* TOGETHER TO SHOW THAT NO MATTER HOW BAD THINGS MAY SEEM THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE IF YOU HOLD ON TO FAITH. IT IS AN ACRONYM FOR SON OF A BITCH EVERYTHING’S REAL. ONCE YOU SURRENDER AND GIVE UP THE DENIAL YOU CAN FIGHT THROUGH TO ACCOMPLISH WHATEVER YOU NEED TO.
WE SHOW THE DIFFERENT SIDES OF A FAMILY BATTLING A CHILDS ADDICTION AND HOW TO JOIN FORCES TO ACHIEVE RECOVERY. NO ONE IS IMMUNE AND ADDICTION THRIVES IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF IGNORANCE AND FEEDS OFF OF DENIAL. WE TRY TO SHOW HOW WE EDUCATED OURSELVES AND FOUGHT THIS HIDEOUS BEAST TOGETHER AS A FAMILY
BEING THE DAUGHTER OF A GREEK ORTHODOX PRIEST AND SPEAKING ABOUT ADDICTION OUT LOUD IS SHOCKING TO SOME PEOPLE. ON THE OTHER HAND, I HAVE RECEIVED HUNDREDS OF EMAILS AND LETTERS FROM MOTHERS ALL OVER THE WORLD THAT SHOW ME HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO KEEP ADVOCATING AND TELLING OUR STORY OUT LOUD. ONE LETTER I RECEIVED FROM THE WIFE OF A PRIEST WAS SO POWERFUL THAT I USE IT A LOT WHEN I SPEAK. SHE THANKED ME FOR GIVING HER PERMISSION TO LIVE LOVE AND LAUGH AGAIN. SHE WROTE ABOUT THE JUDGEMENT IN HER OWN CHURCH AND HOW SHE KEPT A SECRET ABOUT HER OWN SONS FOR TEN YEARS UNTIL SHE READ MY BOOK.
THIS IS WHY I DO WHAT I DO. IN THE END, IF YOU STAY SILENT AND DON’T REACH OUT FOR HELP BECAUSE OF SHAME OR JUDGEMENT, CHANCES ARE THAT A CHILD WILL DIE. AND IN THE END ITS NOT THE ADDICT THAT DIES. IT IS OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS THAT DIE.