Every Thursday throughout the month, Northbound alumni holds different activities. We will do things like host round table meetings, celebrate birthdays/occasions, have open talk sessions, or invite speakers to join our group. This past Thursday, we hosted Christopher Kennedy Lawford, who came to share his own battles with addiction with us.
The great thing about Chris is that he is able to portray his story in a way that is effective, helpful, and overall humble. You would think that being a Kennedy, he would have every reason to have a big ego, but he is not like that at all. He is so good at public speaking, that he inspires me to be able to have the same level of character while doing my own speaking engagements in the future.
There’s no doubt that Chris and I have some things in life that we likely cannot relate on, but there are a handful of similar experiences that we both have shared. While listening to him speak, I could see some parallels in his bout with addiction as in mine, and could even see comparisons to how both he and I are raising awareness today.
For example, he spoke about one instance where he decided to kick his opiate addiction once and for all. He talked about how he locked himself in his basement for two weeks to detox, and when he finally started feeling better, he rushed upstairs to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. He was finally relieved, until he looked to the corner and spotted some drug dealers. He quickly let go of all of his good feelings and accomplishments over the past two weeks and ran right over to the dealers. He explained how an addict’s thinking is so backwards, that even his most recent successes couldn’t stop him from wanting more. The second he said that, it all clicked with me and I was relating one-on-one.
Chris is definitely somebody that I look up to in this area of my life. I aspire to utilize my notoriety in the same way he does when it comes to raising awareness for addiction and recovery. He and I both share the love of spreading the word, and I hope that in the future, I can grow to become just as effective, fluent and comfortable in my speaking engagements as he is so I can reach a many people as possible!