On May 13th, 2015 - I returned home from a friend's house when my mom called me into the living room. “Sit down Honey, there's something I need to tell you. Your dad died last night.” My vision became tunneled, and I felt like I was about to faint. I put my head in my hands and sobbed.
In 2017, I started a project titled The Cost of Being Free. This project is an extremely personal journey for me, as it delves into the taboo subject of drug addiction on an intimate level. My father struggled with drug addiction for many years, which would ultimately take his life. Through his death, I was able to see drug addiction clearly for the first time, and to recognize the impact it has on people’s lives such as my brother, Justin, who has also fallen prey to this disease. I am documenting Justin’s everyday battle with addiction and the community of people he is involved with. Through conversation and audio taping, I am also examining other individuals who are fighting this disease.
My objective with this documentary project is to capture the deep emotional hell caused by this debilitating disease. I hope to shed light on the realities of what drug addiction looks like and the mental health issues that it causes. Additionally, I hope to humanize the addict, de-stigmatize addiction, and show the harsh actualities of what it is like to struggle with this burden.