AJ D. Age and hometown? I'm 26 years old, and I grew up in Manhasset, New York, on the North Shore of Long Island. Today, I live in New York City. Sober since? I've been sober for one year and four months. Advice for someone still struggling with addiction? Addiction is a progressive disease, so don't wait to get help if you think you might have a problem. The deeper you get into addiction, the harder it can be to find your way out. The good news is you can have a better life if you want it badly enough. Look into some of the free and confidential resources to help you figure out what's going on. Make a phone call. Pick up some information. The main thing is to let someone in on your situation. What does "Together, we will overcome addiction" mean to you? Going to rehab is where I learned it's okay to ask others for help—and that it's the antithesis of weakness. It's strength. We can't go at this alone. Rehab, sober living, sponsorship, fellowship—recovery is something we do together. And by reaching out and being open about our situation, we take away the stigma of addiction and make it okay for others to get sober, too. LAUREN B. Age and hometown? I'm 35 years old, and I live in Chicago. Sober since? March 1, 2005 Advice for someone still struggling with addiction? There is hope. Recovery is possible. This program does work. There absolutely is a better way of living, as long as you are willing to commit yourself to the program and do the work. What I tell the newcomer is: "Things can and do get better. There is an entire community of support here for you. You just need to be willing to reach out and ask for help." What does "Together, we will overcome addiction" mean to you? It's knowing that none of us can do this alone. It's picking up the phone even when it weighs a thousand pounds. It's reaching out to people in the program instead of locking myself in a room and isolating. This disease thrives on isolation, and a key part of the solution is "we." The fellowship. I'm fortunate enough to live in a city where the recovery community is vast and strong, especially the Hazelden alumni group. Recovery is hard work, and it's even harder going at it alone. Like they say, it's simple but it's not easy. JOHN R. Age and hometown? I am 38 years old. I grew up in Florham Park, New Jersey, and I've lived in the Twin Cities since 2011. Sober since? July 15, 2012 Advice for someone still struggling with addiction? Be kind to yourself—"We are not bad people trying to get better; we are sick people trying to get well." I lacked for nothing growing up: I was raised inside a loving family and had a privileged life through early adulthood. Despite that, I suffered from alcohol and drug addiction that I could not overcome on my own. So, for me, alcoholism is a shame-based disease and that's where I struggled most early on. The Twelve Steps gave me the opportunity to counter that shame by living a life of integrity and helping other alcoholics in need. What does "Together, we will overcome addiction" mean to you? My disease took me to a place of isolation with the inability to have meaningful relationships with others. The recovery community is a fellowship of people walking the same path of recovery together. The people I've surrounded myself with are some of the best I will ever know. This is the "WE" of the Twelve Steps, and I would not want it any other way. Your gratitude is a lifesaver Through legacy gifts to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, friends and fellow travelers help others find healing and hope, for generations to come. Every legacy gift—whether through an estate provision, deferred giving plan or other charitable gift instrument—helps to save lives. Please consider becoming a Legacy of Hope Society donor. Visit HazeldenBettyFord.org/Donate to learn more or call a Foundation gift officer at 1-888-535-9485.