By Sherri Coner
Though the event is called the Franklin Recovery Fair, it draws people from several surrounding areas.
Some people are in early recovery from addiction, hoping to make new sober friends.
Some have been clean for several years.
Some are in the depths of addiction, looking for help and hope.
Some are families who lost their addicted children, siblings or spouses either to lengthy prison sentences, murder or overdose.
All of them gather on the grass north of the Franklin Parks & Recreation Center, where music is played by musicians in recovery and testimonies are shared by those in recovery.
A smiling Teddi Adams, the mother of a recovering addict and the founder of this event, promises that anyone who feels like they can’t possibly climb out of addiction will find unconditional love and support at this gathering.
Just show up and say you need help.
Along with plenty of loving people in recovery, treatment providers from various areas are also onsite, willing to aid anyone who is ready to take that initial step toward recovery and peace.
This day is also filled with sober fun such as cornhole games and face painting for the kids, free hotdogs and chips and so many loving, accepting people from all walks of life.
Whether you’re looking for NA or AA meetings, meetings for family members, outpatient counseling, detox, inpatient treatment or more support from other people in recovery, this day is about providing addiction information of all kinds for anyone who needs it.
“The people in the recovery community are some of the strongest, most courageous warriors,” Adams said. “They each have a story. They have lived through hell. They have fought with everything they have, and they are winning. They are the heroes in all of this. They inspire and they give hope.”
Adams very openly speaks of her son, Trevor, who started using at age 12.
Like so many other parents, Adams lived through her child’s multiple trips to jail, his struggle to graduate from high school, the times his life was saved in front of her with Narcan.
She speaks openly about still suffering from PTSD.
Every time she hears an ambulance.
Every time she receives an unexpected call later than normal at night.
Every time she can’t get hold of Trevor, who is now in recovery.
“I’m sure I’m not the only parent who has this kind of response,” Adams said.
While trying to launch the first Franklin Recovery Fair last year, Adams stubbornly refused to give up on such a lofty goal. She believed deeply in the cause, especially because families in crisis often feel that help is hard to find. She wanted to provide at least one event that brought everyone together, addicts, families, treatment options. Everybody.
She had just the right amount of feistiness to contact everyone she could think of.
She asked for donations.
She contacted treatment providers.
With joy dribbling down her face, Adams watched them all show up, right down to JC Worley, a musician in recovery who provided musical entertainment.
“I have so much respect for Teddi,” said recovering addict, Torey Burbrink. “When she asked me to share my testimony, I said I would. But I also did it because the more we shine light on addiction, we can stop the stigma. We show people that recovery is possible.”
Talking openly about addiction recovery also addresses the depth of shame that every addict feels.
“We all feel so much guilt,” Burbrink said. “Talking openly about it helps others to shed the shame that surrounds addiction.”
During this year’s Franklin Recovery Fair, more testimonies will be shared by those who made it out of addiction hell.
Again this year, those who wish for recovery but fear it isn’t possible … they are invited to just stop by.
There’s nothing to be afraid of and there’s absolutely nothing to lose.
“That saying, ‘Once a junkie always a junkie,’ it’s not true,” Burbrink said.
Franklin Recovery Fair
Sept. 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Outside area at Franklin Parks & Recreation Center
396 Branigin Blvd.
Franklin IN 46143