"I talked to a man addicted to crack," Robbins says his life-changing wander along Denver's meanest street. "Recovery isn't all about drugs and alcohol -- it is about life in general, changing the environment in which we live and universally expressing what we are going through."
When he was brand-new to recovery, Robbins explains, he had a close friend in the same situation, someone he could confide in. That friend later committed suicide, which affected how Robbins looked at traditional rehabilitation programs. He subsequently went in and out of several, but they didn't meet his needs.
While shows like Intervention highlight the road to recovery for some, Robbins adds, most who truly need that kind of support can't afford it. This is why the rest of the population struggling with addiction needs an accurate representation of their voices, and the everyday struggle for sobriety, he explains.
Enter the Addicted Project, which Robbins founded with editor Alexis Chapman, also in recovery. The umbrella organization serves as a way to support those at any stage of addiction and recovery by providing a creative outlet.
The Addicted Project exists in many forms -- a weekly podcast, a collaborative book series, a YouTube channel and, currently, the Fides Nostra Poetry contest. Fides Nostra, which means "Our Truth," is looking for work that encompasses all aspects of life's challenges -- not just struggles related to drugs and alcohol. Themes of poverty, domestic violence, rape, abuse, joblessness, homelessness and family issues are all welcome topics.
Interested poets can submit up to two pieces of work to [email protected] by December 1. For the contest's full rules and regulations or more information on the Addicted Project, go to www.theaddictedproject.com.