The Affected - GUIDELINES 



Each portrait takes about 15 minutes.  You are more than welcome to arrive early or stay after your scheduled portrait time. YOU MUST WEAR A BLACK SLEEVELESS SHIRT or no shirt at all (men only). 


We ask that all written submissions be roughly 1000 –1500 words.  If you have important things to say, please feel free to write more if you feel so inclined.  

It is up to you what parts of your story you would like to share.  Keep in mind the goals of the project while you share.  The goal is to combat the stigma surrounding addiction and spread a positive message about RECOVERY.  

Some of you may have qualifiers who are still active. Some of you may have lost a loved one and some of you may have a qualifier who has found recovery.  We have included some questions --> for your written submission with the goal of keeping it on yourself and your own personal recovery journey.  Please keep this at the forefront of your submission.

Most importantly, write from the heart.  Share the hope that you feel today and how much that hope can affect someone who is in the same situation that you were/are in.

All written submissions must be completed and sent in to prior to your portrait.  If you cannot complete your written submission prior to the event, email us and we will most likely be able to make an exception for you.


Along with your writing, we will also need for you to choose the text that will be placed on your portrait.  Keep it short and simple.  The less words, the better.  Please be sure to double check the site to see if your chosen tagline has been used already before you submit it.


Each portrait requires a $30.00 fee to cover the cost of the event as well as the daily operations and maintenance necessary to run this rapidly growing campaign out of our New York headquarters.  If you wish to be featured but are unable to cover the cost, please let us know and we will do our best to work something out.



In an effort to de-stigmatize addiction and spread a positive message about recovery, please consider the questions below while writing your submission for the site.  This project is focused on your own recovery journey, not the specifics of your qualifier (loved one with addiction).  Think about the lessons and the strength you have found in your own recovery.  

  • How have you been affected by addiction?
  • Have you always been open to share your story publicly? (Friends, community, family, etc)
  • Please elaborate on why you did or did not speak up about being affected by addiction in the beginning.
    • You spoke up because: The consequence of not speaking up was greater than being silent. To help, to heal, to give hope, it came natural to you, etc. 
    • You chose NOT to speak up because: shame, fear, consequences, more comfortable not to, pain, you were taught not to, etc.
  • What are a few major misconceptions that the general public has about the affects of addiction on a loved one?
  • What are the biggest misconceptions about a loved one affected by addiction when seeking recovery for themselves? 
  • What are/were your biggest fears while being affected by addiction?
  • What are some of the biggest obstacles you have faced?
  • Has the stigma affected you as a loved one of someone who suffers from addiction?
  • Have you sought outside help to learn how to cope with a loved ones addiction?
  • If so, describe the feelings you had when you decided to get help for yourself and start your own recovery journey.
  • What is the best thing that has happened to you since you sought help for yourself?
  • What have you learned about yourself through this journey?What is your greatest piece of advice for anyone that is currently affected by the addiction of a loved one?
  • What are the most important things that you have learned that you wish you had known in the beginning of your journey?
  • Would you have done anything differently?
  • What are you most grateful for in your recovery?
  • How can your story help a loved one who has been affected by addiction?
  • What do you do on a daily basis to work on yourself so you can grow and recover?
  • As a result of being affected by a loved ones addiction, what are some positive things that have happened to you and your family?
  • What compelled you to join this project?
  • In what ways do you think speaking out about your experiences can change the way people view addiction?


ONE key mention

We want everyone to understand that this project is in no way affiliated with any 12-Step program.  We take the traditions of anonymity very seriously and respect the fellowships that many of us have recovered, and continue to recover in.  This project is all about breaking personal anonymity only. Please refrain from mentioning any 12-Step fellowship by name. We will never use your first and last name on the site unless you choose to include it in your story.  If discussing your qualifier in your story, please refrain from using their first and last name. You may not be anonymous, but your qualifier may still wish to be, and we must respect that.

Click here to download a copy of the guidelines