End the stigma of addiction and wear your recovery with pride.

Erika's journey

Erika B. We Do Recover. Before Image
Erika B. We Do Recover. After Image

Before

After

47 Years Old – 20 Years Active Addiction – In Recovery Since 10/03/15

Profession: Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Status: Married w/children

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Drug of Choice: Cocaine, Alcohol, Meth

Initial Treatment: Rehab

My name is Erika (@erikaball73) and I am a person in long term recovery. My sobriety/clean date is 10/03/2015.  My journey into recovery began in 1997 when I entered my first treatment center. After various treatment centers, sober livings, trips to the psych unit, jail, therapy an array of psych meds and misdiagnosis, I finally surrendered, admitted to my inner most self that drugs and alcohol had absolutely nothing to offer me. And so my journey into the most amazing life I could have ever wished for began.

This is where my REAL story begins. My story of freedom, of love, of hope. My story filled with true laughter, authenticity, depth and purpose. Since my “rebirth” I finally graduated college, received my Bachelors in Human Services, became a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, met and married the love of my life, restored my relationships with my family and friends and continue to help those who are in the same shoes I was in, years ago. My husband, Frank Ball (@frankball), and I founded our non-profit organization We Are Those People we are dedicated to raising awareness and ending the stigma associated with Addiction Recovery, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention through sharing people’s stories of long term recovery.

We feel it’s important to emphasize the successes, accomplishments, creative talents of those who are living a life free from addiction. We do not hear enough about the successes, and we need to have this kind of representation in our communities. In 2018 I went to Washington DC to advocate for mental healthcare reform and in 2020 I gave an official TED Talk on this very subject. I proudly wear my “I am not anonymous” tshirt. I proudly stand in unity with my fellow recovery warriors/advocates. It’s an honor to share my story with you all today. Thank you Serenitees for all that you are doing  in the community. Together we are stronger.  If you would like to share your recovery story with us please DM @wearethoseppl.

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We Are Those People (WATP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing stories of hope and recovery. Founder and Director, Erika Ball, and her husband and Co-Founder, Frank Ball, are both people in recovery. Together they created WATP as a way to give back to the recovery community and help those who are still suffering as well as their families.

Unfortunately, our stories are not uncommon. An estimated 20 Million Americans suffer from addiction and only 10% receive proper treatment.  Erika and Frank Ball are committed to giving “those people” a voice. 

WATP provides a platform for those who live and breathe recovery every day to share their journeys. These first-hand accounts shine light on the humanity within us all. These success stories inspire us to apply to new perspectives to a broken system.

WATP aims to foster genuine human connection and thus eliminate stigmas. We partner with mental health care reform advocates to provide content for research and fundraising opportunities. We advocate on behalf of research-based mental health treatment and support innovative reform policies. And we collaborate with artists and creatives to promote our cause.

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The mission of Brainwashed Coffee is to offer support (and great coffee) to those struggling with addiction, and to inspire others to join our fight.

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If you or anyone you know may be struggling with addiction or a mental health disorder, please reach out 949-439-6786.

Recovery IS possible. We DO recover. You are NOT alone.

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