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Portraits Of Boston: The Mud And The Lotus

self medicating

“For a few years I was self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, and with the help of many people, I managed to stop. Now I go through the 12 steps of AA, I’m into Buddhism, I do yoga and I try to help other people.”

“How did you get into drugs?”

“I come from a domestic violence situation, and I always saw myself as my mother’s protector. When I moved away for college, I felt guilty for leaving her. At first, I was just trying to drown the guilt and forget the feelings.”

“It’s a great story of recovery, although I wish you hadn’t had to go through all that.”

“Oh, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I needed it. It’s like the mud and the lotus flower. Without that experience, I would not have met the many wonderful people I now know, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”


Portraits of Boston is a project of independent photographer Ivan Velinov. He is regularly sharing some of his favorite portraits with WBUR. Visit his website to see the hundreds of portraits he has taken on the streets of Boston.

This program aired on December 6, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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