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The Anonymous People Viewing at the Watershed Halfway House

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This past Friday night, residents of The Watershed’s half-way and 3/4 house got the opportunity to sit and watch the new documentary film “The Anonymous People starring Kristen Johnston. Johnston is known for not only acting in movies and for her pill and alcohol addiction, but now known for being an active advocate for recovery. She recently wrote and published a book called “Guts” which entails Johnston pouring out her story of addiction and her life, and essentially stepping out from the shadows of being in long-term recovery. Kristen wants to make it known that she has suffered from the disease of addiction and is not ashamed of being a person in long-term recovery.

“The Anonymous People” provides bone-chilling facts and stories about people who are stepping into the light from their deep, dark secret of addiction. In America alone, 25 million people are suffering from the disease of addiction, but over 23 million are living in long-term recovery. The term “addiction” carries such a stigma that those who are suffering from the disease are too afraid to reveal themselves. People don’t understand that even though the disease of addiction has no cure, it does have a solution. The Anonymous People speaks to you in such a way, that you may be inspired to speak out to others about this epidemic.

The Anonymous People: The Watershed’s Client Reviews

This past Friday night, current patients and several Alumni piled in on the couches of the community room at The Watershed Halfway House to watch the showing of, “The Anonymous People.” As the film started, the room got silent. “The Anonymous People” lures you in right from the very beginning with people’s gut-wrenching stories and their feelings about recovery. Looking around the room, everyone’s eyes were locked in on the screen. During a brief pizza intermission, already questions were flying around the group. The clients loved The Anonymous People and were anxious to press the play button once again. After the short break, the clients eagerly watched the remainder of the documentary. After all of the goose-bumps and small tears forming in people’s eyes, the film had ended; the lights turned on and the room was silent.

Watershed Maria, The Watershed’s Social Media Specialist, began asking some questions.

Q) Watershed Maria: “Did The Anonymous People change your opinion about being quiet in recovery?”

A) Clients’ Response: One of the clients, seeming very inspired, said, “After watching that movie, anonymity isn’t a problem for me. I’ll use my first, middle and last name! I don’t care!” The clients all laughed and agreed. “We aren’t ashamed of who we are. The film gave us awareness and we now see things differently.”

Q) Watershed Maria: “What was your view on recovery before you watched The Anonymous People?”

A) Clients’ Response: “Being in recovery, I’ve never been ashamed. Of course I was ashamed during my addiction, but not about recovery. People need to hear it. The movie re-affirms that you shouldn’t stay silent. Like the movie said, ‘Silence=Death.’” The clients went on to say that they tell their bosses at work and the people that they work with. They don’t exactly flaunt it, but they don’t keep it a secret either. They now know that there is a solution and they know what they can overcome.

Q) Watershed Maria: “How does The Anonymous People make you feel about helping other people in the community?”

A) Clients’ Response: “I want to do more to get it (recovery) out there, so it can be known that recovery is possible.” They want to help others so they can have a strong and healthy community. A few of the clients believe that a lot more young people are going to be the ones starting to speak out. All of the clients expressed how they feel that going to high schools and colleges and speaking out to them can help them tremendously.

The clients were very involved and were active in participation through out the video and the questions that followed. Some believed that The Anonymous People should have been longer than 88 minutes; they didn’t want it to end! After watching the film, believing in themselves and in their recovery didn’t seem like a dream anymore – it was actually happening. They look forward to seeing more of what can happen to the “stigma on addiction” in the future, and agree that people need to hear it. The clients were asked if they would watch The Anonymous People again or if they would recommend it to others; all replied, “Absolutely!”

The Anonymous People Inspiring the Whole Country

During and after The Anonymous People was made, it showed many different organizations through out the country supporting the disease of addiction and trying to get rid of the stigma. Substance Abuse is becoming an epidemic and people need help more than ever. The disease of addiction has affected 2/3 of American families. Different organizations all over the country are now trying to encourage people to “speak out” about their recoveries.

Here in south Florida, the recovery capital of the world, there are not only many recovery communities, but there is support anywhere you go. In California, there are many different recovery organizations speaking out, also. In the state of Ohio, there is a small, but very special organization called Tyler’s Light. Tyler’s Light lives for “Speaking up and saving a life” and has an amazing story behind where they came from. They started from holding fundraisers and meetings, to organizing and holding 5k runs/walks, and helping many others struggling in their community.  They believe in the same purpose as those who spoke up in The Anonymous People. The Watershed and The Anonymous People encourage you to find an organization near you or to create your own and join the movement!

If you would like to schedule a showing of The Anonymous People, or for more inofrmation, please contact us at

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