Mom Decides To Share Her Story And ‘Recover Out Loud’ To Help Reduce Stigma Around Addiction

The stigma surrounding addiction makes it harder for people to get help.

The Courtnologist on TikTok @TheCourtnologist / TikTok

A woman named Courtney Moniz, known as @TheCourtnologist on most social media platforms, has documented her struggles with addiction and the recovery that comes with substance abuse.

Moniz has taken to social media to 'recover out loud.'

In a video from 2017 and posted to her YouTube channel in 2022, she shared her first public cry for help — she speaks about how everyone says that addiction is a choice, saying “At first it is a choice, but then it becomes a trap.”


She reflected on the fact that generally, people think addicts are “pieces of s--t” but said that addicts are harder on themselves than anyone else is. “You can’t bully someone into sobriety, you can’t guilt someone into sobriety,” she declared through her tears.


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Courtney Moniz decided to go into recovery because her 10-year-old daughter told her dad’s friend that she was going to die. “What kind of mother puts their kid through that?” she asked herself. She explained that her daughter has been her biggest supporter and has suffered the most from her addiction. Her dogs have also been a major help for her on this journey because they loyally stuck with her through her drug abuse.

She ended her video by explaining that she had been an absent mother for a year of her daughter’s life.

She expressed that she cannot suffer in silence because suffering in silence will make things spiral out of control. "I just want to declare that I am ready for this," she said. "I have to do this."


Moniz created a TikTok series titled 'Recovery Is Possible' that contains over 100 videos sharing her recovery journey.

In one of her TikToks, she encourages people to document their recovery. At the beginning of the video, there are clips of Moniz when she is still using and then it cuts to her present self. 

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“When you’re in that darkness and you want to get out, you get caught up in wanting it to be this instant gratification, the results are immediate, but that’s just not the case,” she said in reflection of the state she was in when she was using. She asserted that people need to take a step in their own saving because the universe won’t help them until they start to. 



In a different Tiktok that has over 1 million views, Moniz shared footage of herself saying that she would rather die than go through the sickness of withdrawal and apologized to her daughter. The video cuts to the present day of the TikToker alive and sober with her daughter.




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Users in the comments shared that they are so proud of the TikToker for her sobriety.

“This is so raw & real thank you for sharing this & congratulations for beating addiction. This is amazing,” one user wrote. Another user wrote that she conquered the devil and called her an inspiration to everyone who is fighting. 

In a third video, also with over 1 million views, the TikToker posted another snippet of herself when she was actively using with the caption “recover out loud.” In those snippets, her skin was ravaged with sores, she was sickeningly skinny, and there was no light in her eyes. It was clear — that version of herself had no motivation to live.


The video cuts to a much healthier version of herself after she had been in recovery for five years. This is a completely different woman. Her skin is glowing, her body looks healthy, she has a genuine smile on her face, and pride and happiness are reflected in her eyes. 



She asked people to comment with their “clean dates” and the people delivered with over 8,000 comments. While they're not all clean dates, with many people offering their support and praise, Moniz has inspired many people to comment with a piece of their own stories. 

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By “recovering out loud,” Moniz has created a space where people can be proud of themselves for overcoming their addictions.

Their comment section was filled with love people had for themselves and each other for overcoming a disease that plagues so many, thus taking steps to abolish the stigma around it.

According to the American Addiction Center, addiction is more highly stigmatized than any other health problem. This in part stems from the negative attitude the general public has toward people who struggle with substance abuse. Oftentimes people will dismissively call them “tweakers,” “junkies,” or “crackheads.” Thus, instead of treating substance abuse as a health problem, it is treated as immoral and criminal behavior.

The heavy stigma placed around drug addiction adds an “additional barrier” to treatment and recovery. This is especially unnecessary because addiction in itself is hard enough to overcome. There is so much shame surrounding substance abuse because it is seen by society as a choice.

Over 21 million Americans were diagnosed with a substance abuse problem in 2018, however, only 10% of them sought out treatment at a medical facility and 60% of those who were advised to receive treatment declined to do so. This might be largely due to the negative feelings surrounding drug addiction and the shame one feels while they are using. As stated in one of Moniz's videos, it is easier to ignore the problem than admit that you have one.


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This is why it is so important for people like her to share their stories. By “recovering out loud,” she showed the highs and lows of the journey and in turn gave people hope that if she can get out of the darkness, they can too. The more positive stories out there surrounding drug addiction that are available, the more hope people will have to fight their way out of the darkness.

To all the people who have overcome addiction, we see you, and we are proud of you. To all the people out there either struggling with drug addiction, we see you too, and we want you to believe that recovery is possible.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, there are resources to get help.


The process of recovery is not linear, but the first step to getting better is asking for help. For more information, referrals to local treatment facilities and support groups, and relevant links, visit SAMHSA’s website. If you’d like to join a recovery support group, you can locate the nearest Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings near you. Or you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-799-7233, which is a free 24/7 confidential information service in both English and Spanish. For TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, call 1-800-487-4889.

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Tarah Hickel is a Washington-based writer and a frequent contributor to YourTango. She focuses on entertainment and news stories including viral topics and human interest pieces.