ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. – A photo submitted to our Discover Colorado | Through your photos Facebook page of a mom and her kids looking up at the Milky Way caught a lot of eyes, but it was the caption that really captured hearts.
“When I was in active addiction, I struggled connecting with my kids. It was hard for me to have an interest in activities where I was required to be sober… Last night I shared my love of the stars and astrophotography with my children… I will never regret a day I stayed sober or choosing life over drugs and alcohol,” Lindsay Brady wrote.
Brady, of Boulder County, took her kids to Rocky Mountain National Park to share her love of astrophotography last week. She showed them how to use the camera as they got a glimpse of Starlink. When they saw the final product in the viewfinder, she says the moment was priceless.
“They were just beside themselves with everything that their little eyes and minds and souls were experiencing and taking in,” Brady said. “The fact that I could do that with them and show them just a fraction of what our universe is was incredibly powerful for all of us.”
Brady was taking in more than the view. She was cherishing the experience of connecting with her kids sober.
“I went through years of trying to get sober and it not working, mainly because I hadn't fully conceded that I was truly an alcoholic and that I truly had substance use disorder. There's a lot of shame and guilt, I felt, for that potentially being a part of me, and I did not want to acknowledge that,” she said.
In 2017, she relapsed and checked herself into rehabilitation in Estes Park. She has chosen recovery every day since.
“There's never a day I have woken up sober where I have regretted it,” Brady said.
During the pandemic, Brady taught herself photography as a way to keep her idle hands busy during a period that has been difficult for those in recovery.
"I'm just really excited that photography has turned into just this beautiful gift that I can use to creatively connect with my community,” she said.
Brady started a nonprofit called Recovery Rising. It provides those in recovery with no-cost family portraits so they can mark a new beginning. Recovery Rising covers their portrait sessions through donations, and they are looking for more photographers to volunteer.
Editor's Note: 'Our Colorado' helps us all navigate the challenges related to growth while celebrating life in the state we love. To comment on this or other Our Colorado stories, email us at OurCO@TheDenverChannel.com. See more 'Our Colorado' stories here.