Mrs. Vermont and the Hungry Heart

Dear Observationally Yours (may I call you “Matt”?),

It is with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat that I digest your post about me. I must admit, my heart raced in uncomfortable anticipation of what the next person might have to say about the “beauty queen”…the well-worn pre-judgement, perhaps, or misinterpretation, or underestimation?


Like you, I was pleasantly surprised. First, you are an enviable writer. Frank, succinct, heart-driven. Second, I feel “heard” by you. Not that my speaking at this event was about “me” – it truly wasn’t – but since I put myself out there to a packed theatre of my neighbors with my darkest vulnerabilities, it’s nice to not be torn down at least. Thanks


In reflection, Matt, your post represents what I love most about the recovery community. We are all bonded by our greatest weaknesses. Not our strengths, our glories, or our egos, but by our struggles, and our victories over a darkness that could have consumed us, and always lurks. There is an invisible string connecting every one of us heart to heart, and I believe that web is woven of COURAGE. The courage it takes to get down on our knees, to ask for help. The courage it takes to dig deep and makes the changes necessary to give us a brand new life. Finally, if we are among the lucky ones, the courage it takes to turn around to our communities, to extend a hand and offer a little hope to others, “I’ve been there, too. Hang in there. You are worth it.”


So Matt, thanks for acknowledging all of me, stumbles included. (Should I not edit that part out of the recap video?!) Thanks for describing so succinctly,

“The stumble meant nothing. The recovery meant everything.”


I think you hit the nail on the head…that’s what this recovery thing is all about.


My very best,
You may call me Hannah

Observationally Yours

Dear Mrs. Vermont:

I have to confess it has been a really long time since I paid much if any attention to beauty pageants or frankly, beauty pageant winners.  I don’t get the point.

We “met” each other Friday night at the Burlington premiere of The Hungry Heart.   (Met as in you said hello to me and hundreds of other people entering the theatre.)  I thought it odd that Mrs. Vermont would be at a movie premiere, but then again, I’m still not totally sure what Mrs. AnystateUSA does as part of wearing that crown.  And why this movie?

The Hungry Heart focuses its lens on St. Albans and Franklin County in Northern Vermont.  More specifically it focuses on the journey of addiction of a number of community residents and the unrelenting commitment and love of Dr. Fred Holmes, a man who started his career as a pediatrician, and retired…

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About Hannah Kirkpatrick ~ Mrs. Vermont America 2013, Recovery Advocate & Inspirational Speaker

Addictive substances & behaviors devastate the lives of millions of Americans every day. I was one of them, and I now share my story of escape, and the miracles of hope and joy in long-term recovery that has repaired my family and given us a new lease on life.
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