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Actress in Recovery to Grace

Created by Marisa Vitali

Actress in Recovery to Grace

While honing my acting skills in class, I was inspired by a teacher I was studying with, who gave us a call-to-action: we all have a story to tell it!

I had always written my story about how I started using heroin in many different forms; from a stream of consciousness to a play, a screenplay, and even a short story, but I always stopped at the same place. I was never able to see the ending.

After receiving the call-to-action, I woke up the next day and started to write. The story just flowed out of my pen, I couldn't keep up -- I couldn't write fast enough. The story that was flowing was not about my active addiction, but about my first year clean in recovery. I realized that was the most difficult time for me:  a time I had to face the truth of what my life had become without a drug to hide behind.

I also found that family and friends didn't want to talk about it and acted as if nothing had happened. There was an unspoken expectation that, because I was not using, everything was “fine”.

I felt like a turtle without a shell -- raw and emotionally exposed. This was the story I wanted to tell in the film, Grace. Anyone can watch a film and learn how to shoot a bag of dope or smoke a crack pipe. I wanted to tell a story of hope and recovery and bridge a gap between addicts and non-addicts to start that conversation of recovery. There is something to be said about how we can all be a little more compassionate for one’s struggles to overcome against all odds.

If I can reach one person with this film, I feel my job of being of service is complete.

Thank You for your time and your generosity of spirit!


Marisa Vitali




This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

Guest Book


1. Phil Broyles
Danielle, Your recovery experience helps in so many ways just by being the example of recovery and resilience to others..
2. Danielle Bass
I am not exactly sure what to say except i grew up with Marisa and am so proud of all her accomplishments. Her strength and courage to put her life and experience online> I myself am in Recovery from same addiction im going on 4 yrs this Christmas Life is wonderful i wasted so many years and am looking forward to finally living life something i never knew existed I live my life day to day and actually can say I love myself i wish there was some kind of way i could help you all unfortunately im not a counsler just a recovering addict