This week we accompany a young lady as she attempts to break free from a life of pain and dependency. We learn why breaking a dependency is so much harder than starting one.


After years of struggles with pill dependency, Victoria shares her perspective and advice: "First and foremost, remember that you always have a say and choice in your own treatment." 


"It's easy to have your life descend from one appointment to another. You may feel like this doctor is going to help me, or this prescription or this therapy will help me, but  often times those things come with disappointments when they don't give the results you expect. I really feel like for me at least what has kept me going is taking some of that power back and sometimes, for me at least, it means foregoing the advise of certain professionals because I want to live my life how I want to live it. .


That doctor or therapist may have their expertise but they also have their own biases and opinions and they aren't the ones that have to go home to live your life for you. Just remind yourself when going through a hard time, that you do still have control over your life in some way. If I took the advice of everyone I saw, a lot of things will contradict. So just realize that if two doctors are giving you contradicting advise, maybe they are both right, maybe neither is right, but if they are contradicting each other, that's the best time to step up and make your own choice to decide what you think is actually best for you."


The greatest problem was within myself, within my idea that my real life was not the one I was living - Victoria Stopp

Victoria Stopp is the author of Hurting Like Hell, Living with Gusto: My Battle with Chronic Pain (McFarland & Company, Inc.) The book has received attention from Out Magazine, Spartan Life, The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, WUWF, a regional NPR affiliate; and WSRE, a regional PBS affiliate.


Stopp's writing has appeared in Agnes Scott The Magazine, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Community Review, Community Journal,, and Her essays have been published in Voices on Unity: Coming Together, Falling Apart (Mountain State Press) and The Love of Baseball: Essays by Lifelong Fans (McFarland) and she was a 2017 recipient of a Wildacres residency. Follow her at



Megan Dunlop is an actor and writer living in New York City. Selected film, television and theatre credits include: Breakout Kings, Murdoch Mysteries, The Reception, The Other Celia, Parsley Days, Anatomy of a Broken Love Affair, Dance Marathon, Perfect Pie, Down the Main Drag. Megan wrote, produced and starred in her solo show, My Mother's Cars, earning critical acclaim at the Women at Work Festival off Broadway last fall.


Megan is the recipient of a Best Actress Award (Parsley Days/ ACTRA), has received a Canadian Comedy Award nomination for funniest female performer (Parsley Days), and earned a Grammy nomination (ensemble) for Feist's 1,2,3,4 music video. Follow Megan on Instagram.