We all have our own story to tell and this is mine. I admit that I had to look at my past mistakes in order to learn from them and to ensure I did not make the same ones again. I have moved on with my life.
As a healthcare professional, I know that the substance “alcohol” is a depressant, but it was not for me, or so I thought in the beginning. Alcohol made me feel happy, confident and relaxed. It was my “magic.” However, unknowingly to me, after a period of time, “it” stopped working. I wanted to return to that magic feeling again. Instead, I became more and more depressed.
On the outside, I always tried to portray a happy appearance while on the inside I was miserable. I was no longer living but existing. Truly, I wished I would not wake up in the morning. My life, even my job, revolved around my alcohol. I was preoccupied with when I could have my next drink. I was secretly hiding my drinking from my family and friends. My drinking consumed my life and I could see no way out!
My drinking had taken over my life. I was depressed and in despair. I could not even cry. I asked myself, “Who am I?” In hindsight, I believe the worst part of my life and the best part of my life occurred at the same time. At my lowest point, I felt I was discovered when I became involved with the Nebraska Licensee Assistance Program (LAP). I initially believed the LAP was punitive, my punishment. However, in reality, it was my “savior” and my best advocate in my time of need. The LAP “saved my life and my career!”
Today I continue in my 12-Step recovery activities. I have found it to be a “fantastic” way of life. I am alive and so happy. I found out I do not need substances and medications to get through my days. I wake up each morning smiling and looking forward to starting a new day. I am the happiest I have been my entire life. I have contentment and joy inside. This is the way “I” now choose to live my life. I am happy and I have hope.
I try each day to do something kind for someone else to make their day and life better. I have discovered that an addiction does not have to be a dead end. We can choose our own destiny and I have chosen to be “free and sober.” I was in a “black hole” with a bottle of alcohol and with the assistance of my 12-Step recovery program and the LAP, I was able to climb out of that hole and bury the bottle.
I believe acceptance of your addiction is the first step to getting into recovery along with being totally honest with yourself. I wanted recovery for myself because I discovered I was worth it. Today, I am engaged in living a happy and healthy life. As a result of my sobriety, I choose my actions and feelings each and every day “One Day At A Time.”
If you have further questions about the Nebraska Licensee Assistance Program, or feel that you may benefit from the alcohol/drug assistance services of the NE LAP, please contact the NE LAP Coordinator, Judi Leibrock, at (800) 851-2336 or (402) 354-8055. You may also go to our web site www.lapne.org
Published in the Nebraska LAP newsletter, March 2010