I am a 54 year old wife, mother, of two grown boys, and I am a person in long-term recovery. As of today I have six years, five months, and 11 days free form any mood or mind-altering substance. I am also the director of an Intensive Outpatient substance use program, which serves persons who are currently experiencing homelessness. I am also halfway through my Master’s Degree in Addiction Studies.

This is a far different story from six-and-a-half years ago. I jumped off a cliff in Half Moon Bay, California, had to be rescued, was flown to Stanford for my injuries, and then spent two weeks in a psychiatric facility. At that point I was willing to go to my fifth treatment facility, and when I was there something shifted. I became willing to work the steps, take other suggestions, and be of service to others. I was also able to work on all of my issues, such as my Depressive Disorder, Anorexia, and trauma. Before I left I made a decision that i would need to make my recovery about more than just me, and I started back to school to become a certified addictions counselor. I thought my education would end there, but I have been able to continue to make progress in my career, so I have set my sights on teaching at the collegiate level.

I am blessed to be married to a supportive man who has almost 21 years in recovery himself. My sons have not had substance use struggles, but they both suffer from depression, and my younger son has begun to work through his own issues in Adult Children of Alcoholics. Today I get to show up for everything my family is feeling, and I am most grateful for this fact. While I feel as if showing up for my clients is valuable, showing up as a whole wife and mother is even more valuable to me.