Editor’s note: TLAP offers confidential assistance for lawyers, law students, and judges with substance abuse or mental health issues. Call TLAP at 1-800-343-8527 (TLAP) or find more information at tlaphelps.org.
My name is _____________. I am almost 60 years old, eight years clean in NA, and this is my first time in recovery. I thought I was okay despite a lifetime of using drugs, inner desperation, and outer chaos. I did not think I was an addict because I had not lost my job, home, or children. I had not yet learned that every hit, drink, or whatever I took led me further away from who I really was. I had had two marriages that lasted over a decade each and two children that I helped raise from birth in active addiction until they were about 10 and 12 years old. My life was use, work, use, live, use, travel, use, raise kids, use, do bad stuff, use until I could not any more. Energy, love, and motivation were gone. Life was purely mechanical. I could not live anymore in the masks I wore to get through the day.