Health Tips for Young Lawyers

Health Tips for Young Lawyers

Finding a Path to Recovery
By:  Jordan Baccus

Twenty-three million people in the United States are living in recovery from addiction or alcoholism. I am one of them.

People find their path to recovery from addiction in many different ways. Although this experience may manifest in different ways, a common theme one might hear in a recovery meeting is that someone has “hit bottom.” My “bottom” left me broke, losing jobs, and, at times, homeless, all in the midst of great loneliness.

Regardless of the situation, if people are not ready to get sober, they won’t. Until the person has incurred enough pain and misery from their addiction and is ready for recovery, sobriety cannot be achieved.  If you suspect you have a problem, the first and hardest step is asking for help. Talk to someone you trust and let them know you think you have a problem.  For me, that person was my therapist.

Being labeled as an addict or alcoholic is not a negative thing, nor is it shameful. Addiction is a brain disease and is chronic, progressive, and fatal. If you do not seek help, you can face serious, negative consequences, such as DWIs, jail time, broken families, health concerns, and even death. People from various walks of life struggle with addiction/alcoholism and are living in recovery from it. We suffer from a common disease, and we strive everyday to maintain sobriety and live a better life than how we lived in our addiction. Once you ask for help, the recovery process may not be easy, but it can be a life-altering experience.

There are different ways to seek help for an addiction.  There are in-patient treatment centers, which focus on a recovery time period anywhere from twenty-eight days to greater than one year. There are also intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) centers that you can attend. IOPs occur in the evenings for a few hours during the week.  At an IOP you participate in process groups, drug testing, and education about the disease itself. The difference between IOP and in-patient treatment is that you’re able to continue with your day job and be home every night. Lastly, there are twelve-step meetings. Whether or not someone is able to go into an in-patient or outpatient treatment center, there have been plenty of people who achieved sobriety through the twelve steps. After seeking help, the process does not cease. Continue to reach out and go to meetings in the twelve-step fellowship you find most comfortable for you and help other addicts through sponsorship.

I was in active addiction for ten years. There were key people in my life that facilitated my recovery including, but not limited to, my therapist and initial sponsor. They helped me realize that my struggle was a disease with physical, mental, and spiritual components. I appreciated that people took the time to be honest and patient as I started working a twelve-step program, and they encouraged me to also be honest and patient with myself.  Many supported me as I began a new life journey, and that support is what helps keep me sober today, even in the difficult times.  That support also saved my life twenty-two months ago. A support system is crucial in recovery. Seeking help through checking into treatment for my addiction was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. Staying sober and living in recovery is not always easy, but my life has improved and continues to take on new meaning each day. I am no longer homeless, stealing alcohol, or scraping for every last cent to buy drugs. I am now a productive member of society as full-time student with a good and steady job. This is only by the grace of God and the twelve-steps I have followed to recovery.

JORDAN BACCUS is currently a student pursuing her degree in Exercise Sport Sciences at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, with plans to attend medical school. She is also a part of the collegiate recovery community with The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery.