Voices for Recovery
Director of the Council on Addictions of New York State, Inc.
The day my world began to crumble, January 6, 1976, I had my last drink. Until then, I had no idea that my drinking was a problem. After all, I was a social drinker – or so I thought. On that night, my 15-year-old daughter overdosed on a combination of phenobarbital and brandy and almost died. I met with a counselor at the hospital to talk about my daughter, but the first words he said were, “Your daughter says you drink too much. Do you?” Thus began a series of “higher powered” events – there are no coincidences – that started me on an incredible journey. That first year was a rollercoaster ride of hating myself, having my eyes opened and then questioning again whether I really had a problem, but all the time, being loved unconditionally until finally I began to get it.
This journey has given me a life beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve come from a place of loneliness, shame, and fear to one of love, joy, and purpose. I have the skills to be of service in addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery. The greatest blessing has been my family. My four children, raised in the chaos of addiction and manifesting addiction in their own ways, have found their own pathways to recovery. The addiction cycle, I truly believe, has been broken for this family.
Now, I have the privilege of devoting all my time to living, promoting, and supporting recovery. I am active in the recovery movement at the federal, state, and local level, serving on the boards of Faces and Voices of Recovery, Friends of Recovery New York, and my local recovery community organization. I am proud to say, “I am a woman in long-term recovery from alcoholism.”