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Voices for Recovery

Lorie Hammerstrom (08/15/2011)

Lorie Hammerstrom Voice

Recovery has enabled me to change my life for the better, and living has truly become much more manageable and enjoyable than it used to be.

Back in my mid-30s, I began to struggle with stress, particularly balancing a career and family. I sought relief and was prescribed antidepressants, but as I attempted to escape the feelings of stress in my life, I began drinking a bit. As time went by, "a bit" turned into more frequent drinking, and soon I found myself drinking every night, unable to stop. I told my doctor that I was drinking and I didn't feel well, but he just continued increasing and changing my anti-depressant medications. I began to feel anxious, and it all just seemed to get worse!

I looked further for help with my drinking and found SMART Recovery 6 years ago. There I learned how to deal with life's upsets in rational and helpful ways, without alcohol. I had turned to alcohol as a short-term quick fix to escape my upsets and frustrations, but in the long term it made things far worse. The tools I learned in treatment provided me ways to cope with challenges, be sober, and live life and take pleasure in it.

I'm no longer overwhelmed as I was for so long. Challenging situations still arise, but I see that life isn't so much about what happens to me, but about how I choose to think about it. That makes all the difference—in my present life and in the choices I make for my future.

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