- Friends & Family
Submitted by: Susanne Johnson
Our interview began with Laura telling me, “I had a beer last night and didn’t even finish it.” Laura has no problem with alcohol or addiction. She used drugs in her past, being curious like many, but it never became a problem. She doesn’t like the feeling. She doesn’t want the toxins that make her feel weird and sick the next day. On special occasions she might have a couple drinks, but usually she likes to eat healthy food and stay away from things that harm her body. Despite all this Laura has a story of addiction to tell, as she has been deeply impacted by this disease.
Laura’s family is in the restaurant business, and as happens with people working in this industry, both her brothers drink alcohol a bit more than they should. Both are considered functioning alcoholics, but both see the problem and consider making changes in their lives. One is currently trying to stop, and the other one got a new job, changed location and is around different people now.
An eye-opening experience happened when she saw a man she had dated drunkenly stumble across the sidewalk in an attempt to find his car. She took his car keys and his wallet, got him some water and found his friends to take him home. It was the first time she saw somebody she knew in such a helpless situation. She prays that this young man will find relief from his disease and get help soon.
“Look in the mirror every day, and tell yourself that you love yourself,” she tells another friend all the time. This friend has a problem with addiction. She wants to support this friend and learn more about treatment possibilities for him. Laura attended a treatment industry conference as a fun photo booth operator. She is always smiling and encouraging. Her job could have taken her to any conference or company, but being assigned to work with leaders in the recovery industry gave her new hope and the knowledge of how she can make a difference in her friend’s life. Laura had no idea how bad this friend’s problem was until he hurt himself in an accident, and the downward spiral of pain and opioid prescriptions began. He is still functioning in life and still holds a job, and Laura hopes that he will reach out for help early and not let things get really bad.