I grew up in a privileged community and home. My family afforded me the opportunities to be whatever I chose. I was given a good education, I was able to travel, and I fulfilled my dream of being a wife and mother of three wonderful children. I spent my adult years raising my family in the Traverse City area. I was happy with my life until the disease of alcoholism destroyed it. I was lucky enough after many difficult years and many attempts to find recovery. I have been sober for almost nine years. Today I have a new purpose. I am employed in the addiction field. I am working towards a degree in addiction that will allow me to counsel substance abusers. I speak with the recovery community and their families about addiction being a disease and regaining hope. As well, I try to carry this message to communities so that they will know how to offer help to their loved ones. Addicts are not weak or morally bad people, they are sick. They need the chance to recover.