Why Are Lawyers Afraid To Ask For Help

Not long ago I gave a bar association lunchtime presentation about addiction recovery. As I always do, I spoke about the function and value of the Legal Assistance Program (LAP) in helping lawyers deal with addiction and other mental health issues and get back on track even in the face of immediate consequences for behavior […]

When Religion And Recovery Collide

There are two major 12-step based groups for alcohol. One is, of course, Alcoholics Anonymous. The other is Celebrate Recovery, which is Christian based. In order to comply with the “11th Tradition” (which I find both outdated and ridiculous, but that’s for another time), I will simply state that I am not in Celebrate Recovery. […]

Realizing Your Dreams In Recovery

If you would have asked me as an 18-year-old what my dreams and aspirations were as I walked out the doors of Mt. Lebanon High School in 1979, they would have been rooted in pain and loneliness. To one day hold the hand of a girl who liked me. To have my first kiss. To […]

Xanax Memories

Years of accumulated change in shoe box. Susan B. Anthony Dollars. Fifty-cent pieces. My first-day desire chip taken from “John G.” sobbing, powerless, and broken. My one and five-year sobriety chips. Worn, corroded pennies, nickels, and dimes. A box of memories. Memories of bouncing a basketball while I stole quarters from my father’s change jar […]

Being A Feeler In A Profession Of Thinkers

Lawyers and law students, at least anecdotally, often seem to be driven, Type-A personalities who might in some ways be at higher risk for addictive behaviors. Perhaps the ways we fit the lawyer “type” has something to do with propensity for mental health issues and addiction. Or maybe sometimes it’s the way we don’t fit […]

Reflecting On 10 Years Of Sobriety

I will celebrate my 10th year of sobriety on April 8, 2017.  While I generally take my sobriety one day at time, I am 99.999 percent certain I am going to still be sober on April 8, so you are getting this a few days early. On April 6, 2007, however, my thoughts were not […]

Let’s Talk About Self-Harm

I recently came across a study that found that a quarter of young men ages 16-24 turn to self-harm to cope with depression, anxiety, and stress — a trio of mental health issues that can define many a law student and lawyer experience. Especially the first year of law school in which the average age […]

Is Alcoholics Anonymous For You?

April 2007. I walk up to the door of the building where area Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings are held. My family is pushing hard for in-patient treatment but I refuse. My psychiatrist feels that a trip here is the first step to long-term sobriety. Lucky for me, the building is right next to his office. […]

Law Schools Empowering Student Recovery

I thought it would be nice to every now and then, feature a law school taking proactive steps to make sure the student body is empowered to seek help for problematic drinking, drug use and other mental health issues. The first school is the Southern Illinois University School of Law (SIU Law). I reached out to […]

A Letter To My Thirteen-Year-Old Self

I break my initial and on-going recovery from drugs, alcohol and eating disorders into two basic parts. Dealing with where I am and dealing with how I got there. The dealing with the present was of course initially getting sober and now focuses on staying sober. That began with twelve-step. There was also psychiatric treatment […]