Sometime around 2000 or 2001, I received an LCL flyer. I had been through a bitterly contested divorce, had become clinically depressed, and had been seriously abusing alcohol. Although still very much in denial about the extent of my problems, something deep inside told me that I should hold onto this flyer. I put it on a shelf in my office, but I periodically and frequently peeked at it. While I was still functioning as a competent lawyer, my energy level continued to sink. I was simply moving from one self-created emergency to the next, barely meeting deadlines, and fearing client calls.
In 2003, I was preparing to try a case that I knew I wasn’t adequately prepared to handle. I filed a motion seeking an extension of the discovery deadline with the conviction that, if the motion was not granted, I would have no alternative but to kill myself. I calmly settled on a plan. If the judge denied my motion, I would simply get in my car, drive south along Highway 61, wait for a locomotive to come along, and inch onto the tracks at the last minute. The order denying my request arrived. I calmly got into my car with the firmly fixed idea that I would end my pain. As I got close to the split between I-94E and I-94W, I thought about the only remaining reasons to live: my wonderful children. The LCL offices came to mind. I was sobbing. I fell into the I-94W lanes of I-35E and drove to the LCL office.
LCL connected me with a psychologist who got me into the emergency room and an attorney who offered to assist or intervene with the court case in question. I also began attending the truly wonderful lawyer AA meetings. Because of my ongoing sobriety, the personal growth I’ve derived from the recovery program, and the strong support network I’ve acquired, my life has improved dramatically. My practice has expanded exponentially, as have the interpersonal, emotional, or financial rewards. I truly love what I do; I love helping people as an attorney. I now embrace life and look forward to the opportunities and enjoyment to be found in each new day.
If LCL hadn’t sent out those flyers, I almost certainly would not be alive today. Thank you ever so much for being there for me and for other suffering lawyers like me.
Are you struggling with, or concerned about, your alcohol or substance use? Are you concerned about someone else’s alcohol or substance use?
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