- Treatment, Insurance & Intervention Coordinator
- Member, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP)
- Member, Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC)
I have been a practicing para-professional in the field of Substance Abuse and Mental Health since 2007, specializing in family systems. I completed the Accelerated Program for Behavioral Health Professionals program at The Bridge to Recovery, with training in Family of Origin issues, Trauma, Co-dependency, Guilt, and Shame (#ItsNotMyShame!). An active member of Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA, formerly ACOA), I am also an advocate mentor for young women struggling with eating disorders rooted in Family of Origin issues.
I am currently working towards my A.A.S. degree & CADC credential at Moraine Valley Community College and an honorary member of the National Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa. My short-term goals are to earn a bachelor’s degree at Governor’s State University or Arizona State University, followed by a Master’s degree with certification as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counsellor (LCPC).
I received expert training from the top intervention professionals in the nation. I am passionate about educating and empowering families to enact change to break the cycle of addiction and dysfunctional behaviors.
I was raised in a dysfunctional alcoholic home of neglect and experienced physical abuse by siblings and vicious bullying in school. In the absence of the biological father who abandoned our family and mother who worked two jobs to support four children, I was the primary caretaker of the home throughout my tender years. A mini-adult essentially robbed of childhood, I began self-medicating my very painful and different lifestyle with food. By age 22, I suffered from an eating disorder combination of Anorexia and sometimes Bulimia. I admitted myself to a specialty hospital for eating disorders followed by 45 days at the Hazelden treatment program in Melbourne, Florida.
My story, as horrific as it may seem, is typical of children raised in an alcoholic or dysfunctional environment. Addiction and dysfunctional family systems affect all family members either directly or indirectly and can be passed from one generation to the next.
Today, I gratefully continue my journey of recovery and live transparently without shame, guilt, or regret. I believe we all have a choice: whether to harbor our pains and injustices from the past by nursing resentments, or to seek help and begin the healing process. ALL family members can recover if they are honest with themselves, open to change, and willing to do the work.
I view my past experiences as a tremendous gift which transformed my life in ways beyond my wildest hopes or dreams. My healing process was inspiration for a rewarding career path of significant purpose. I did not consciously choose it; rather, it chose me through divine intervention.
“Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. In those transparent moments, we know other people’s joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own.”— Fritz Williams