I treat addiction because I have experienced the desperation and misery of being a prisoner to drugs and alcohol. And now, I know the freedom and joy of being sober and healthy. I started my medical career as a surgeon. I was never content or happy with my profession. As a young woman, I felt tremendous pressure to have a perfect life…career, family, and appearances. By the age of 35, everything had fallen apart. I spent my 35th birthday in rehab with a failed surgery practice, pending divorce, and financial ruin. The early years of recovery were arduous and filled with guilt and shame.
After two years of sobriety, I began working in the field of addiction medicine. I could finally relate to my patients. I felt empathy and compassion, yet delivered a firm message about sobriety and the joys of being in recovery. This evolved into a new career in addiction medicine. I feel authentic in helping patients through the process of withdrawal, stabilization, and long-term recovery. I continue to feel hopeful in a professional working against the odds of the opiate epidemic and continued morbidity and mortality from alcohol.