I am 49 years old and I have had a interesting life. I grew up in a large family with seven of us kids. We are all a year apart and my mom had us all by the time she was 25 years old, WOW,. Anyway I had a wonderful childhood, camping every summer and my parents are still together although my father passed several years ago. I began using alcohol and cocaine at about age 13-15. I married my high school sweetheart but the drugs were always a problem and after having the first baby girl in 36 years in a italian family he just could not cope with my addiction anymore and finally left after 17 years. I weny off on a good run for many years. Until I was sent to prison. Well that was it, I had tried many many drug programs but this was one I could not walk out the front door from. When I got out it was mandatory that i complete a residential treatment program, this was great as i had 13 months clean and the fog was cleared from my head. I was funded to stay at the huge victorian house in downtown Sacramento Ca. for up to 15 months. After that I was funded to live at a sober living environment for another 6 months we I took full advantage of this and got myserlf a job at the salvation army thrift store. But I was still required to go to out patient treatment. Let me back up and say that the whole time I was at "Promise House" I asked if they needed any help with phones or any job I cold do. Sio needless to say the ended up hiring me and at first I was not allowed in files I was just the night monitor. But eventually I became a certified addiction counselor (CAS) with letters behind my name. Then I became the lead counselor and eventually was running the place. I worked very hard there for 5 years, rarely missed a day of work and decided I was worth more than they were paying and applied for another job at a Methadone clinic. I got that job and in 6 months became a supervisor. I would strongly consider myself a exellent counselor, peer and overall good person. I worked there for 3 years and I absolutely, positively LOVED my job. Well I was abruptly fired over some things that were not even true. I was devastated, hurt and lost everything, my apartment my livelyhood, myself. Then I was denied unemployment benefits and had to move back in with mom. I could not buy smokes, gas food I had nothing. I went into a severe depression and missed to appeal hearings for my unemployment benefits due to this depression. Well I finaslly made it to the third and the judge was appaled at the way I was treated and granted me my benefits. I was awarded thousands of dollars in back pay. I am now still on unemployment but have developed Carpel Tunnel and can not go back to work. I have applied for disability and that is where I am in my life today. Still at moms and boy was I needed here so all worked out ok but I really miss helping others who suffer from addiction. The best part is I did not relapse over this and now have 11 years clean. Thank You for letting me share a bit of my biography.