It is amazing how quickly substance abuse can overshadow our dreams and overtake our lives.  People with addictions know how drugs and alcohol breed shame and guilt. Too often, they listen to those feelings of inadequacy, and do not seek help. Elizabeth Chance shared her story with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admistration (SAMSHA) for this year’s Recovery Month.

I wanted to be the next Barbara Walters and was on my career path. But drinking got in the way, and after one too many drinks, I was fired. After divorcing my husband, I got my second break in the television business as a guest on-air spokesperson on QVC. I thought that I was better either drunk or hungover.

I was a binge and black-out drinker. Booze was my best friend. I didn’t have to feel. I felt nothing except for shame and utter disgust for myself. I didn’t know myself at all.

When you are lost in alcoholism, it is hard to find a voice to ask for help. Realize that many, many others have gone through the same feelings of self-hatred. More importantly, realize that you are worth saving.  After reaching recovery, here’s what Elizabeth has to say:

Today, I do [know myself]. I like myself, and I am not ashamed of what happened the day before. I hold my head high, and I am an upstanding member of my community and society. 

Today my life isn’t about hiding and getting what I want, it is about helping people, sharing my passion for recovery and hope!

You can pursue your dreams. You can direct your own life. Overcoming shame and guilt isn’t easy. But we will help you through this. We want you to make it.

 Thank you to SAMSHA’s Recovery Voices and Elizabeth Chance for sharing this story. Read Elizabeth Chance’s and others’ full stories here.

Speak Up, National Recovery Month