I am number 7 of 8 kids and I had a good childhood. Both of my parents were well educated.
I joined the military to pay off my nursing degree and I graduated valedictorian of my class. I did 4 tours of conduct in the Marine Corp and served 8 years total. I’ve been shot twice, stabbed twice and have broken many bones. I was stationed nowhere good. Camp Pendleton was the highlight of places I lived.
I started drinking in the military … because that’s what you did.
If you didn’t smoke, you didn’t get a break. We drank frequently and everywhere. I was in charge of medical supplies while I was stationed in South America. I was there for four months and worked three hours the entire time I was there. We had to sober for muster station so we would give each other IV’s and oxygen to get through it and then we’d start drinking again.
When I left the military, I became a reserve sheriffs deputy in California. My first day on the job was during the Rodney King riots. Shortly after, I was a police officer in Oregon, where my neck was broken by a prisoner. During this time, I also lost my house. I was still drinking because from what I had seen, cops drank. I decided I didn’t’ want to be an officer anymore, so I moved to Reno and started trauma nursing where I worked for 10 years. The drinking really increased during this time period.
I wasn’t eating and when I came to STEP2 I weighed only 102 pounds. I knew about the program because my sister had already been through. I went to my boss and told her that I had a drinking problem and needed to be suspended from work. I voluntarily suspended my own license because I didn’t want to accidentally kill someone.
If I would have kept drinking, I can honestly say I would be dead right now.
With the support I received from STEP2, I’m taking care of myself. My health is back and it’s good. My languages are back (I speak 7!)
STEP2 has definitely saved me!