For me, childhood abuse and other traumas led to substance use disorder (addiction).
Beginning with alcohol at age 12, I spent several years abusing various drugs. I found methamphetamine at 16 and started shooting up at 17. I struggled with meth until I was 32 years old.
By incorporating ideas from multiple sources to build a secular (not 12-step or faith based) recovery plan that works for her, I have been sober since 1994. I used similar techniques to address the trauma and related anxiety as well.
I am a Director for LifeRing Secular Recovery and She Recovers Foundation. I speak on behalf of these organizations, about multiple paths to recovery, and about all topics related to substance use disorder and recovery. I can also speak about sexual abuse and rape, child abuse, domestic violence, ptsd, anxiety, and recovering from these as well.
In 2020, I published two opinion pieces about substance use disorder and recovery in major national publications, including a Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled "I Beat Addiction without God."
I have published memoir pieces in various publications. In January, HCI will publish my memoir, "From Junkie to Judge: One Woman's Journey to Recovery without God."
Professionally, 6 years into recovery, I attended Berkeley Law. I worked at a large firm in Silicon Valley, then litigated class actions for the federal government. In 2014, I was appointed a federal Administrative Law Judge, a position from which I retired in 2020. I now focus on my writing and advocacy work.