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Living Life Abundantly

When asked to write about something for which I was grateful, wow, there is so much that I am grateful for in my life now.  Fifteen years ago, I would have had a hard time answering that question. This new way of living in recovery has opened my life in so many ways.

I now have a relationship with God in whom I put much effort into relying upon in all areas of my life.  My relationships with other people at all levels have improved.  I no longer allow the good or bad behavior of another person to determine my behavior nor do I allow myself to become a victim of my own expectations.  Oh, believe me, problems still occur but I have learned to pause, to breathe deeply and to think of which response I would feel better about and take it, and believe it or not, I have even learned to be quiet and say nothing.

I am so grateful for my sobriety. Without it, I would still be struggling to deal with life on life’s terms.  Acceptance of the fact that I have no control over the actions and behavior of other people in my life has been a blessing.  It is okay.  None of this would have happened if the North Carolina Caring Dental Program had not been there for me.

This thought brings me to the gratitude and appreciation that I feel for the past and present members of the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners, and most particularly, Dr. C. V. Winter and Dr. Jake Thorpe, who recognized the need for an advocacy and monitoring program for dental professionals in need.

I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the NCCDP as a volunteer.  There is nothing better to strengthen my own recovery program than working with others in recovery.  Service to others allows me to get out of myself.  It is through service work that I have learned how to be a better listener and how to be more compassionate and understanding.  This work has even improved my relationships with my patients.

I am not the same woman that I was fifteen years ago.  Fifteen years ago, there was an ocean of anger bottled up within me.  Sober hindsight now allows me to see how sick I was in all aspects of my life.  I was just using alcohol to escape from myself and all my problems.  I used to dream about what my life should have been like.

My placement in the Caring Dental Program, which at the time I thought was the worst thing that ever happened to me, turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. A slow, solid, steady recovery has led me to a life I enjoy. It has its ups and downs, but sobriety has led to a whole new way of living.

A Grateful Recovering Dental Hygienist