›› Why I Love Being an Addiction Counselor

        by Cynthia Downing

My entire life changed the day I discovered I was an alcoholic and had to go to treatment. I was working in a drug and alcohol agency for my Master’s degree. The agency kept giving me homework, and one weekend in April, I realized I needed help. I went to treatment a few weeks later, and have been sober ever since, for 26 years.

I became an addiction specialist because what I discovered about alcoholism explained all the questions that had haunted me my whole life. I finally understood, at age 38, what the events of my life meant. I wanted to help others receive that miraculous knowledge, and the gift of recovery.

One sober person in a family changes the history of the family from that day forward. That is part of what keeps me going.

I love my work; it is never boring, because each person has their own set of mistaken beliefs that need to be cleared up, and their own set of defenses that need to be challenged. And when all that is unnecessary is cleared away, the spiritual awakening that results is a joy to see. I am grateful to play a small part in that awakening. And that is what ultimately keeps me going.


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