718 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 80 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2022
After about six months of getting help from LAP, I had come to realize
several critical things:
• Our profession encourages and fosters alcoholism, and other forms
of substance abuse.
• I was one of a huge proportion of 30- to 40-year-old lawyers who
drink heavily and, without doubt, abuse alcohol regularly as a
means of escaping the realities of our high-pressure careers.
• My situation was very typical in that my colleagues did not bat an
eyelash at my lifestyle (mostly because the ones who saw me
engaging in alcoholism shared my weakness; we had self-selected
our cohort). However, my family life was suffering, my dependability
to those I love had diminished substantially and I was on my
way to a much lower standard of practice and less dependability
from a professional standpoint if I did not do something about my
drinking right away.
• I could not control my drinking and it was no fun if I did.
• It became absolutely clear that I had become, despite my difficulty
admitting it, an “alcoholic”.
• I was not alone.
The counsellors at LAP were compassionate and knowledgeable and
helped me learn how to look at myself and my issues and behaviours. I was
able to accept myself and begin doing the work of recovery and of growth.
As quickly as I realized how much I was leaning on alcohol to deal with my
issues, I also realized that I was not the only lawyer facing these issues and
there was a wealth of help. Indeed, once I reached out to LAP, I was immediately
put in touch with assistance to deal with my drinking and the root
anxieties and stressors that I was dealing with through my drinking.
I am immensely proud to say that in the last few years, my life has
changed forever, and I have never been happier. I no longer drink, and I no
longer miss it. My stress is well under control, and I have learned to harness
the enjoyment of my busy and challenging practice. I am doing better at
work, I have my own law firm and am prospering and enjoying my work
immensely. I am better in my relationships and, go figure, better at home.
None of this change would have been possible without the assistance of
LAP, and I am indescribably grateful for the great support LAP provides.
The Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia (“LAPBC”) is an independent organization of members of the legal community
(lawyers, judges, families and support staff). We provide peer support and referral services to help people deal with
personal problems, including alcohol and drug dependence, stress, anxiety and depression. We are volunteers and staff
committed to providing confidential, compassionate and knowledgeable outreach, support and education. We seek to foster
collegiality among our peers and to promote health and well-being in our community. You can reach LAPBC by telephone
at 604-685-2171, toll-free at 1-888-685-2171 or via the LAP website: <www.lapbc.com>.