THE ADVOCATE 405
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
last time in my life. I have never been more frightened or distraught. I was
four months pregnant, telling the nurse at the hospital that I wanted a
divorce—on the first night of my honeymoon.
On our return home I reached out to Derek, once again, in tears. That
poor man has listened to my panicked tears so many times over. But he
helped me, again. After my husband entered treatment in Nanaimo, Derek
not only visited him there but also provided him with counselling support
on his discharge. He also helped us both through two frightening relapses,
including one when our daughter was just one month old. Derek played an
immensely important role in my husband’s recovery and in my own, since
I too was suffering from the family disease of alcoholism.
I am pleased to report that my husband celebrated two years of sobriety
last November. He is now an outreach volunteer for LAP, working with
lawyers who are new to or otherwise struggling with recovery. He has
returned to school to obtain a psychology degree, with the goal of eventually
working with others who suffer from addiction. He is the most wonderful,
loving, kind and gentle husband. He is a doting father to our beautiful,
happy, healthy and well-adjusted two-year-old daughter. I am so grateful to
Derek and LAP for helping to give me what is now a fairy-tale family.
My most recent “crisis” (because I wasn’t quite done yet) was one that
was wholly my own. I went back to work when my daughter was just four
months old. I was trying to manage a full-time demanding litigation practice
and a co-adjunct professor role at Allard Law, all while continuing to
breastfeed my infant daughter whose primary caregiver was my newly
sober husband. My mother-in-law also succumbed to her long and difficult
battle with multiple sclerosis the very same week I returned to work, and I
was trying to be as supportive as possible to my husband through that
period, particularly because in the back of my mind I was worried her passing
might cause him to relapse.
I was beyond overwhelmed. Once again, I was not sleeping. I was isolating
from my friends and family. I was short-tempered. I could not focus. I
could not complete tasks at work, but I felt like I was working all the time.
I could not make decisions on my files. I second-guessed the decisions I did
make. I felt physical symptoms too: a tingling and burning sensation coursing
through my scalp and back whenever I encountered even the smallest
of conflicts with my professional adversaries. I was soon diagnosed with
postpartum anxiety and depression, and I had to take a leave of absence
from my practice.
I felt like a failure.
I needed help.