Want to Make an Impact? Consider Betty Ford
"Somewhere along the line, alcohol became too important in my life."
Betty Ford struggled with prescription drug abuse and alcohol, not thinking she had a problem.
During her husband’s time in Congress, Betty pinched a nerve and suffered from chronic pain and muscle spasms. Doctors prescribed medications. Yet, these prescription drugs became a problem too.
Finally, in 1978, reality overcame denial and her family lovingly confronted her about her addiction, using the new method at that time called intervention.
"But now I had to change. Or die."
Much can be said about Betty’s impact as a First Lady, but many of us will not share in the same public prominence. So let’s take a look at her success in recovery.
When Betty went to rehab, she shared a room with three other women and was treated just like anyone else. She had a hard time accepting that she was not only dependent on pain pills, but alcohol too.
Gradually she worked her way from not opening up in group sessions to admitting she was an alcoholic that had hurt her family. About a year into her recovery, although she didn’t feel ready to help others, Betty was able to help her good friend and neighbor, Leonard Firestone, find recovery. Together they set out to start what became the Betty Ford Center.
The Impact You Can Make
Maybe you won’t establish an actual rehab center of your own. But, you can be, in a sense, a walking rehab center offering help to those around you and trying to point them in the right direction.
Be honest and open so you can stay sober and help others.
Encourage (addicts/alcoholics or those who are sick …what do you call them?!) to get treatment.
Share experiences, tips, and tools with partners in recovery.
Speak out to increase awareness of alcoholism and drug abuse.
How can you impact someone’s life today?
Betty Ford: A Glad Awakening by Betty Ford with Chris Chase
The Times of My Life by Betty Ford with Chris Chase