Editor’s note: This post is part of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program’s Stories of Recovery blog series. TLAP offers confidential assistance for lawyers, law students, and judges with substance use or mental health issues. Call or text TLAP at 1-800-343-8527 (TLAP) and find more information at tlaphelps.org.

I have always felt like an outsider and a loner. As a child, living in a household with parental drug addiction, poverty, severe physical abuse, and serious violent trauma, certainly contributed to those problems. I worked very hard to make a better life for myself and took pride in leaving my past in the past. I scorned weakness in others.