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Fighting for my life and fighting the system. How I refused to let the lack of insurance stop me from reaching recovery.
By Dawn Sachleben


I am not exactly proud of my past but I do know that I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t go through it. My name is Dawn. I am an Alcoholic and Addict, who suffered from Bulimia. I can’t exactly tell you why I woke up that day in June stating to myself that this thing I called a life wasn’t a life at all. My out of control behavior needed to stop and I had to be the one to stop it. It was a morning like any other I woke up startled and afraid, I had drank and taken as many pills necessary to black out again and I did not know where I was. This was normal behavior and on top of it all I suffered from an eating disorder that complicated thing further. These three diseases had complicated my life for long enough, they fed off of each other one leading to the next and it was to the point that I either get help or die. But get help how?

a3188213713e1f11563fd512c6000241I didn’t have insurance or anyone to turn to at this point I had screwed up all relationships. I needed to figure this all out on my own and I was determined. I began with the phone book and started searching for any phone number I could find that had the words rehab or recovery before them. I called every number I could find hoping someone might have an idea of where I could go for help. While doing this I started attending AA and NA meetings. I found these meetings in my first few days of sobriety life saving and they are free. If you are in the need of help from alcoholism or struggling with addiction I suggest trying a meeting. You can find where they are being held in the newspaper or online and they have them morning, noon, and night. They are always free and can really help when you are struggling. You don’t have to attend the same meeting every week if you go to one and don’t like it try another one you will be able to find one where you feel comfortable and it is worth it.

I was also able to find help with my ED through public health this was done through a number of phone calls. The first place I called was the nearest social service office I figured they would have resources for the community and give me a direction to go in. Getting someone on the phone was another story I ended up leaving numerous messages with no call backs. At this point I was feeling very defeated but I was not going to give up I needed help and I knew there had to be a way to find it. I began asking around at the NA and AA meetings if anyone knew where I could get help for my eating disorder. I was told that there was a public mental health office in my area and that I should give them a call. I called the office and they let me know that they have a division that deals with mental health and eating disorders and that they will allow you to pay on a sliding scale according to your income. If you are not making money and need help they will allow you to receive the help for free. They will do an initial intake appointment and offer you a plan they feel will work best for your situation. I was offered a outpatient treatment plan in which I was assigned a treatment team and attended private and group therapy. When searching for help you do have to be prepared to be assertive and follow through with all the paperwork required in order to receive the help. I felt overwhelmed at first because it seemed like so much work but it was so worth it. I was able to get the help I needed for a very small amount of money. I have heard others who want or need treatment to give up on finding it because they do not have insurance. Help is out there if you are willing to fight for it and what is more important than life.

My name is Dawn and This is Where I Stand