I tell my story because I am grateful for the resources which PG&E has available for people facing alcohol and substance use issues and for all the support I have received from my PG&E family.
I used to see the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) flyers left in break rooms and look at them with caution. I’d think “Don’t get caught picking one of those up.” fearing what people would think if they saw me researching EAP. I remember an EAP poster in a conference room that had a picture of a rope that was just down to a string holding it together with a question, “Are you at the end of your rope?” That was me.
My decision to get help came as a result of becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired. I knew inside that I had a problem and I needed help but didn’t really understand the resources that were available to me. Then one day treatment became a reality and EAP stepped right in. I can remember the EAP representative saying “Mike, your only concern at this point is to take care of yourself.” This took the weight of the world off my shoulders and gave me a chance to concentrate on my recovery. I came to realize in treatment that my problems were similar to many others, but my recovery was going to be my own. With the support of my own family and my PG&E family I have enjoyed a recovery that I am grateful for every day.
Now, after five years of sobriety, I am a Peer Volunteer offering to help others so that they can also recover from difficulties in their lives.
It’s not an easy decision to address problems we may be facing in life. I believe it’s important to understand that people have shared similar problems. As we like to say in the Peer Volunteer Program, we’ve walked in your shoes. Talking to people about what you are experiencing can lead to a better path. Programs like EAP and the Peer Volunteer Program as well as treatment centers exist because they are proven to work for people who want to change.
I am grateful to my coworkers who have supported me and to PG&E for having resources that were there for me when I needed them.
-Mike McDermott, Peer Volunteer