by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

The first step of getting sober is to admit that one has a problem.  Once someone develops the self-awareness of a drinking problem then they are on their way to a new way of life.  Many times, people struggle with the difference between what is alcoholism, addiction, substance abuse disorder, or chemical dependency.  They might wonder to themselves, am I really an alcoholic?  Misconceptions are portrayed frequently in the media and pre-conceived notions from others.   Often times someone might compare their drinking to someone who drinks every day or experiences withdrawals and say, “At least I’m not that bad.”  The curious drinker may wonder– am I really an alcoholic?

anxiety, stress, depression, affairs, betrayal, cutting, abuse, self-esteem, blended family, divorce, anger

Here are some the red flags of a drinking problem:

  • Having consequences directly because of the drinking. (i.e. Repeatedly miss work, family engagements, or school, but continuing to drink).
  • Spending most of the week preparing for partying, drinking, or recovering from the affects.
  • Putting one’s life in dangerous or risky situations when drinking. (i.e. drinking and driving, getting injured)
  • Continuing to drink despite loss of memory aka blackouts

Not everyone who has a problem experiences everything listed above.  The primary concern to notice is drinking despite continued consequences.

Here are some steps to help achieve sobriety:

  • Hang out with other people that don’t drink
  • Call someone when you really want to drink
  • Attend 12 step meetings and do the work
  • Stay busy.. especially on the weekends

If you are ready, you do not have to drink again. You can choose to join the 23 million Americans are in recovery and stay sober, one day, one hour, one minute… at a time. The rewards are worth it!


Jessica’s strives to help empower people to make decisions that bring them a sense of joy and accomplishment in life.  As a person in long-term recovery, she is passionate about helping people who are struggling with alcohol and other drug problems.  One of her specialties is working with people who have been through addiction and trauma or abuse.  She uses special techniques and evidence-based practices to reduce symptoms that exacerbate addiction and prevent relapse.  Jessica provides substance abuse evaluations and psychosocial assessments for various attorneys, psychiatrists, physicians, and probation officers. Additionally, she specializes in the treatment of post-partum depression and anxiety disorders.  As a mother herself, Jessica has the ability to truly empathize with parents and give unconditional support through life transitions. See Jessica’s full bio.

If you would like to explore working with me please call (407) 622- 1770, or email me at I look forward to hearing from you!