"Through my relapses and perpetual relapsing in alcoholism, I lost everything," she says. "I became homeless. I became indigent. I lost my profession. I lost my family. I lost my marriage. I lost all my finances. I lost my home. I lost my dignity. I lost my self-worth."
Leslie says she didn't realize while she was drinking how her addiction affected the people she loved most. "The only thing important to me was to get that next drink of alcohol," she says. "Every day, I live with the pain of the fact that my husband took my children, and I drank and caused that."
Leslie says she's trying to move forward and live a sober life, but she urges other women struggling with alcoholism to get help before it's too late. "You don't need to live in that pain or that shame," she says. "Alcoholism does not define who I am. That does not make Leslie who she is. ... There's help out there for you."