Laura Squibbs is a case manager at HOPE Counseling, a position she’s had for two years. Laura, 40, who’s been sober for 11 years, started working at Adult & Teen Challenge through her husband, Greg, who’s worked at the organization for about 11 years. “He would always tell me wonderful things about Teen Challenge,” she said. She always wanted to be a case manager so when she found out ATCOV had opened up HOPE Counseling, she applied and got the job.
“I’ve never been in a facility with my addiction, or worked in a facility that had both the faith-based side of things in the residential but also offered the counseling and the therapists, group counseling,” she said. Laura sees spirituality and practicality as two important components to recovery. “I know people who can quote you the Bible front to back but can’t stay sober,” she said. “I think there’s an underlying root to addiction that counseling and therapy can really help deal with those that struggle with addiction whether that’s trauma, grief, loss, things like that. I really think it’s important to have that along with the spirituality part of things.”
She helps people learn coping skills so they also have those practical tools. She loves her job. “First of all, I just love the organization. It’s like a family here,” Laura explained. ATCOV takes care of and is grateful for its employees, she said. But she loves the work too. “Working with the men and women on the counseling side of things and just helping them get to the root cause of the underlying addiction — I really, really enjoy it,” she said. At a previous job, Laura worked solely with women. She likes that at HOPE Counseling, she works with both men and women.
Working with others who are struggling with addiction also helps Laura with her own recovery, keeping it in the forefront of her mind. Laura started using in high school, but her addiction progressed after her first husband committed suicide about a month after their daughter was born. She used drugs to escape her grief and trauma.
She was in and out of rehab facilities and stayed sober after completing a faith-based program. She believes she would have started recovery sooner had that program included a counseling piece.
Her addiction started with opiates and Laura later she moved on to Adderall. She lost custody of her daughter and sought help after her mother stopped enabling her and Laura had nowhere else to go. She regained custody of her daughter since recovery. “I always say I had to get sober for myself, but I stay that way for my daughter and for my family,” Laura said.
She grew up going to church but the way she was raised, God was used as a punishment. She was told God would be mad at her if she did certain things. “I always believed in God, I just didn’t think he liked me very much,” she said. It’s different now. She knows God loves her and she loves him. She keeps her relationship with God number one in her life. “Every other relationship in my life will fall apart if He’s not first and foremost,” Laura said.