The Addictions Academy Faculty Spotlight: Ginger Berkelhamer CPC
GINGER BERKELHAMER CPC
I was born and raised in NYC. A child of privilege; Park Avenue upbringing and private schools. Most people would have been envious of my life. But from the age of 8, I knew I was different. I was sneaking drinks after my parents’ cocktail parties. By the time I was 14, I was out all night in nightclubs (Studio 54 and Xenon).
Miraculously, I made it through George Washington University in 4 years. I landed a job with a prestigious advertising agency and I fit right in! Drinking was encouraged at lunch and partying into the late hours was the norm. I met my future husband there and four years later, we wed. I always had a huge hole inside me that I would fill with drugs and alcohol and this man was just another “substance” I used to try and fix my unhappiness. When that didn’t work, I decided that it was time to have a baby. Totally delusional and misguided, I convinced my husband and 1 year later, our daughter was born. Needless to say, she did not fix me! The next four years were torture. I drank and smoked marijuana continuously while trying to deal with the trials of a newborn/ toddler. I was ill-equipped to care for her let alone myself. I was miserable and only lived to get high. One night, I was so depressed that I locked myself in the bathroom and threatened suicide. My husband had to knock down the door and when I looked up, my daughter was standing there, crying. I knew at that moment, it was over.
I immediately went to AA and found a fellowship of people who were just like me. It took time to clear up, for I had done so much damage to my mind and my body. I worked really hard to love myself so I could give that love to my husband and daughter. Everyday I stay grateful that I am alive and have healthy relationships with those around me. I have been sober since May 22, 2000. I never want to return to a life of addiction.
In 2014 I studied through The Institute For Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC), an ICF accredited coaching school. As a Certified Professional Coach, I specialize in helping people in recovery from addiction. I work with clients from all over the world to be proactive in their recovery in order to avoid relapses. The work I do involves identifying, acknowledging and reframing aspects of their lives that are not working. I work with individuals as well as couples in recovery to create the life they want and moreover one that supports sustainable recovery. My husband and I currently live in Warren, VT home to Sugarbush Ski Resort. We both enjoy winter activities as well as biking, kayaking and hiking in the summer. We have one, adult daughter that is the center of our universe. I can honestly say today I live as a functioning, contributing member of society and for that I am eternally grateful.