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I talked to Joan Hopper, aka my step-aunt, about her spiritual path and professional work, including her transition from alcoholism to sobriety.
Joan Hopper is an addictions counsellor and writer who lives in Vancouver, BC. Raised in a loving, liberal family, Joan began experimenting with drugs and alcohol at an early age. When she was 14 years old, she had a bad drug trip which shook her to her core. Alcohol proved to be a solution to the resulting post-trip anxiety, and would become a constant companion for many years to follow.
As a self-described functioning alcoholic, Joan earned a BA in Communications Studies and a MA in Mental Health Counselling, then worked at a variety of jobs and got married.
In 1996 her screenplay became the movie "Touched", starring Lynn Redgrave. "On a native reserve in British Columbia's Okanagan, a completely uninhibited Adonis-like 19 year-old seeking refuge from the voices in his head and a place to sleep has an affair with a riotous 65 year-old red-head cowgirl, interrupting her successful drinking campaign to oblivion."
Joan had a nervous breakdown in 2001, took a stress leave from work and went into counselling to confront her own addiction issues for the first time. Her journey from alcoholism to sobriety has been the most surprising and rewarding transformation experiences of her life to date.
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