You Call, I Answer: Martin, LFL Call Counselor

Sep 13, 2022 | 
You Call, We Answer

Dialing or texting 988 is not simply a conversation; it is a bold step to reach out. We understand you, can empathize with your plight, and will do all we can to help. We hurt as a community – now is it time we heal as one.

My name is Martin, I’m 43, and I was born and raised in Northeast Portland. I answer helpline calls at Lines for Life.

I am a recovering alcoholic with a clean date of 1/1/2004. I grew up in a loving household of two parents and three siblings. Our needs were met, but my shyness and the need to fit in led to my first drink at 14, skipping school, and getting into trouble. By age 16, I was a full-blown alcoholic.

I began drinking in isolation as I tried to cope with deep-seated insecurities. I struggled with my identity, depression, low self-esteem, and had no idea how to love myself.

My alcoholism led to a DUI crash at age 24 that killed two people and severely injured another. After reading a newspaper article in my cell informing me that my victims were active in recovery at the time of their passing, I dedicated my life to doing all I could to help others who are struggling with mental health or actively in their addiction.

I spent 17.5 years in prison educating myself, mentoring inmates, and pursuing a career in counseling. I attained a master’s in psychology and got state certified as a substance abuse counselor. I work as a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor Case Manager at Lines for Life.

My message for those who look like me and come from where I do is: There are mental health professionals who understand the unique struggles we face. Together, we can overcome them.

Martin, LFL Call Counselor

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