Important changes to VJLAP’s 12-Step and Wellness Support Meetings:

1. Effective immediately, the Monday 12-Step Support Meetings will commence at 6:30 PM instead of 8:00 PM. VJLAP will no longer host a Monday 12-Step Support Meeting at 8:00 PM. Changes will be made to the event calendar.
2. After 04/08/24, there will no longer be Monday Wellness Support Meetings at 6:30 PM. If you are interested in such a meeting, there is a Thursday Wellness Support Meeting (1, 3 and 5th Thursday of the month). Changes will be made to the event calendar.
3. Effective immediately, there will no longer be a Wednesday 12-Step Meeting at 6:00 PM. There is a Wednesday 12-Step Meeting at 5:30PM and a meeting on the 1, 3 & 5th Monday of the month at 6:30PM. Changes will be made to the event calendar.
4. Please also note the Thursday Wellness Support Meetings that had been every Thursday will only be the 1, 3 & 5 Thursday of the month. Changes will be made to the event calendar.

Thank you for your attention to these updates. If there are questions, please reach out to Barbara Mardigian at

Recovery Stories

Hannah’s Story

Hannah’s Story

It has been a struggle dealing with COVID-19. Before COVID-19, I was on a journey of healing, healthier living, self-evaluation, re-prioritizing, and reconnecting with friends and family. I lost my job about four months prior to the COVID-19 crisis and was already in the process of searching for my next job. I was being picky because I wanted to find a good place where I would hopefully be happy and stay for a long time. I was looking for somewhere I could join a great team to practice law with and where management understood and nurtured sustainable growth. I spent the first few months after I lost my job regrouping, healing, exercising, applying for work, and, honestly, taking advantage of this rare opportunity to enjoy life a little. My job search did not really start to pick up steam until January. With return calls for interviews streaming in, things looked promising. Then came the COVID-19 crisis and everything changed. I definitely had a meltdown as I realized that I may not land a job before I ran out of the savings that I was living off of and I felt like the light I saw at the end of the tunnel had been extinguished.

Getting through the crisis changes sometimes day by day. Luckily, I had my meditation, gratitude practice, and exercise routine of walking, hiking, a cardio dance class, and planking already established from the months prior which I continued (with the exception of the dance class). I also continued to connect with friends and family. I regularly talk to, lean on, and commiserate with a few close friends. I have joined my friends in a Facebook video chat virtual party and I also participated in the cardio dance class through Facebook live. I put a hammock on my balcony so I can lay back and relax. I go outside in nature to relax too- hiking and fishing are my go to activities. I keep humor in my life with funny jokes and memes my friends and I send to each other. I do my best to stay positive and I’d be lying if I said I am always able to do so. I found a good 10 minute guided meditation for gratitude and positivity to start the day with when I’m struggling that helps ground me. Holding on to perspective is crucial but I am also being patient, kind, and compassionate to myself when I have bad days. Below is the link to the meditation video.

New things I started to do to get through this crisis include reaching out to JLAP and joining the women’s support group. It is a wonderful group and reminds me that I am part of an amazing community- the Virginia legal community. I am getting to know these women and am so grateful that I called JLAP.  As an attorney, it is invaluable to have a safe space where you can be vulnerable, messy, and speak freely without judgment and are met with compassion and empathy- this is particularly true for women attorneys. We are people first and lawyers second during group- and that means we don’t try to be perfect and, in fact, we share our imperfections with each other and support each other which, for me, provides validation, motivation and, helps me to strive to be better and keep going. Most recently, I really had to come to the realization and come to terms with possibly having to put myself out there as a solo again. This is not what I wanted and I am not crazy about the idea of being on my own because, well, it’s freaking lonely. But I know I will always have the support group ladies and my support network of friends and family. This brings me comfort and allows me to see the future through a positive lens. It also helps me build up the strength and courage to fearlessly embrace a whole new uncertainty. I have to remind myself to not worry and just live in the moment. I’m just going to take it one step, one task, and one day at a time from here.

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