Linda M. Bertel, LCDC, Case Manager for Collegiate Women
When it comes to counseling young women in their late teens and early 20s, Case Manager Linda M. Bertel has life experience on her side. I grew up an alcoholic teenager with an alcoholic mother and a strong line of alcoholics on both sides of my family,” she says. “My mother influenced me the most because I loved her so much, but I could not understand why she could not just stop.” Linda is truly grateful she was able to heal the mother-daughter relationship before her mom died, but lasting recovery did not come easy.
Surrendered to the Power Within
Two times Linda was five-years sober. After her second relapse, she struggled with powerlessness and getting back into recovery. She was desperate. “Basically, God took over my life. I felt like God was saying, ‘Everyone knows that you can drink, Linda, but no one knows the power you have with me inside of you.'” “I grasped that power, believed in it, and had faith in it. And it turned my life around.” She’s now been sober since 2009.
Hill Country Visit Leads to Move
After 40 years with Minnesota as her base, Linda decided to move south. Visiting a friend in Kerrville led her to vow never to go through another Minnesota winter. “I never got used to the winters.” “I decided to move to Kerrville and build a new life.”
From Direct Care to Case Manager
Linda loves yoga and one of her new yoga friends told her to check out La Hacienda Treatment Center as a workplace. She applied for a position with the Alumni Office but was hired as a Direct Care Assistant in February 2014. She eventually moved over to Alumni, then determined she wanted to be a counselor. After serving her internship, she started in Continuing Care and is now a Case Manager working with young women in the Collegiate Program.
Personal Experience Provides Perspective
Linda says enthusiasm for her work, love of people, and her experience as a teenage alcoholic give her an advantage. “I can recognize the different stages that young women go through regarding acceptance and powerlessness.” And she believes that recovery is possible. “I truly believe that everyone has recovery in them if they will give themselves the chance.”
National Parks are Her Summer Passion
In addition to her passion for yoga and swimming, Linda loves to travel. “My dream that I’m working on, my bucket list, is to visit every National Park in the United States. National Parks are my summer vacation passion.” She’s visited about one-third of them so far. Bryce Canyon, Zion and Black Canyon of the Gunnison have been her favorites so far: Yosemite is still on her to-do list.