Intake Coordinator | La Hacienda’s Solutions
Natalie Roberts, Intake Coordinator for La Hacienda’s Solutions in Austin since 2004, loves her job and finds it rewarding.
“It warms my heart to talk to fellow addicts and alcoholics daily and to be able to show them empathy, kindness, and acceptance, no matter what background they are coming from or what they have experienced,” says Natalie.
“I enjoy feeling like I can help make a difference in others’ lives, even in small ways. I also like discovering new ways of keeping track of data and having the opportunity to be challenged and learn new skills.”
Like Being Part of a Large Family
Natalie also likes learning more about addiction treatment and staying sober.
“I have learned much from working for La Hacienda about the emotional aspect of getting and staying sober.”
“I feel like I’m part of a large family. We’re all connected and have the same goal of helping addicts and alcoholics to become the best people they can be.”
Overcame Early Use of Alcohol, Drugs
Natalie was born in Dallas and graduated from high school in Ennis before returning to her native city. She studied psychology at various colleges but was struggling with alcoholism beginning in her teens.
“I began drinking alcohol at 12 and using drugs at 16. I loved the feeling of escape. I began therapy at age 16 for suicidal thoughts, although it wasn’t very effective at that time since I was always under the influence.”
At 24 a friend suggested that Natalie try AA. “I started attending meetings, but it took me a while to identify and admit that I am an alcoholic. I relapsed twice in the first year, but immediately returned to AA each time and have been sober since 1994.
“When our patients express shame or regret to me about relapsing, I share with them that I’ve experienced relapses, and that it’s okay to make mistakes if we get back on track with practicing our program of recovery.”
Wanted More Meaningful Work
Natalie worked for TXU Energy in the Dallas area for more than 14 years but started feeling burned out in the corporate world. Looking for more meaningful work, she visited Austin in 2002 and fell in love with the city. She quit her job and moved there.
After a year working for an adolescent treatment program, she saw an opening at La Hacienda Solutions.
“La Hacienda has an excellent reputation and is well-respected in the community, so when a position in which I was interested became available at Solutions, I applied for it.”
A Yoga-Practicing Vegetarian and Animal Rights Supporter
Natalie is a vegetarian and passionate about animal rights. She had a pair of adopted cats which lived to 18 years each. Her family misses their beloved companions and plan to adopt again soon.
After learning about the benefits of yoga, she began practicing it in 2001. “I absolutely love yoga because it helps me feel more spiritual and connected to God. It also relieves my frequent anxiety by helping me feel more peaceful.”
Natalie and her husband married in 2008 and have one precious daughter.