I fucking HATE addiction so badly. Hate it so much it hurts!
My job is intense. I spend every day dealing with people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I see people who are on the brink of being sent to state prison because of crimes they have committed due to their addiction to substances.
Some come to see me in utter despair - begging for help. Others walk into my office in denial - pissed at the world and blaming everyone but themselves for their problems. They see me as an extension of authority and they HATE that I have any say in their future.
Some days I am their best friend. Counseling them and consoling them while they cry. Other times they sit across from me - red faced - as I scream at them and tell them they are headed to state prison. I am often there for wonderful moments in their lives - like when they have been sober long enough that they get custody of their children back. I am there for terrible moments in their lives - like when the Judge tells them they will be spending the next 6 years in state prison.
Every year I prepare for the holidays. As you might imagine, the holidays are rough on people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Many of them don't have family they are close to. Or they have family members who are actively using and they can't be around them. Many of them are separated from their children. It's a challenging time for anyone let alone someone who is not only just not using, but is trying to totally change their lives.
But the influx of bad times has started already. One of my clients had over a year clean. He was doing well - just got visitation with his children, got a great full time job, and was getting ready to graduate from the program. He let his guard down this weekend and was with someone he shouldn't have been. The next thing you know he is laying in the middle of a parking lot at midnight having a seizure with a needle full of heroin sticking out of his arm. Fortunately someone saw him - someone who thought he was having an epileptic episode - and called an ambulance. If that ambulance had not been called, I likely would have gone to his calling hours this week.
I have been to way too many calling hours.
He was not the only one who relapsed this week. And with each relapse comes a step back. Another guy has a great job. Which he will lose because he is going to be referred to a long term inpatient program. Another guy was taken from the courtroom this morning in handcuffs.
Not to mention that I got to scream at someone this morning for posting old pictures of himself on Facebook with a handful of marijuana buds. I love that he thinks I'm an idiot....
I've said before that recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol and recovery from obesity have a lot in common. They certainly do. But addiction to drugs seems to tear apart people's lives faster and without any mercy, whatsoever.
Today I am thankful that the challenges that I face in my recovery are often small potatoes compared to the road that others have to travel...
And while I remain tremendously grateful for this - I can't deny the emotional toll it takes on me, too.