To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you're overdoing it”...josh jenkins
one thing i am learning (or re-learning) is that a person isn't done with their relationship with alcohol or drugs until they are done. i knew this about myself, but i am starting to understand on a deeper level that the same truths hold true for others.
i have been counseling people with use and abuse issues for a short while now, and as the time layers, so does my understanding of how deeply embedded the relationships with drugs and alcohol can be. it becomes transparent that some individuals are not at all comfortable with being in their own skin for very long without changing the way they feel. it doesn't take much for them to return to numbing out as a coping skill for their own lives.
of course, i recognize this. it doesn't seem foreign to me. it doesn't horrify me. quite the contrary actually. i understand it. why not? if i don't have to look at the unpleasant things in my life, why should i? i can't solve things, so why shine a light on them? now it all seems more cruel than kind.
and who knows? just because the very act of not using has offered me some huge relief from that hamster wheel of shame and guilt that i encircled myself with for years, doesn't automatically mean that the same is true for others. besides, i waited until i was damn good and ready (and had no other options) before i decided to make some behavior changes.
none-the-less it is a painful and delicate exercise as i accompany some of these individuals on their journey through self-discovery. trying to suspend my own values and judgement, see the "spirit" in another when they are struggling to live comfortably in their own skin, and witnessing another's self-sabotage at the same time has its challenges.
this past week, an individual came smelling of alcohol to our little facility. i had to perform a screening process and there was a fairly high level present. no choice laid before me, but to have him call for a ride, have that driver screened also, and send them both on their way. needless to say, it's heartbreaking to me that someone can't go without for the short period of a year without imbibing. but it's very common.
another individual has had several "hot" screenings for another substance over the last few months, and that person was discharged tonight for that very reason just as the other screening and sending home incident was happening with the other.
truth be told, i believe these folks are asking for help. they could easily just blow this whole probation away, and dive fully into a "using" lifestyle. but instead, they proceed with the process. such as coming to treatment with a blood level as high as i saw, indicating that they must feel comfortable in our midst. maybe they want to talk, but have forgotten how without a boost. it is a challenge for me to remain aloof.
you know, there were many times that i wanted to stop, but i didn't know how. and when i tried, i failed miserably. i didn't know how to stop. i couldn't face my life yet. i couldn't think of moving forward. forward was so full of fear.
in some circles they might say that i hadn't had enough yet. go figure....
today's sound choice is michael jackson with "don't stop till you get enough". and believe me, the concept of facial reconstruction being the subject of this song is not lost on me....