Monday, July 27, 2009

Lost sheep is found but not quite back in the flock

I just got a call from a woman I had been working with who went MIA about two weeks ago. I do a lot of work with women in treatment for substance abuse. This particular woman had had her ups and downs while in treatment - many of them do - but one Saturday while on pass something happened and she decided to leave rehab. I didn't find out she had left until a day later when I was talking to one of her housemates. I was surprised to say the least because she had been doing so well - I thought. Today I got the real story as to why she decided to leave.

While on pass her boyfriend broke up with her and she didn't want to feel the pain. So she left the safety of her rehab to go do what addicts do best - get loaded.

This is what happens when we make our friends/family/significant others our higher powers aka our God. People will always let us down because we put unrealistic expectations on them. No one is perfect. There will always be a fight, a break up or a hurt feeling. Humans are fallible and when we put them on pedistals they fall off and consequently when alcoholics and addicts place their whole world in something fallible they too fall off.

One of the most valuable lessons I've learned in the past year is to place my dependance in God instead of people and material possessions. In the past I've made my job, my significant others, my car, my paycheck, my clothes/shoes/purses etc... my higher power and I've found that in the pursuit of all of those they've been stripped from me. And after being left curled up in the fetal position in a world of pain I realized the only thing left, and that had been there the entire time, was God.

Today I turn to God first to let me be of service, to do his will and to decide the *bonuses* that should be in my life. Its been a humbling experience to say the least but a most rewarding one. I bring God into all my big decisions. Buying a car last year - on Gods terms. Switching from SAWS to Dublin and Associates - on Gods terms. Buying a house this year - on Gods terms. These are all changes I was willing to make for peace of mind and a better life.

As for the woman I was working with she is back home in her small town where they have meetings twice a week. She tells me she is tired of her old lifestyle, is again willing to make some changes and will be going to those meetings. She's also desperatly trying to get back into treatment but has to face the consequences of her actions - a long waiting list for a bed.

God doesn't make too hard a terms for those who seek him but not everything is handed to us on a silver platter either. There has to be a degree of willingness too. I tell her that people have been getting clean and sober without treatment for years and it can be done if you're serious about your recovery but she's not so sure she can do it. I tell her to dig in, get some phone numbers of some women in your town in recovery and work a program like your life depends on it. She says she will and she'll call me to let me know how she's doing.

In all likely hood I'll probably never hear from her again. Or if I do she'll probably call once or twice more before ceasing all contact. It sounds sad but that's just been my experience and a harsh reality of working with lots of women like her. I hope I'm wrong. I hope she's the exception. I hope she makes it back.

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