If you told the naive college freshman majoring in criminal justice back in 1990 that she would be having regular contact with heroin addicts....I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT WAS CRAZY. My first thought after I was told it was no joke..would be....what the hell am I going to do with them. How am I going to stay one step ahead of these masterful~ addictive thinking~ manipulators. ME? asking to see arms to check for "tracks", me conducting observed drug tests, SEARCHING people for synthetic urine. ME talking about sponsors, higher powers, steps, giving back, getting people into rehabs and methadone clinics. AND finding reward in all of this. This is tough stuff. Just as the addict needs support, so do the service brokers and providers. I am lucky to be able to unwind from an eventful day in the trenches of addiction with some understanding friends and positive activities. My very first post about climbing the high peaks talked about finding solace in hiking at a time when I most needed it. Proof that we are lead by the "higher power" to what we NEED, not necessarily what we WANT. As it turns out, I am rewarded and humbled by the work I do with drug and alcohol addicted people. In some cases, it is apparent that their path was meant to cross with mine. Especially when the stuff I am saying seems to be coming from somewhere other than myself. I am not suggesting that I am transcendental, or psychic or anything of the sort, but often, the information I am trying to impart seems to come from a foreign place in my brain....giving new meaning to pulling something out of thin air. For most, the acknowledgement that the person is getting what they need (often in the form of a consequence) won't be realized until much later. At the end of the day, I can live with the satisfaction of that. Sense of humor works too. On Friday our director was contemplating a move to California where he would wax boats all day and I had almost convinced myself that my previous job of seating elderly people for dinner had actually been my calling.