January 24, 2009

URINE Good Hands...

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.

6 comments:

DAD said...

I'm not going to argue higher power with you,I believe it exists. Your handleing of these situations comes from a real will to try and make a difference in someone's life who hasn't ever had anyone feel that way about them before. Also, I guess you have paid alot of attention in all the classes and thru all the training since Marist. I am proud of you for all that you try to do in hopfully making a difference.

Allison said...

I think you are right - for the people's lives you touch, be it just a "season", their paths are meant to cross with yours. They need to hear The hard truth- the way only officer K can deliver it! I look forward to hearing about your day in our 20 min. ride home. I too am amazed at where you pull some of your advice. that long hike on the weekend must restore your drive to start another work-week of kick'n ass and Take'n names!

Keep up the good work!
I love You

Cedar ... said...

You are doing very special work I know I would not have the inner talent for. Good for you!

Mark W said...

That was an awesome post! I have dealt with alot af people in your field and it's not often that I run into one that gets it. You have ruined my cynicism. Don't ever doubt you make a difference. I, too, am extremely proud of you! Keep it up.

Jennifer W said...

We've been to a convention where there were lots of professionals who have have made a spiritual connection to their work, but I never encountered any in my day to day life until my relationship with you. While there is something to be said for wounded healer model, I am way more impressed with you - because you are intuitive and empathetic enough to work the solution without having a personal experience with the problems you face in others. So many people enter into substance abuse work with selfish motives, but I have never gotten that impression of you. You tend to focus on what you can bring to a situation, not what you can get out of it :-) A lot of that comes from a connection to a higher power, but that is something you wouldn't have without your willingness to allow it into your life.

So few of us get an opportunity at a calling, but I think you may have found yours. Just keep looking for the gifts, even on the toughest days, they are there.

corin said...

Jen: Just the fact that "someone" thought I should do this stuff is a gift.

All: Thank you for the kind words.