Today is my last day as a Chemical Dependency Technician at the treatment center I work for. I will be starting a new job in an entirely different field on Tuesday. My new job is an incredible opportunity. It is nearly twice the pay and I will get full benefits; that’s not something to turn down. However, there are things that no other company will ever be able to give me that I’ve been given here.
I’ve worked at the treatment center for a few days shy of 7 months. In that time I have met some of the most amazing people and, in many ways, my life has changed because of these amazing people.
I now have a much better understanding of my drinking problem as well as my sobriety. I have no shame that I fell victim to this disease rather I am filled with a sense of pride in myself that I’m now sober. Being with these guys 40+ hours a week has been so encouraging for me.
I have so much respect for these guys and anyone else who takes on their ugly disease that is addiction. These guys are so much stronger than they get credit for. They fight for themselves every.single.day. They fight to beat the disease, they fight to take on past wounds they buried with their addiction, they fight to see their children, they fight for their relationships, they fight for their sobriety, they fight to like themselves and perhaps one day even love themselves, they fight to get their lives back, they fight for their lives. Can you imagine the strength it takes to fight all of these things day after day? How exhausting it would be?
I’ve seen grown men come in looking pretty rough, feeling defeated, needing help, some with terribly shitty attitudes, walls up, closed off, tough exterior. The ones who make it through the program tend to be be the complete opposite when they leave than they were when they came in. It has been both an honor and a privilege to watch so many of these guys transform right before my eyes; to listen to their stories, their struggles, their feelings and to be witness to the “ah ha!” moments; to watch them start winning in life; and to see them become healthier and happier.
I’ve listened to these guys, I’ve given my opinion, I’ve shared some of my personal life experiences in an attempt to help them, guide them, and/or to let them know they aren’t alone in whatever it is they are going through. I’ve ached so deeply for them in their struggles and I’ve been over the top excited for them in their wins (I do my best not to let them see my raw emotions, boundaries ya know).
I’ve listened to them laugh together and encourage each other. It doesn’t matter how many times I experience moments like that, I can’t help but to smile. Or to hear a father talking to his child on the phone in such a kind, loving, and compassionate way. To hear them telling their children they miss them and love them. These guys warm my heart pretty regularly.
I feel I am a better person for having met these guys and for having worked here. My time here has been relatively short lived, but the way things have played out, it seems whatever my purpose for being here, has been fulfilled. I’m not sure if I was lead here for their sake or for my own, maybe both. Based on the lovely comments written in my card from the guys, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been of some help to some of them. I wonder though, if they have any idea how much they’ve helped me?
I’ve met some of the coolest, kindest, loving people here. I’ve had some of the most amazing and deep conversations with these guys. I’ve had an impromptu song about me sung to me, I’ve had one of my favorite songs played on guitar and sung to me, I’ve been offered a night out to the theater for a play/musical, I’ve had magic tricks performed for me (real magic and funny magic), I had a gentleman who was a visitor here earlier this week recite a poem to me that he had written (the poem wasn’t for me, he just shared it with me), I’ve been offered almost every type of food you can imagine, I’ve been humored by many, and challenged by a few.
This job, though only 7 months long, has hands down been the best job I’ve ever had. They say when you love what you do, it isn’t really work. For me, being here for these guys wasn’t work, it wasn’t a job, it was an honor. These guys will forever hold a place in my heart.
For all of the above reasons, for making themselves vulnerable to me when they certainly didn’t have to, for sharing some of their stories and pieces of their lives with me, and for everything else they’ve shown me, taught me, and for the gift of watching them grow and become healthier, thank you! Thank you for letting me in to your lives and for touching mine so very deeply.
With Love and Respect,