I work at my drug and alcohol job only three hours a week, but it somehow always manages to teach me worth a lifetime.
It was a small group that day – three women and me as the counselor. Two of the three invested so much time into their recovery. This was far from their first rodeo. Being a bit further into their recovery, they knew how to work the program and what it took to be successful.
Then, there was the rookie. Curled up on the group room couch was the third young lady. She looked like a senior in high school. Even as I am starting up the discussion, she appears more invested in the next Tik Tok trend on her phone than she is in her recovery.
I introduce myself to the group since this was the first time two of them met me. I go over my discussion expectations followed up by a round robin of what these women would like to take away from program today.
The first two women provided reasonable responses, requesting to go over relationship conflict and anxiety management respectively. When I get to the third, I wanted to facepalm so hard. Allow me to paraphrase.
“I’m just here to get my license back. I need to finish these classes to get it back. Then, I can just move back to Florida. I have my own program, and I’m so done with [drugs]. I’ll never go back to it.”
🤦 I could feel the other two clients becoming livid. Like I said, they genuinely cared about their recovery and staying sober. Then, they listen to someone totally downplaying and minimizing these efforts. The one women, who was in her mid-50’s, first confronted our young rebel. She asked the rebel how long she had been in recovery and what her program was.
I’ve been in recovery for four months. I’m so done with it. I’m never going back to it. My program involves me and God. That’s it.
🤦🤦🤦 I had to interject at this point. One of the worst attitudes to have in any kind of recovery is the “I got this” mentality. It often sets someone up for failure when a moment of weakness presents itself. I gently, yet firmly, reiterated this to our brat of the hour. I pointed out the importance of being able to tap into your support and toolkit when the time comes.
Oh, honey. Which is it? You got this, or you want the help? At first, I thought she said it to shut me up. However, the more she spoke, she definitely seemed internally conflicted about what she should do.
I’ve had seven months clean, five months clean before. I know what to do. I just need to focus on a job and get my license back.
🤦🤦🤦🤦🤦She relapsed a bunch during her recovery. She literally just gave me the evidence I needed to prove that she did not have it.
Being the professional I am, I decided to sum this up in a way that would make sense for everyone. It was a little message that clicked and could be used in any type of recovery. Ultimately, it highlights the importance of support, awareness, and admitting to a moment of weakness.
“Recovery is for yourself, but can’t be done by yourself.”
-The Caring Counselor