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Friday, January 4, 2013

A Lost Soul

Today marks a first in my new career as an addictions counselor. A colleague informed me of a former client who was found dead in her apartment. I don't know the details as of yet, but what I do know is the last six months of her life were no picnic. When I got into this field I knew the risks. I knew that there would be some really bad days. Clients will relapse or even worse die. Ultimately, with most of our clients we may never know the outcome of their journey because we often have so little time with them.

I was saddened by the news of this client passing. She was one that I had a soft spot for. She had Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome also known as wet brain and this made her rather childlike. Her favorite past time was coloring. I remember visiting her in the psychiatric ward in the hospital and seeing the reality of her addiction and the state of her mental health. I had really hoped she would find a place that would take her in and help look after her. Unfortunately, the reality is people with physical health issues, mental illness and addiction are often left out in the cold because the resources just aren't available.  From what I understand she got a place of her own and started drinking again - from there everything just went downhill.

I have to say you just can't really prepare yourself for this. I mean I've tried and the good Lord knows my teacher tried. It's been a rough holiday season in the addictions field. It's always rough during the holidays. Right before New Year's we had a woman relapse and no longer know where she is or if she's safe. And today I heard the news of my former client. My brain knows I can't take this on. I can't let it affect me personally, but my heart says, "I'm human dammit!" I want to cry for these lost souls. I want to hold them close and tell them it will all be okay.

I worked hard to get into this field and I knew it would come with challenges and heartache. It's all about balance. I can't close off to the pain or I'll become jaded and who am I going to help then? So, I allow myself to feel the pain of loss but know that I need to move on. But most importantly to always give my very  best in hopes that something somewhere will stick.

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  1. She is with God now wrapped in his arms.

  2. We have to let go and let God. Just say, God, You are the Lord of my Life and my problems. God Bless you.


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