Seven years ago this month, I began working at a job I never expected to have. For ten years before that, I worked as the manager of a small flower shop--which was a whole other job I never expected to have, but I did have it, for ten long years and I had gotten kind of used to it. The halfway house in town was hiring just as it became clear that the flower shop was going to go out of business.
The ad said they were looking for people with a high school diploma and a willingness to work with addicted men who were working on recovery. I knew next to nothing about addiction, but I knew there were not many job openings in our area so I applied.
About two years into this job I never meant to have, I was in the med room with a client who was thanking me for the work I did around the house. He said, "You treat us like we're human beings."
I have never forgotten the wonder and amazement in his voice as he said this. Clearly, he was not accustomed to being treated like a human being.
It is one of many moments in my time at this job that have informed my understanding and approach to working in the chemical dependency field. It is a field I entered entirely accidentally, but to which I have given over a significant chunk of my heart and soul.
A is for Addiction
The Skin of Our Teeth
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