Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Questions 21-25

21. If you had to teach something, what would you teach? Before I went into psychology and the field I'm in currently, I was a first year university student and I decided I wanted to be a music teacher. I had played piano since age 8 and been in the band since grade 5, tootling away on my clarinet, bass clarinet and contra-alto clarinet. I loved music, all things music. But I walked away after I realized two things-music is very competitive and I'm hate competition and that I didn't want my joy for music to be sucked into my career as I imagined I might dislike it at some point. But if I had to teach something, I would love to teach music...the theory, the love and analysis of lyrics, the smooth necessary musical back bone of all music that is the bass line...I would love it.

22. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life? I would regret not fulling doing all I can do to be a giving human being. I would regret not being the best me, mother, wife, family member and friend I can be. I would regret not having the blessings of love and family in my life.

23. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? Yes. 75 lbs of excess weight sa a symptom of a lack of confidence in my physical capabilities and memories of a bad relationship.

24. When you are 80 years old, what will matter to you the most? I hope that it will matter that I lived to my fullest potential. Also, a sense of humour, good bladder control and the ability to still care for myself would be cool too ;-)

25. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards and just do what you know is right? When your head and heart finally meet...to intellectually know what is right is much easier than to know it in your heart.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Unfortunate Firsts..

I met my first addict 8 years ago. Me...22, new undergraduate and fresh in the field...Her...a beautiful 17 year old girl whose "father" started her on crystal meth at age 12.

She was my first intake. She changed my life.

I remember her name, I remember her face, I remember her story.

I remember that 4th of July when she gave me the first real test of my career.

I remember the rage, the pain, her teeth, her thin frame, the tears, the sleepless nights.

I remember her laugh, her smile, the way she joked around and acted 17 instead of the too old-too soon adult she acted as more than once.

I remember the night she left our facility, 18...aged out of the youth system...getting into her meth-dependent "father's" truck after he picked up his drug before picking up his daughter.

I remember praying for her as I watched the headlights disappear. Its fitting that I was the staff on shift a she said goodbye considering all the firsts she gave me to me.

I'll remember it all for as long as I live.

I've met lots of addicts. I've heard lots of stories. I remember the stories, but I forget the names and their faces after awhile. Some stand out more than others. The stand-outs I don't forget.

Today, this goddamn wretched disease of addiction took a life. A beautiful life. A 33 year old life. A man who wrote lyrics and played the guitar. A man who served the community with a smile and encouraged his fellow peers. A father to two beautiful girls. A husband. A son.

A beautiful life. Cut short before its potential could be met.

I don't doubt other addicts I've met along the way have met similar fates. This is just the first I've actually learned of a past client's outcome.

First death.

A first I knew would come someday. A first I wish wasn't a reality.