My friend’s all gung-ho on helping people. He says it will be his legacy and he is driven…I mean driven….so driven that, whatever’s drivin’ him, is runnin’ over any one that gets in his way. I hate talkin’ to him about it coz I think he has the wrong idea about all this. I think you help folks in a quiet way if your intention is to “just” help folks. I don’t think assistance has to be noisy, come w/ a fanfare.
I’m not sayin’ his intentions are not honorable. I mean. this guy has turned it around. I’ve never met anyone who was so completely caught up in all of the symptoms of addiction. Any way a person could become addicted, my friend was…and, it’s a miracle absolute we’re talkin’ past tense here. But I’m afraid my buddy’s chasin’ his dream of establishin’ his brand of “recovery house” the same way he chased his high.
And it’s like dealin’ w/ an “active” addict whenever he calls or comes by to talk. He knows I’m the wrong one to bounce any of his millions of ideas about accomplishin’ his mission. He knows my 27 years workin’ in hospitals and treatment programs wearin’, at one time or another, the hats of tech, counselor, program director, family/co-dependency program clinician, interventionist, preventionist, and, finally, director of admissions has taken its toll. I mean, I wore one or more of these hats for almost three decades of 100+ hour weeks, sleepless nights, cancelled vacations, strained and ruined relationships before I said, “No more hats.”
I’m always tellin’ my friend, ” I swore off this treatment shit in 2005. I’ve resigned my position as ‘professional helper’ and restrict my helpin’ habit to those I know in my community…friends and family. I believe, more than ever, this ‘carryin’ the message’ is better done when it’s an avocation.”
He says he understands but it doesn’t keep him from bringin’ it up whenever we talk. Today he told me he has everything in place to start up his first ‘recovery house’ and, God love him, I hope it works out for him coz it’s all he cares about. He had a beautiful wife but not now, he had guys he sponsored (one at a time) but no more and he had friends who used liked to see him come around.
He doesn’t say exactly this but, to me, whenever he talks about his “dream” of helpin’ others, it sounds like he’s sayin’ the daily, routine trudge of recovery is not enough for him. To me, it sounds like he’s sayin’, “I know better than everybody, anybody who’s come before me and, by God, I’m goin’ to show you I know better.”
Now, if he ever read this blog post (he doesn’t know it exists), he’d say I was dead wrong, he’d say he was doin’ this recovery house franchise stuff coz folks like me had helped him. He’d say it was his way of payin’ tribute. He’d say it was his way of payin’ back. And I’m sure that’s what he thinks.
He’d also say my bein’ burnt out was affectin’ my attitude. And he’d be right. But I’m not the only friend of his frustrated with his obsession. I’m not the only one thinkin’ he’s at the jumpin’ off place. yeah, at the jumpin’ off place insistin’ he’s alright but no one can understand what he’s sayin’ coz his mouth is stuffed w/ more than he can chew so he’s tryin’ to swallow it whole when he slips from cliff’s edge and falls into the abyss and, if he could yell, he’d holler to us, the folks who warned him, “Don’t worry! I’m okay!”
Yeah, if he ever read this post, he’d say I was dead wrong.
And I could be wrong…