Counseling folks with co-occurring disorders is not for the faint of heart especially when you are the counselor on site for the weekend and responsible for every other counselor's patients. This past weekend was no exception and as I sit here recovering on this Labor Day from the stress of such a position and/or situation, I question myself why I do this type of work.
I was so exhausted I slept until 9a when I am usually up by 5a each morning. Most of the day, I nursed a headache probably because I am the type who holds all my stress in the shoulders and neck. Sometimes I feel like a warden, sergeant in the armed forces, police man, or a corrections officer than I feel like a therapist. I spend so much time addressing the behaviors of others whether it be their anger, temper tantrums, melt downs, or redirecting their rule breaking, manipulation or what other mood, issue or situation that arises. I teach, counselor, advocate and mother others every single blessed day until my brain hurts and my body aches. Every night I question what I do and every morning I answer that question with "I care". I care about people. It is heart breaking to see others destroying themselves with alcohol and drugs. It is heart breaking to see someone so depressed that they rather die than live. It is heart breaking to hear the hopelessness in their voices or the worries of their family. It is especially heart breaking when you are talking to a person one day then one week later they die from an overdose or successful suicide. They do not have to be my patients in order for me to feel the compassion or empathy. It is just who I am.
I had a pleasant dream during the night of my exhausted filled sleep. I dreamt of my sons Josh and Joey. They were laughing and eating ice cream in my dream and it felt so real and I felt so happy when I woke up.
I sent Ava a text message wishing her a Happy Labor Day and she responded by asking me what Labor Day was. No matter how much happiness I have in my days there is always an inner sadness of loss that I feel in my heart. My girl is nine years old and I have not laid eyes or touched her in three or more years. I cannot even write about it for it brings tears to my eyes so I will stop.
So I do what I always do when it comes to my grandchildren and I went out shopping for little girl clothes for my second girl who is just under two years old and in need of Fall clothes.
I am not sure why God placed me on this particular journey in life but I have accepted it. Do not be mistaken, I have spent several years kicking and fighting this particular journey and questioned "why" more times than I can count. Today, I have accepted the good with the bad, the happy with the sad and forever more I will always hold onto hope and faith that God's plan is the correct plan for all involved.