Sometimes I get really tired.
I’ve been a substance abuse counselor for about thirty years now. I’m not so much tired of helping people fight addiction, as I am the bureaucracy and the paperwork layered deeper and deeper every time I catch my breath, even if it is more electronic than paper…..
There are people who I have felt privileged to work with. It has been an honor to witness growth and small victories that sometimes turn into large victories. But there are those who don’t make it, those who don’t get that you need more to grab hold of than a slender thread, to save you from being sucked down into the cunning, baffling, and powerful jaws of misery.
Sometimes I wonder how much longer I can keep doing this.
And then today I got a phone call from someone who thanked me for being her counselor. And today, another client gave me a small but meaningful gift of appreciation. And today my group paid attention, and learned new skills, and supported each other.
And today, leaving work, for the first time in my life, I saw a double rainbow.
Is it possible that was for me? Would it be narcissistic to think that?
Several years ago, I was a single parent going through an awful situation with my teenage daughter. I didn’t want to go to work, but I had to. When I got there, a vivid rainbow arched over the building where I work. I knew it was a sign that things would be okay.
I’m happy to share the rainbows with anyone who needed them today. One thing I’m sure of is that we are not alone.
I believe I can keep doing this a while longer, with gratitude.
(I left my phone at home and wasn’t able to capture the double rainbow, so I used one from Wikimedia taken by someone at the US Fish and Wildlife Service.)
October 29, 2015 at 12:05 am
You have come through your struggles a stronger, warmer more compassionate person. Growth happens when we pick ourselves up and try again. x
October 29, 2015 at 1:25 am
That is certainly true. Thank you for reminding me not to take the growth for granted.
October 29, 2015 at 12:45 am
Just when you think you can not go on, the good Lord will carry you so you can rest. :o)
October 29, 2015 at 1:29 am
Ah, what a relief, Patricia. I could not have come this far under my own power. My job leads me to ask for God’s help on a regular basis.
October 29, 2015 at 12:58 am
Wow that is quite a sight to see! Awesome capture! 😄
October 29, 2015 at 1:29 am
Thank you on behalf of the Fish and Wildlife Service 🙂
October 29, 2015 at 2:05 am
October 29, 2015 at 2:22 am
Thank you for the reminder. Sometimes it is hard to remember that “things won’t be this way forever.” Glad you have found the strength to carry on; I daresay there are many, many people who have come farther than they would have without you <3.
October 29, 2015 at 3:36 am
Thanks for the encouragement, Leigh. Every little bit helps! ❤
October 29, 2015 at 2:30 am
REad this and thought..I need to write our marriage counselor another follow up thank you note. Your line of work is way more grueling than pouring concrete or roofing a house. Thank you for coming along side hurting people. DM
October 29, 2015 at 3:43 am
Thank you, for the affirmation,DM. Pouring concrete and roofing are physically demanding, but satisfying in their clearly visible results. That’s why I enjoy painting in my spare time- I can stand back and see same day results every time.
October 29, 2015 at 10:52 am
Isn’t it great to know we are not alone. Well done.
October 29, 2015 at 11:57 am
It sure is! Even for someone who leans toward introversion. Thank you!
October 29, 2015 at 7:28 pm
especially for someone who leans toward introversion.
October 30, 2015 at 12:14 am
October 29, 2015 at 1:10 pm
Il existe dans chaque coeur un petit tiroir secret
Chacun y cache ses petits bonheurs
Dans le mien brille cette étincelle
Qui est ton amitié
Au delà de cette porte de mon cœur
S’ouvre un monde de tendresse rempli de bonheur
Tes mots lors de tes passages sont plein de chaleur ,de gentillesse
Par la pensée
Chaque fois tes écrits sont un rayon de soleil
Je te souhaite une excellente fin de journée
Suivie d’une douce nuit étoilée
Merci pour les messages
Bon week-End de TOUSSAINT
October 30, 2015 at 12:25 am
Beautiful! Merci, Bernard.
(Translation: It exists in every heart a little secret drawer/ Everyone hides their little pleasures/ In mine that spark shines/ Who is your friend/Beyond this door of my heart/Opens a world of tenderness filled with happiness/Your words during your passages are full of warmth, kindness/By thought/
Whenever your writings are a ray of sunshine/I wish you a great end of the day/Followed by a gentle starry night/Thank you for the messages/Bise friend/Bernard)
October 29, 2015 at 3:43 pm
Hang in there, JoAnna! You make much more of a difference than you could ever know. Your clients and indeed, all of us, appreciate you!
October 30, 2015 at 12:15 am
Thank you, Stargazer.
October 29, 2015 at 5:01 pm
It sounds as though you clearly were reaching the end of your rope and asked for a sign or just a little help. Your thoughts were indeed answered by your clients and the double rainbow – all this was meant for you in which to remind you that what you do makes a difference and you indeed needed and loved for taking care of others. I understand things can be tiring, but when they reach that point, close your eyes and take a deep breath and release it slowly. This too shall pass. You keep on keepin on hun, you got this!
October 30, 2015 at 12:19 am
Thank you for this. ❤ I have been at the end of my rope a few times. But something always helps me hang on and find a place to rest, to regain my strength. I have been praying for a better attitude. So there you have it!
October 30, 2015 at 1:18 am
I know a number of people who are fatigued by the paperwork or bureaucracy of their jobs. I am so glad that the rainbows came to bring you hope, in conjunction with the gratitude and cooperation of the people you counsel.
October 30, 2015 at 4:31 am
Thank you, Joanne. Hopefully we will find a way to minimize to the negative effects of bureaucracy until we can escape!
October 30, 2015 at 6:07 pm
Dear JoAnna, you are most certainly rainbow-worthy 🙂 I can imagine that your work is demanding, stressful and rewarding at the same time. I think it’s hard to keep the balance when working with these elements – and I concur that bureaucracy is negatively impacting service delivery in healthcare. Even if you choose to stop working, the impact of your good work doesn’t end, it continues in the changes you have made in those you have counselled as they live better lives than they would have without you. You have a legacy, and that is something to be proud of – and self-love is something we can never give and take enough of.
I suspect you know this better than I, but self-care is important so take a moment and embrace the rainbow, celebrate your successes, dismiss the frustration and allow the rainbow to embrace you back. Peace and love, Harlon
October 31, 2015 at 3:03 pm
Harlon, this comment is full of gifts. And I am full of gratitude for the healing you have given me here. I had not thought consciously about the work that I have done continuing, even after I have moved on to something else. You have helped to loosen the grip of my over developed sense of responsibility. Peace and love to you, my friend. I will embrace the rainbows!
November 3, 2015 at 10:06 am
Double rainbow is always a good sign 🙂 This is some amazing work you have been doing JoAnna… It is natural at times to feel like this – there will be always be a sign to propel you forward.
November 9, 2015 at 7:03 am
Thank you for the encouragement, Prajakta. 🙂