Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance

Thirty Years is Enough…Almost

13 Comments

bird coming out from pixabay

I was planning to write my mid-week post about the synchronicity of my first writer’s conference coming the week before my leap of faith into semi-retirement and how that reinforces my goal to spend more time in creative work.

But then I read this  NPR article about the hope and controversy of medication assisted treatment for opiate addiction, and I decided to share my experience on this topic. After working as a substance abuse counselor for roughly 30 years, about 20 of those years working with clients on Methadone or Suboxone, I’ve learned a few things.

The most important thing I want to pass on about Methadone and medication assisted treatment, is that the medication is only one piece of the recovery pie. I’ve seen clients who did not change their lifestyles and thinking, did not learn new coping skills, and were not successful on the program.

I’ve also seen clients who followed recommendations and worked hard on their recovery, mentally, emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually. For those people, the medication combined with counseling and lifestyle changes, has worked amazingly well, and often better than other treatment modalities they had tried. These are the clients who have kept me working in the field for thirty years, along with the ones who I didn’t think were going to make it, but they surprised me and turned things around. God gets a lot of the credit, too. I couldn’t have hung in there this long without my H.P.

Now, it’s time for me to step back. Because I’m tired. Not so much tired of working with people who suffer from addiction. I can understand and accept that some people are not going to do the work, and that hurting people hurt people, including themselves. That’s part of the misery of addiction.  It’s the @#*!… paperwork that I can’t keep up with anymore if I want to have a healthy life. I’ve watched the amount of paperwork (now it’s computer work, but we still have to print a lot of it out and put it in a chart) grow and grow year after year. There have been times when I’ve felt emotionally buried by the paperwork.

I believe I’ve done my share. But I still don’t want to let go completely. Next week, I go to the writer’s conference, and the week after that, I’m cutting back to just one day a week at the job that paid my bills for 30 years. The other days will be for me – for writing, art, my home and my relationships. I think I’ve earned this time. I’m so grateful to have this chance, thanks to my partner who you can read about on my about page.

Perfect Timing strikes again!

(Thanks to Pixabay for the photo.)

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Christian, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again, available at amazon.com.

13 thoughts on “Thirty Years is Enough…Almost

  1. You have put in some great amount of time in your work and now is the time to explore other things. All the best with it.

  2. Congratulations on your upcoming transition. You have served your community, and now it is possible for you to ease into the creative writing world. Enjoy the journey! 🙂

    • Thank you! I love that you used the word, “ease.” And of course, “possible.” Sorry I have not visited your blog lately. I appreciate your comment for it’s support and for getting me back to your beautiful photos and inspiring adventures!

  3. Bonsoir JOANNA
    Je viens chez toi comme par magie
    J’adore venir voir les nouveautés sur ton blog
    A mon tour
    Je vais essayer de faire rêver
    Dans ce rêve
    Tu y trouveras ma douceur
    Tu y trouveras du bonheur
    Tu te trouveras dans mon petit monde
    De la joie et du partage
    Même si ce n’est qu’un petit rêve


    Il y aura quelques instants sur ton visage un sourire
    Qui te permettra de réchauffer une partie de ton cœur
    Gros bisous , Bernard

  4. What a wonderful, constructive, compassionate way to have made your living. Yes, I agree, you’ve earned a break. I wish you luck on your new artistic endeavors 🙂
    P.S. Paperwork/computer logs are really killing a lot of professions these days. It’s an epidemic.

    • Thanks, Joey. I had not thought of the paper/computer work as an epidemic, but that is a fitting term. I hope to rise above and beyond it.

  5. Pingback: The Pressure’s On! – Anything is Possible!

  6. Reblogged this on Mental Health & Mindfulness and commented:
    Love Joanna’s honesty in just how challenging the recovery process can be…Good read of her real life experience. Very encouraging words.

Feel free to comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s