My name is Jared Casey. I’m not a professional writer, and I have dyslexia and ADHD, so at times I will skip words or mix them up, my spelling gets boggled from time-to-time and my mind was always on beach or playing during my early school years. I’ve kinda had to self-teach myself writing and grammar through reading/listening to books and having a very patient wife/editor to help me through college and grad-school papers. She’s to busy to play editor with our five kids now, so if you find lots of errors in my writing or poor grammar, please forgive me, I’ve been working to improve my learning disabilities most of my life and I don’t really have time to re-read my post 5–6 times… so deal with it… cause I have some kick Arss stories to tell.
I have the opportunity to work as an addiction recovery therapist. I get to meet people from all walks of life and get to know pieces of their stories. For privacy reasons I will not share the real names or time frames in which this client (resident) or any other that came through our treatment center; however I will share with permission part of a story to one of my favorite residents. I think her story will help someone out there in the universe that maybe isn’t feeling so well today.
Jane was not always a favorite resident. She started her journey with us coming off of cocaine in which she had lost a significant amount of weight and control of her mind to the point of near death. Jane described herself as a lesbian ex-Mormon or member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (Full disclosure, I am a proud active Mormon and I love and respect people no matter what their belief’s. I only hope that others can do the same for me.) Jane has struggled to please her family and find a place in this world as she had chosen to embrace her sexuality while feeling much of the guilt of her upbringing. She expressed to me, “I was born broken. I hated God and then I just didn’t believe in God after awhile.” Jane’s path has included a highly destructive relationship with drugs and a toxic girlfriend. I’ll elaborate another time with a more comprehensive story of Jane life; for now I will tell a shorter but important story of a very sad, paranoid women that did not trust easily. Jane was all over the place during her first few days in treatment in which she presented highly suicidal and manic. I was called in on a Sunday as she was threatening self-harm and suicide. I pulled her in for an emergency session. She was flipping out and making self-harm threats and saying very irrational things. She seemed inconsolable as I was considering blue slipping her to the psych ward for her own safety. During her rants, I could sense her deep pain and I started to ask my higher power in silent prayer what she needed from me? I felt the words come into my mind, “She needs to know that she matters.” I told her as sincerely as I could that she matters in various ways over and over. She calmed down and promised me that she would engage in treatment for a least one more day. She said she owed me that for making me come in on my day off. (Jane is so considerate of others) The following day she was even worse than before. We pulled her in for a talk and she started sharing all her conspiracy theories again, including claims and threats that seemed somewhat dangerous. I made a mistake of letting my own frustration get to me by trying to correct what seemed like wild paranoid thinking errors. She immediately closed down to me. (I’ve learned since this experience that validation is all I should have done at this stage of her treatment as the therapeutic relationship was not strong enough to support feedback. She could have been complaining about aliens eating her brains and I should have said, “that must be hard for you.) Jane refused to work with me and I needed another therapist to help until her paranoia wore off and she could start trusting me and the clinical team again. I wasn’t the only one to loose her trust in those early days. Jane being one of our most difficult clients started to shift into one our best clients over the next few months. She worked harder than everyone else, she did everything we asked her, she became a model resident and graduated with honors from our program. During Jane’s graduation ceremony Jane said, “When I got here, I had decided to kill myself, I didn’t think I had any worth anymore, but then you guys loved me until I loved myself and I found a reason to live.” Jane’s words struck a remembrance in me of that day when I asked my higher power for help in knowing what to say to Jane. I also remembered another time when the owner of our clinic bore lovingly to the residents that her goal was to love each resident until they loved themselves. It’s been a long time since Jane graduated. I’m so proud of her and I get a big smile on my face when she comes by sober and happy for a visit. Thank you Jane for teaching me so much and for being such an inspirational person. I look forward to your continued growth and learning more of your story as you go on. I know that God loves all of us. I’m so grateful to have witnessed part of your recovery through Gods love.