I lost a client today. She wasn’t the first and I’m pretty sure because of my chosen career, she’s not going to be the last. But I can tell you, they are all hard losses. When your in school or in supervision meetings for your license, they tell you excellent skills and techniques like…leave it at the door when you leave work or you know that you’ve done all you could have done. And also, they made the choices, you can’t save them all, it’s the nature of this beast called addiction and yada yada yada.
They mean well. They often speak from their own experiences of the one who got too close to their heart, hit to close to home, reminded them of ole so and so or such and such’s daughter, son, uncle , mother…Here’s my personal favorite. I came up with it myself. I believe it with every ounce of my being and every fiber of my spirit! Some of us plant the seed, some water, some weed but only God can cause the growth. Truth I say! Truth! Dear friend it is the truth.
But when everyone left work today and I was by myself in my office, I cried. I cried for the fiesty woman that I met just 60 short days ago. I cried for the dreams she had, for the help she wanted, for the relationship she was trapped in that had killed her long before the cancers in her lungs and stomach every ate her insides away. He was a cancer that sucked the life out of her and refused to allow her to get the medical attention she needed a long time ago.
That speaks to his own issues. And quite frankly, she let him do it. That’s a WHOLE different subject that we can look at later. Cause this is about her!
Finally, some of the other clients got together and literally CARRIED her to the hospital and left her. THEY MADE HIM LEAVE HER. And I thank GOD above for those people. Otherwise, she would have died in a rented room, in excruciating pain, not being cared for properly, weighing all of 60 pounds soaking wet. Thank you for stepping in for her! I pushed hospice, I begged to get a release to talk to her doctor, but I was always told smoke and mirrors. Sticks and tricks. Things that in the scheme of things didn’t even matter.
Being the brawler that I am, I stopped allowing him to come into my office after meeting with her for the first time. My Spirit just said something IS NOT RIGHT HERE. If she really wanted him in there, she could have said, “Let him in”. Funny though, she didn’t. I saw her two times after that. Then things went downhill so fast my head was literally spinning.
Within 30 days of our first meeting, she had dropped a good 30 pounds (she wasn’t a big girl to begin with). I remember someone saying, “Hey, she’s in the lobby, come and see her”. I jumped up and ran out, afraid I would miss her. I didn’t really need to worry about that: She could hardly move. My girl sat there all hunched over, hooked up to an oxygen tank. I smiled and told her how glad I was to see her. I really was. Oh, how I hugged her. Gently of course, because she was so very frail. I knew then, it was the last time I would see her on this side of life. My sweet firecracker, fizzled to a remnant of her former self. An empty shell of a woman sitting in the lobby of my clinic.
I was told that her daughter didn’t even know she was dying. I tried to find her on FB and other places and couldn’t. One of the brave clients that made sure she was safe at the end of her life said that her son made it in, but that she did not get a chance to hear his voice before she passed. I think of how tragic it all is. How heroin tears up a life and then other lives attached to that life and then other lives attached to the other lives until there is nothing but a dank and rotten hole in the universe. I wonder how her daughter feels not being able to hold her mommy or stroke her hair at the end because she is hung up in her own addictions and was off to the races. Her sugar daddy couldn’t find her or refused to pass on the message that my lady lay dying. She was animate about finding her daughter but I couldn’t find her. She couldn’t find her. No one could find her.
Tears run down my cheeks. Theirs is not the only story that will end like this. I cry for every one that has been lost in this ongoing war. I cry for the babies of the parents that are dead, in jail, strung out, tricking, treating, what the heck ever. I cry for the families that are perpetuating this sickening play to the 3rd and 4th generation. I cry for the army of men and women that report to the triage centers every day to patch up the walking dead, weary wounded soldiers that have fought one more day on the battlefield of addiction.
I pray and cry over their lives. That the trauma would not grow to be too much. That they would practice self-care for themselves. That they would take time out of their days, weeks, and years to love their children, families and friends. That they would stop and smell the preverbal roses. I pray that the workers would learn to reach out to each other and stop killing their units with friendly fire.
I pray for a lot. I know. God knows, and He really don’t mind. Didn’t He say, “Ask for the Nations”.
Well Lord. I ask for everyone in my clinic and the other six that are affiliated with mine. Then for all the staff and clients of all the centers I’ve ever worked in. And while I’m at it, how about all of Baltimore City, and Baltimore County and hell, why not Maryland as a whole State.
Wait, while I’m asking, I cover their families, their children and grandchildren, and all the staff, I pray for answers to this opiate epidemic. I pray for the key to unlock all addictions, and the human brain, and your pretty big , I pray for the meth problem in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD AND the opioid and cocaine, and pill and weed and cigarette and alcohol and everything else.
Cover it Lord. Cause we can’t!!! It’s too big for us! Even all of us together. For this one little Lady that I pray is being feisty and fiery up in heaven with you tonight Jesus! For her and her daughter when this hits her like a ton of bricks that she wasn’t there.