Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lifes Struggles....We all have them.

Here I am again this morning with my dogs sipping coffee. I have to go to work again this afternoon, I don't like this swing shift business. I'm over my hours anyway, depending on how the day goes, perhaps I can leave the place in my coordinators hands and come home early. I am thankful I even have a job.

After I finished my degree in December, I could not find a job. I was applying for full time and saw this job, but it was only 20 hours a week so I didn't apply. However, after 2 1/2 months of not landing a job, I figured I better quit being so picky, so I applied and it was offered to me.

It turned out to be a good thing that I got a part time job since I was also accepted to the Masters program. They did give me 5 1/2 more hours so now I work 25 1/2. I live in a small town, travel about 38 miles to the town where I work and will be commuting 2 1/2 hours (one way) to another town where I will go to school. The next two years are going to be a challenge, but others have done it, so I can too!

It will be worth it in the end. Right now my hours at work are swing shift, Wed. through Sunday, but I have to go in on either Mondays or Tuesdays (sometimes both) for meetings, so then I end up having to shave some hours off on the other days, which is great if I can do it.

I do really love the people I work with. I work at a consumer-run, consumer-driven (consumer, meaning anyone who has had experience with mental illness or substance abuse) Drop-In Center for people who are in recovery of either a mental illness or substance abuse. It's just a place for people to come and play games, read, knit, play the piano, or just come to have a cup of coffee and talk with peers. We are open to the public, so anyone can come and join us.

They call me a secondary consumer, meaning that my husband was the one who suffered from substance abuse and I was the one who experienced it with him and got him the help he needed, as well as supported him through it. I talked about having ups and downs through our marriage, that was one of the downs. That was 15 years ago, he's been sober ever since.

My husband was trying to quit drinking, but couldn't. He became depressed and suicidal. The doctor put him on antidepressants, I guess not knowing that he was an alcoholic, but that ended up being a bad combination. He eventually just quit going to work. I contacted his boss and explained what was going on and he said that my husaband has 6 weeks of vacation on the books so just to take the time to get him better. He said there was counselors and financial advisors at his job that could help us if I needed it, he was wonderful.

Long story husband ended up in a state where I could not help him. I asked him if he would let me take him to the hospital mental ward, he just walked out the door. I told him if he walked out the door, I was going to call the sheriff to come and take him (the sheriff was a personal friend and had already been involved, he was afraid that my husband was going to take his own life, as I was), so I called the sheriff and he took my husband to the hospital. Needless to say, my husband and his whole family was not happy with me. But I have big shoulders, I could take it and I knew that if I didn't do something, the outcome wasn't looking good. I got my hubby where he needed to be and the rest was up to him, he received the counseling he needed and stayed in counseling for over a year. He was only in the hospital for 3 days, but the group counseling he recieved while he was there, really opened his eyes. He tried AA but didn't like it, he came back home and it was a long struggle, but he overcame it all.

My life experiences put me on the path toward earning my degree in Health and Human Development and now, toward my Masters in Social Work. I believe the experiences we go through in life shape the person we become. There is hope for everyone to overcome what they are struggling with, recovery can be achieved, it's not linear by any means, but it can be achieved.

We all face our own struggles in life and work toward recovery. I am fortunate to work in a place where everyone is accepted no matter what their struggle/story is and as we support and empower each other......there is hope. :)


  1. This is such a great Blog!! Before I read yours, I actually put on mine that I'm going to College for the first time. So it was interesting that you talked about it... I'm glad everything worked out for the best. Gives me up even throught the bad times...

  2. Your husband is very lucky to have such a courageous wife. I'm sure the experience drew you closer than ever. Thanks for sharing the story.

  3. I wrote a comment and the verification box ate it up. So I am not going to write a lengthy comment again but say thanks for sharing. You and hubby have made tremendous strides through difficult times.
    Glad to know things are going well now.