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My Other Life :-)

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I have been threatening to talk about my other job for some time now.

For a long time I had the shop open, when I was at work my Wife would look after the shop and when I was not at my other job I was working in the secondhand shop. This was quite a juggle with 4 kids in the house. For the last year, we did not have the shop and only have the online component. This made life so much easier. Though I still have problems finding the time to take the pictures and post items up on the web page. But I get it done. It is a little harder now, because I am building a home on a block of land. I still need to set up the green house and the chook pen along with so much more. 

Well. I am a Drug and Alcohol worker with a Ba in Social Science (Psychology), with a minor in Theater Media. I have been working in a residential unit for the past 14 or 15 years. It’s hard to keep track of the years.

One of my duties is to facilitate groups, which I do enjoy. It takes me back to my Auctioning days a bit. There are a few subjects that I have done heaps of research on and found them so reliant to Drug and Alcohol work, furthermore the times I have taught the subjects in group education I have gotten a really positive response apart from one time.

One of my Favorite educational groups is “The Hero’s Journey” by Joseph Campbell. I have, along with many others wondered why life does not come with an instruction book. The hero’s journey is the one best I have found that is short and straight to the point. It is always good to know where you are in the journey and know what is coming up next. With the steps of the hero’s journey you can see what is coming and where you have been and what is being asked of you now. 

Because it deals a lot with metaphors, similes and drawing parallels from movies, books, myths and legends, people that are concrete thinkers have a hard time seeing how ideas can cross over from one realm of life to another. Also people that have a hard time with theory of mind stuff, ie. imagining want others are thinking, do have a really hard time comprehending the some of what is talked about. So as you can see people with Drug and or alcohol issues can comprehend this easy, well apart from that one time. I will talk more about The Hero’s Journey in future postings.

People that suffer from substance abuse are really no different that anyone ells. It is just that their copping mechanisms is by looking for the fastest way to eliminate the emotional pain that they are living with. Now we can ask what came first the drug or alcohol addiction or the pain. With this question we cannot generalize, this depends on the individual. Yes in some cases the pain came first, such as domestic Violence, sexual assault, bad parenting, etc. in other cases the addiction came first by associating with bad influential people, that introduced them to the substance. then the pain comes through how the addict treated their friends and family. Alcohol on the other hand can just creep up on you. You might have a drink once a week, then it becomes twice a week and before you know it you need a drink just to feel normal. Along the way you isolate and alienate everyone. Then one day the alcoholic wakes up and asks them-self “how the hell did I get in this mess?”.

You see Drugs and or Alcohol is a fast and easy way to get rid of emotional pain. The big problem is that it does not get rid of the problem, it just irrigates them and one day all you see are weeds in your garden. Drugs and Alcohol creates a hole set of new problems that the user is totally blind to. Then when they do see life through sober glasses, it becomes too painful to live and they jump back into the bottle or up the syringe or in the pipe. 

The rest of us really do not understand why they can’t use other copping strategies. But when other strategies are slow and just not that effective in the short term. Drugs and alcohol is the answer.

So my job is to help people make the transition from substance use to sobriety with as little emotional pain as possible. It is in a secluded Detox and Rehab  is the best place, because the rest of the world is left at the door. Thus all they have to deal with is what is happening in their head and not all the other problems of relationships and bill, along with the pressure of simple living skills that most of us do, such as clean the house and buy food. This is why we limit phone calls in a Rehab, because the downfall of a recovering addict is a significant other doing what they want to do or bring up issues that the addict does not need to talk about when they are still fragile emotionally.

Well More Latter 🙂

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