Helping with Happiness, Halfway There

Darren Mental Health and Addictions 0 Comments

I sit here writing this blog reflecting on my first two weeks of practicum experience looking forward to my next shift. The relationships I have built with the staff, the members and the participants of Insite and the Drug Users Resource Clinic are priceless in the way I move forward with my own life.  It’s funny but I have found that there are many people that have serious deep issues in their lives and they are far less toxic than the people that I once had in my daily life that have troubles that are far less magnified. It is amazing indeed how I kept myself sober in the environment I chose to live in, interesting indeed. I do wonder if my course of studies began when I quit drinking sixteen years ago and I suppose realistically it did but I do iterate “began.”

I am doing my practicum at the Drug Users Resource Center (DURC) and Insite and I have to say there are many familiar faces between the two sites and the objectives (harm reduction) are the same but they are a world apart. I thought I knew a little bit about the field I was heading into and I was very right. I know a very “little bit.” I have so much learning to do it is incredible and don’t get me wrong I did understand that I would be learning more every day, I am aware that the education experience is far from over for me but boy is it ever sobering realizing how much work the nurses must have to put in to get to work at Insite. I have a whole new respect for the nurses at Insite and I admire their will, determination and strength it is amazing. I say that DURC and Insite are two different worlds because a majority of the members at DURC are alcoholics which is a substance I do know very well being an alcoholic myself. Whereas I had not been surrounded by a lot of people using injection drugs nor was I ever a user in my younger days. I am familiar with them but I do feel that my strength lies within helping alcoholics. I do understand that helping everyone is my ultimate goal which is why I am valuing my experience at insite greatly. Again it is showing me how “little” I truly know. It is showing how much there really is for me to learn and it really showing me how much I truly love the community of the Down Town East Side. I have never felt a more close knit society in my entire life of being. I really wonder who the real people are as I grow with them, the society that marginalizes and places stigmas on them or the people being stigmatized and dealing with their struggles that others will never have even an iota of a clue about. I stick to my guns on the fact that you cannot judge without having experienced what thee judges about, it is not only unfair it is impossible. I have been learning about these people’s struggles and I am still nowhere near understanding as they do. I understand more and I have a new empathy that I never had before but I still do not truly see life through their eyes, sobering when we really look at these facts.

I mentioned the two most important days of my life being the day I was born and the day I learned why. Maybe I may have the fortune of learning why but some people may never come close to learning why and I have to ask if these are such important questions why are so many people denied the chance of discovering the second question? I indeed was born but why? I learned that it was to help others not regret being born and to help guide them to learning why they were born. Not on a Christian level but on a realistic everyday life level as Stenberg College has done for me, I may have never answered the second most important question of my life if I had not met Stenberg and now I can pass their message on to others. You can learn why, I did. Now I am just learning how to put this knowledge into action with two of the most important experiences of my life DURC and Insite I know they will be part of my life forever in one way or another now. I truly do hope I can make my place of employment DURC as it is a place that I feel I fit. I do have two weeks left and I will share some individual experiences on my next blog. Until then peace, hope, care and love one another because without one another we are just alone…

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