Sometime I get a little sick and tired of saying the same thing or asking the same questions day in and day out. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. Why I have such high standards for the human race is really beyond me, but I usually do. And once again, I am let down. Why, might you ask? I’m glad you did, let me tell you.
If you all remember the wonderful day I had the meeting with JoDee’s social worker at WATC, (see https://theaddictinmybasement.com/2015/02/01/unsectioned/ for a refresher if you have forgotten) I was told that I needed to be less involved and let JoDee take care of her own bin-iz, as it were. On that token, I have not harassed her about finding a psychiatrist to re-fill her meds. I mention it occasionally, watching the calendar tick off days knowing her meds were going to run low. I also have some things I need to concentrate on which made me all the more anxious that she hasn’t done it. So at the end of last week, I started the mommy freak out. Daily calls and text, did you call? Did you walk in? Do you have your insurance card? You only a few a weeks left? She had an appointment at a place, so that was good.
JoDee went to a program that was recommended by WATC at time of discharge. I can only imagine the hell-on-wheels individuals that the reception staff see day and day out. I’m not impervious to their plight of frustration with the clientele. Addicts can be rude and entitled, well, I know mine can be, especially when newly in recovery. But, I believe there has to be a certain level of compassion and professionalism to work in a place that is dealing with them directly. An addict should not walk in any facility or program or clinic to be met with disdain or pity. JoDee was met with the classic stare that meant I-am-supposed-to-be-sympathetic-to-you-but-I’m-really-not-so-I-hope-I’m –convincing. The woman asked her basic information, took her insurance card, etc. JoDee sat down. She called her back up, pursed her over-sized lips and said you’re an addict. Really? Wow, lot of schooling give you those detective skills? Did the woman think she walked in this morning to be called out by Captain Obvious and her sidekick Bitch Face?
JoDee confirmed the evident to which she was told to fill out another form. JoDee completed form number two and brought up to the woman who declares for all to hear, in what I can only imagine was an Italian whisper, “You were section 35 to WATC”. I think even JoDee’s deceased grandfather heard her. Hello HIPPA? Do addicts not have the right to privacy anymore? At this point I can only imagine that JoDee is embarrassed and flustered because she is not used to handling these things alone, (I was at a meeting 3 hours away) was probably not great at hiding her emotions. The woman gave her a lecture about how she needs to be forthcoming with this information and that even if she isn’t using now, she needs to make sure she tells them she is an addict every time she comes in. Then drops the bomb that there is something wrong with her insurance so she has to pay $160 to still be seen. That is the point that JoDee left. In tears. And called her mom.
- I knew this was going to happen.
- Mission Slap A Bitch began
First of all, I had a bad feeling about JoDee going alone. Not because she can’t handle it but because it is hard for any addict to reach a hand out for help. If it was easy, we would have more in recovery and less in the ground. JoDee is not the most composed person under pressure so I was worried about the insurance (her father recently changed jobs so there is new insurance) information getting there correctly. Luckily, I had a three hour drive home to think about Mission Slap A Bitch, and decided I am too old to be throwing punches and I want to lead by example, so it did not come to fruition. Instead, I told JoDee we would find someone else. But it really got me thinking about benevolence in addiction. Something I go over a lot. It is already difficult enough for addicts to get help, the ones that want help will fight or keep trying. Any addict that is on the fence will give up. It is not easy to be clean. And it probably isn’t easy dealing with those in recovery or trying to be, god knows I have had my battle royale’s with Ms. Sassy-Pants-Joyce too. It’s also not easy for the parents or family members of an addict. How do I keep telling JoDee she has to get up and dust herself off when she is met with such resistance from the people that are supposed to help her?
Of course, I had to make this a learning experience for her. I reminded her that her past poor choices put her in the path of this particular person. (That was a lot of P’s) Unfortunately, people are going to judge, and make assumptions about you and you have to remember that is their ignorance and not a reflection of you now. Bottom line is she can either be bothered by it or move on, it’s not just part of recovery, and it’s also part of life and growing up. So I am not happy that someone was nasty to JoDee, but we have to move past it. We certainly have a lot to be grateful for which we will be reminded of this weekend. The entire Melanie/AC clan is attending the candle light vigil this Sunday to celebrate lives of those lost to addiction. Someone I love and respect dearly lost a close member of her family to addiction, recently, and his name will be among many in the roll call. There will be a narcan demonstration and a donation sight (for more info please go to http://patch.com/massachusetts/medford/medford-candlelight-vigil-march-22nd-0 ) for items desperately needed. If you have lost someone to addiction, if you are an addict in recovery, or if you want to support someone who is, come down and feel the love. I will be there with a heavy heart for those who have died, and with the support of many friends and my family. I hope to see you there.