I closed a chapter in my life last week. But, as long as it’s note THE chapter of my life, I guess I’m sort of OK with that. You know, platitude-platitude-life moves on, get over it, when one door closes etc. etc. See, I must be OK because I know all the clichés.
Oh, and as an aside, it isn’t even a ‘big’ chapter. I am still happily ensconced with the lovely Miss W., I live in the same house, I haven’t won the lottery and Max is maintaining bowel regularity.
Anyway, to cut to the chase, the door to the option I had for addictions counseling in this community has now closed. Off-and-on for more than a decade – and at one point as a full-time calling – I have dealt with the wants and needs of substance abusers who want to cease being substance abusers.
It’s too bad, because I enjoyed the work very much. Why I went into it is a long story, but I ended up working with a few souls society (and officialdom especially) doesn’t much want to deal with in a realistic manner.
Addiction is a great equalizer and strikes at all levels of society. I’ve dealt with street-folk and jailbirds; ordinary middle-class men and women; professionals, a glamorous former model, and members of racial and ethnic minorities.
Latterly the group I was primarily counseling was the unemployed, delirious of getting back into the workforce. They, as an option to the rest of their back-to-work program were given access to the counseling offered by me. And I thoroughly liked working with them on a one-on-one basis.
I’ve written before how I came into the business via a sort of backdoor. Having been a teacher and then a journalist I, in 1998, wrote a series of articles for my paper on addiction (and its ravages) within the community. Some time after that I was approached by a local recovery centre to speak to the clientele. From there I went onto the board, and then later took training and qualified as a certified addictions counselor. A tired career in my life wasn’t a bad thing. I like diversification.
My more recent gig involved working for a private company, but still using the skills I had in place.
Then, last year, the government in its (ha!) wisdom decided that the job-search process should go to another operation in town. Which is fine. Shit happens. However, addictions counseling is not part of the mix with the other operation. It seems that officialdom, true to form, does not see addiction as an impediment to gainful employment as in: “Hey, maybe there is a reason some people cannot get or hold on to a job! And maybe that reason should be addressed, or at least an attempt should be made to address it.”
Such is life and such are politics and such is the pro-forma inability of most governments to look at social issues realistically. The government reaps a fortune from alcohol revenues – our most widely abused and lethal drug in any addiction study – but not a farthing of that revenue is specifically earmarked for helping the addicted and afflicted.
But this government, like most other governments is, to paraphrase Dickens’ Mr. Bumble, “a ass”. Seems to be in the nature of far too many who are attracted to the calling.