Monday, November 28, 2011

“Hopelessness is the negation of possibility”


The title of this blog is actually a phrase from The Tao of Sobriety David Gregson and Jay S. Efranleapt. On Thanksgiving morning, I read the quote and it jumped off the page at me after two incredibly busy weeks at The Coleman Institute working with people who are choosing to get off methadone and other opiates.

The authors go on to say, “Hopelessness trades on the past, which it depicts inaccurately. Possibility is about the future, which remains virgin and uncharted. No matter how badly Acts I and II have gone, Act III has not yet been fully scripted.” I could share so many stories of possibility—from this week alone!

There was the beautiful mother of two boys whose fiancé overdosed a week after she’d accepted his proposal. She went on methadone herself then, feeling it was the best choice to keep her alive—and sane. After four years of daily visits to the methadone clinic, she came to us for our rapid detox program. In eight days, she came off methadone, enrolled in an excellent counseling program, and is very grateful to be more present for her sons.

Max* came for a follow up visit and to get his naltrexone refilled. In December, it will be a year since he completed a rapid opiate detox and has been free from oxycodone. He had all our staff in tears when he proudly showed us the picture of his exquisite ten-month old daughter. His testimony about how sweet his life is was so moving, I asked him to make the rounds with me to visit other patients who were completing rapid detoxes. There are no words—even from our staff who see daily success stories—that can compare to seeing a person in the flesh that’s a year away from the powerful grip of opiates.

Lisa* lost her sister and nephew in a tragic car accident several years ago. She had access to opiate pain medication and began to use it to blunt the pain of her loss. It was not long before she turned to heroin. She too, completed our three-day rapid detox. Her beautiful spirit matches her outer beauty. We teased her about being the Detox-Queen—she was feeling good enough to indulge in a manicure, pedicure and facial while she was in Richmond, so she was looking pretty good! Her plan: reclaim her health in all realms: physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual. Besides participating in our Recovery-U program, she will work with a grief counselor and has re-joined her gym. She has flanked herself with friends who will go to AA and NA meetings with her.

I could go on and on with the stories of possibility I hear and am blessed to participate in daily. After Max told his story, my colleague, Courtney Harden, FNP said, “That’s why I love my job.” Amen.

If you, or a loved one, are ready to embrace possibility and quiet the intrusive voice of hopelessness, please call and speak to Jennifer . We would love to help you get to Act III!

- Joan R. Shepherd, NP

*Names changed and stories altered in minor ways to maintain patient’s confidentiality.

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