I’m a 46-year-old male, and I’ve been an alcoholic for 30 years. I was in the military but got kicked out for drinking and fighting. I have been forced to go to rehab in the past, but it didn’t work because I was mad at the family members that forced me to go there, and I didn’t want to be sober. My parents are dead, and I have burned all bridges with my other family members, so I have no family to turn to. With my alcoholism, I was able to function in the world for a while and had a decent job, but I got fired for saying things I shouldn’t have in anger and now I’ve been unemployed for over a year. I have no income. I do have a few friends that I do work for in exchange for food and alcohol. I haven’t showered in 23 days because I have no place to do that. I haven’t been to a doctor in a long time because I have no insurance, but I need to see one. There is a local Sherriff’s Deputy who is concerned about me and checks on me every few days to make sure I’m not dead.
Someone (maybe the deputy) called DHS adult services on my behalf, and I was assigned a social worker for two weeks to try to help me. She brought me to The Well, and I only came because she is so nice to me and treats me like I’m human. Coming here made me very nervous, but I feel much better now after talking and hanging out with the people here. I want to work again and have purpose in my life. I want my own functional apartment. I don’t want to drink anymore, and I want the support to make that happen. I don’t know what to do next, but I know I need to do something. Asking for help is extremely hard for me, but I know I need it. Can you help me?
While the situation described above is most definitely unique to the client living it, we have many appointments each month that are similar in this way: There is so much need, so many obstacles, and so much underlying dysfunction in a client’s life that it can be difficult to discern how to best move forward as we start to walk with them. The many steps needed in the path forward to a different life including the time it will take to get there can seem daunting. However, regardless of the circumstances that our clients are dealing with, we do know the first and most important step. That step is to simply show love, grace, acceptance, and kindness as God has shown those things to us. It is to give encouragement and treat them as a child of God with God given purpose and worth; not as a failure to be pitied with a throw away act of charity. And ultimately, we also know this: We will walk with our clients in the best way we know as God directs us, and we know that the final outcome of our clients journey it is not up to us. It is up to them and the One who created us all. In that there is comfort.