As you know, I was an addictions counselor for about seventeen years, on and off. I genuinely liked almost all of my clients. It helped if they liked me back, because it made the work go easier. But even if they didnâ€™t like me, we still had work to do. And it was their work more than mine. Often, the hardest sessions were the most productive in the long run. Sometimes it could go something like this:
Good afternoon, Michael. I see you have a new bucket with you.
Hi, Mr. Harper. You like the Hello Kitty on the side?
So, what would you like to talk about today, Michael?
Nothing much happening. Same old, same old, you know.
Howâ€™s your program going?
Um, work was pretty busy. I did a meeting on Thursday.
I think you told me last time that you might have found a new sponsor.
Yeah, heâ€™s a good guy. Been clean three years now. You gotta respect that.
Itâ€™s hard, you know. Sometimes I think about the old days. Back when I was all crazy. Iâ€™m a lot better now, but —
But what, Michael?
Itâ€™s likeâ€¦ I dunnoâ€¦ I just donâ€™t feelâ€¦ happy hardly ever any more.
Thatâ€™s the brain changes, Michael. Everybody struggles with it. When you give up your bad habit, and all the intensity that goes with it, it takes time for your brain to adjust. Itâ€™s okay to not be happy while youâ€™re working through it. You have to honor your loss, and learn to move onward. It takes time.
Yeah, I knowâ€¦ I justâ€¦ Is this all there is? Just making it from day to day? Is this any way to live?
Youâ€™re still not sure it was worth it.
Youâ€™d probably be in the ground, Michael.
Sometimes I donâ€™t remember so good, but I was wild andâ€¦ and free, you know? Going balls to the wall like nothing else mattered. On a terminal buzz twenty-four seven.
I understand. Youâ€™re having euphoric recall. Youâ€™re remembering the good parts, but not the bad ones.
It was so great!
What about your family?
That part was great, too!…. Oh, shit. Thatâ€™s awful, isnâ€™t it?
You killed and ate them.
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