A participant comes into the program in an uncomfortable and broken state. We spend six months loving them and helping them prepare for the world without the use of drugs or alcohol. In those six months, we build a bond with these people, they become our friends and then they become our family, our brothers and sisters, who walk in faith with us. We love them, not a pretend love because it’s our “job”. We love them because most of the time it’s easy to, because they are loveable because they are the strongest, most determined, beautiful people. Not only are they working on saving their lives and rebuilding a future, they would help you under any circumstances, and give without judgment. Since working at Rising Above, I undoubtedly believe addicts in recovery are my most favourite people. Sometimes they leave the program prematurely, and sometimes they graduate… what a celebration, the end of 6 months with us, but the rest of their lives ahead of them.
At times the world can be heavy, the lights can be dim, the weight they carry can sometimes be too much. Like most of us, we are learning and growing every day. We have struggles, pain and burdens. We slip, and fall, and get back up again …The reality is, we have entered a world that is much scarier for the addict in recovery. It’s not just about preparing that relapse happens, we now face head-on, that relapse leading to death is a much higher statistic than any of us want to face. The urge to get better, the want and the will to seek healing, has to be stronger than ever before. Our world is losing a generation of people to overdose… moms and dads, brothers, sisters, friends… we are losing them, they are slipping away from us. I know God is fighting this battle with us, and I’m asking for any of you that may be struggling or know or love someone who is - now is the time. There is help, there is love and healing, even between the stumbles. Please don’t stop fighting. God has your back!
This weekend we lost a member of our family, a beautiful soul, a warrior of a woman, our friend. She walked through our doors fighting for her life, she worked so hard and came out gloriously on the other side of this program. She walked in the world with strength and dignity.
Our friend ran into tripping blocks and lost her footing.
We lost her.
Some of us are struggling with what else we could have done. We loved her and fought alongside her for a time. I will continue fighting for those still struggling, I will fight for her, and for those, we lost before her. The cost of loving sometimes means we must grieve them. I will not stop loving, it is how we fight this battle. It’s no longer a war where people come out with just injuries to heal from, the enemy is using land mines causing death to those who stumble.
To my beautiful friend, I am deeply saddened by the loss of you. I will forever remember your smile, your laugh, your spunk and fight for life. I have peace today because I know you are in heaven, I know you are free from pain and worry. You are safe in the arms of our God.
Rest in peace you beautiful soul
Forever missed; Joanne