Thursday, June 2, 2011


What happened in the course of the next few weeks was a pure demonstration of God working in my life through this new friendship. My friend gave me so much of the support I badly needed. I, in turn, became a significant person in helping him with his own coming-out process after he had spent so many years in the closet.

Meanwhile I began to have some conflicts on my job as a social worker. I was becoming more assertive and that rocked the boat. I was also confused and hurt that many of my formerly friendly colleagues seemed to be keeping a cool distance from me. When I approached my supervisor to tell her I was in recovery from alcohol and thought I might need to go to a rehab, all hell broke lose.

She went into a rage and she yelled at me, “I'm sick and tired of hearing about your personal problems!” She showed me no sympathy and seemingly turned me into her personal scapegoat for the next month. I'm not really sure what I might have done to provoke the situation, but what ensued played out my history of allowing myself to be a victim.

What I did next undoubtedly exacerbated the situation. I went three levels above her head, appealing to our kind deputy commissioner. She acted as mediator between my supervisor and myself, serving as surrogate supervisor to me during that period of early recovery.

Granted, my own supervisor undoubtedly had cause to take issue with my work at the time. I'd gotten way behind in my paperwork - those endless client assessments, times forty. I also imagine that my second requested leave of absence within my first fifteen months on the job didn't make her life any easier. (I'd had to take an earlier medical leave following a suicide attempt.)

There was another bizarre work-related twist that happened during my first week of recovery. One morning, as I was approaching my workplace, I encountered one of my schizophrenic clients. This was a woman who, in my experience, had always been totally out of touch with reality. She never called me by name and she rarely even said anything at all.

That day she caught me off-guard. In spite of her disheveled appearance, she approached me on the street as if I were an old friend. She appeared to be mentally clear as a bell when she actually spoke to me! She called me by name when she said, “Mister, you seem to be getting better!”

Wow! I felt as if I had entered an episode of the twilight zone. While my supposedly sane supervisor would literally yell at me when I was in the office, surrounded by my colleagues, this supposedly insane client behaved appropriately and could discern I was on the road to wellness.

Author Davis Aujourd'hui

No comments: