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A Lesson Learned: Never Give up Hope

Are some cases hopeless, or should we always have hope? Sandy was coming in again. She was being admitted to the dual diagnosis unit at the psychiatric hospital where I was employed. I knew Sandy well. She had thirty-eight (38) previous alcohol detoxes documented at this hospital. Thirty-Eight! And that was just at this hospital, imagine how many more attempts she made at other hospitals.

I made a choice that evening. I chose to give up on Sandy. She had not only let herself down. She had let down all the staff that had worked so diligently with her. She had let me down! I didn’t want to go through the disappointment again. I steeled my nerves.

An hour later the ambulance wheeled Sandy onto our unit. My God, I hardly recognized her. Sandy looked great. Gone was the puffy face, the bloated body, the bloodshot eyes. Sandy looked vibrant and alive. Rosy cheeks, smiling, and unlike so many other admissions, she met me eye to eye.

Sandy saw the looks on our faces and she announced “I have been sober for six months, I haven’t had a drink since the last time I was here!” Sandy told us she requested an admission because she was having a strong desire to drink and she didn’t know what else to do. She had been working her aftercare plan and that included coming back into the hospital if nothing else could keep her sober.

Sandy taught me an invaluable lesson that evening and I carry that lesson with me every day. Never give up HOPE! Never give up on anyone. There is always hope! Sandy went through thirty-eight documented detoxes before she was able to put any time together. When I had given up all hope, she was there to let us know there is always hope!

I have had the opportunity to tell this true story to a number of my clients and my client’s families. They always appreciate the simple message in this story. There is always hope!

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