What fueled your passion for helping those who struggle with addiction and mental health disorders, and what brought you to Journey Pure?
I have had jobs. I have had a previous career. This is a calling.
Six years ago, I had my last drink. I was in the Minneapolis airport in active withdrawal on my way to Nashville to check into treatment one last time. This “one last drink” approach had an oddly satisfying, familiar feeling – it always offered me the comfort of perceived control.
However, this time felt different. The reflection looking back from that glass of beer was a broken human. I had finally surrendered.
Here I was – again. I was checking into my 7th treatment center.
It had been less than 24 hours since my last drink. I was still in active alcohol withdrawal and suicidal. I sat across from the intake counselor as tears rolled down my face and cried, “I’m done. I will do whatever it takes. Whatever you tell me to do.” I had made similar declarations during my intake in the previous six treatment centers I attended.
The suggestion given to me was simple… Almost too simple….”I want you to hit your knees and pray before you go to bed tonight.” The suggestion appeared to offer a lack of proportion of what I was experiencing – another confirmation “that nobody understood what I am going through.” I rolled my tear-filled eyes at the suggestion – Rolling my eyes at a simple suggestion was the hallmark example of my attitude and approach towards recovery.
Ultimately, I took the suggestion.
Treatment saved my life and gave me a life I could never have imagined.
Tell us a little about your position as Clinical Program Coordinator.
We are constantly looking to improve the Clinical Program at each facility, making them more uniform. It is rooted in consistent Psychoeducational service delivery. We hope to equip our discharging patients with a firm foundation for recovery.
How would you describe your typical day?
Currently, I am modeling a new hybrid role between the facility and corporate. We are implementing new projects at our River facility and then rolling them out nationally. So, I am splitting time between the facility and the corporate level. I believe it will offer a valuable perspective from both viewpoints.
What is your next goal at JP?
Technology integration into service delivery. We are excited about integrating our JourneyPure Coaching App into our curriculum – this will also give our clients access to the information after their discharge.
Why is getting treatment for substance abuse or a mental health disorder so important?
Addiction thrives in isolation. Addiction is a disease that attempts to convince you that you do not have a disease. Treatment offers the tools to cut through the helpless feelings associated with addiction and mental health disorders.
What do you wish more people knew about JP and its staff?
The heart, compassion, and authenticity. It can be tempting to get caught up in the day-to-day aspects of a job and lose focus on the goal. Our staff has a wonderful ability to navigate through that and keep their focus on the client.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your job?
It’s watching that “click” moment with a client. Their entire life perspective can change in an instant.
Is there a moment in your career that you’re the proudest of?
As a former counselor at JourneyPure, it would be the discharge “coin out” ceremonies with the clients that will always stick out to me. Seeing a group of strangers rally around one another and offer genuine, authentic support always brought a tear to my eye.
What skill or trait helps you most in your career?
My own experience.
- I can relate to our clients on a real/personal level. I have felt what they are feeling.
- I understand what true hopelessness looks and feels like – I now know what hope feels like.
- I understand what isolation looks and feels like – I now know what fellowship feels like.
- I understand what self-hate looks and feels like – I now know what self-love feels like.
- I understand what self-pity looks and feels like – I now know what gratitude feels like.
- I understand what the voice of addiction sounds like.
When not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I am a bit of a homebody – I enjoy our family dinners, lounging, and watching Netflix.
I am involved with multiple soccer leagues on the weekend.
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote?
“Just one thing keeps ego around – comfort.” – Ryan Holiday
There is an expression ‘Amor Fati’ – which loosely translates to ‘Love of Fate.’ It’s an attitude reframe: treating every moment – no matter how challenging – as something to be embraced, not avoided. To be okay with it and love it and be better for it. Everything is an opportunity to learn and grow.
From the JourneyPure team where we get to explore a wide variety of substance abuse- and mental health-related topics. With years of experience working alongside those suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues, we bring important messages with unparalleled knowledge of addiction, mental health problems, and the issues they cause.