Blasts from the past and present

Recently I spoke with a former co-worker who told me she had seen an old friend of ours who had fallen on hard times. It was not surprising. We had seen one another in several years. She had been a peer support specialist and we met while riding on the bus out to the Mental Health Complex. She was going to be in the training class for peer specialists and I was co-presenting. She was in and out of work and in a last ditch effort worked as sorting clothes after peer support became too much for her to handle. I found my way into state certification and my current jobs by keeping to a regular routine and it has been very rewarding. Peer support is definitely not the easiest position in the mental health world. Now, with the availability of more jobs, one can make a better living in Milwaukee than at any time since I have been in the profession.

I am helping people facing a variety of challenges: breaking through the isolation, finding work, maintaining stable housing and finding and accepting recovery. Strange as it may seem, not everyone is willing to accept recovery. They have reasons  of their own and life seems curtailed. I met with a young man in the hospital whose mother was pleading with him but to no avail. Three of us elders tried: his mother, his uncle and me. It was clear he was telling us we could not make him recover.

I hope this day finds you healthy as you read my sobering words. Some people struggle to finish the day, while others thrive. I am prepared to live life with a purpose.


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