Most of my life I struggled with finding a job that I’m passionate about. I kept trying different careers but just could not find where I belong. I felt as if I don’t have a purpose in life which further prolonged my addiction. December 19th, 2012 is a very special date for me—I checked myself into The Watershed. Not only did The Watershed nurture me back to health, they also helped me realize what I was passionate about as far a career goes. I remember on my 10th day of treatment, I made a decision that I will be a primary therapist here sometime soon. It felt so right, I just knew in my heart that it was God’s plan all along. Not only was I completing my treatment plans as a client during each level of care, I was also networking with the therapists. They provided me with tons of information and direction of what steps I need to take in order to become a primary therapist. I dreamed big and I knew there was nothing that was going to stop me from becoming successful in the addictions treatment profession.
In 2013, at about eight months clean, I got a job at The Watershed’s alumni department. From that point, I continued on growing and working at all the levels of care at The Watershed. I gained some of the most valuable knowledge from the Alumni Department Manager, Rebecca Balko who continues to mentor and guide me still until this day. My name started spreading among The Watershed staff; program directors and primary therapists were emailing and calling me to do interventions and run meetings to motivate our clients to recover.
I knew that in order to attain a position of higher influence where I can make significant changes on the macro level, I had to get my education. I got accepted in Barry University. While in graduate school, I continued on working as the halfway house alumni liaison while interning as a therapist at the inpatient and outpatient level of care at The Watershed. There I gained knowledge that no school can teach you—experience is the best teacher. I recently completed my Masters of Social Work degree. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA, Dean’s Honor List, and was awarded the student of the year award by the National Association of Social Workers. This came at ease for me because my passion and my faith in God carried me through the whole way. I also had an amazing support network who motivated me. I believe that every person has a God-given talent, there are no chosen ones. If you’re reading this you got a God-given talent, you just have to search within you and tap into it. Once you tap into it, nothing will stop you!
I truly believe that based on evaluating my personal life experiences in my addiction and recovery, I am right where I’m supposed to be career-wise. Yes, the substance abuse field is quite challenging, but the rewards are amazing—you can’t put a price on internal spiritual wealth and a sense of purpose. Usually what is uncomfortable and difficult for me is also what is good for me. I challenge myself every day to do uncomfortable things because that is where I experience true growth. This field raises my self-awareness, self-honesty, willingness, and open-mindedness which help me develop personal and professional values even further. Today, I am recognized as a valuable asset at The Watershed because I successfully nurture many of our clients back to health and motivate them to live a life of recovery (but the thing is that they really nurtured me back to health and inspired me in so many ways). I am forever grateful for our clients, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your faith in me. I will continue serving you now as part of The Watershed’s clinical team. While I may have a master’s degree, credentials, and a clinical job, I am an alumnus of The Watershed before anything. Nothing give me more pride than being part of the alumni program!