The Eternal Optimist

The most challenging part of my job right now is believing in someone more than they believe in themselves and watching someone refuse to change, especially when the change could be life-saving.

I’ve been through change.  I’ve struggled with addiction.  I’ve been lost and afraid of the future.

I’ve not experienced these things on the same extreme level as many people.  My experiences have been very low-level, and I recognize others experience these things at the highest level possible.  I didn’t lose everything because of my addiction but I came close to stepping over the edge and who knows what would have happened from that point if not for an intervention.

I believe in change.  I believe in success stories.  I believe in second, third, and even fourth and fifth chances but at a certain point the person getting the chances needs to believe in these things, needs to believe in themselves, and their capacity to rewrite their story.

I have the capacity to look at every person who walks through my door and say in my mind, “The past is the past.  Until I see otherwise this is the time this person becomes a success story and rewrites their future.”  I’m too optimistic and hopeful to think differently so it breaks my heart when it doesn’t happen, when they revert to old behavior, when people lie, and doubt their own abilities.

I genuinely want to help people but it’s true, you can’t help a person who isn’t willing to help themselves.  I can continue to hold out my hand, offer to listen, offer my words, but if they run away, stop talking, and stop listening there’s not much I can do to help other than hold onto my hope.  It’s just frustrating to offer someone every resource available then watch them self-destruct even if you don’t really know the person.

I continue to believe that something I say will stick with them even if they aren’t successful this time. I continue to hold onto my optimistic spirit because if I stop believing how can I inspire others to find the strength to believe in themselves?


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