I have the pleasure to work as a case manager at a women’s treatment facility for substance abuse. I meet women who have overcome multiple challenges in their lives. Some of these women amaze me that they are still alive and thriving after all they have experienced. These women have lost loved ones, lived on the streets, done jail and prison time, experienced domestic violence, and gotten up just to hit rock bottom again. Despite these hardships, they get up everyday with an attitude that today is the day to make a difference. Clients range in different races, backgrounds, and challenges in their life, but they all come together for a common cause in their recovery.
When answering questions for a student regarding resiliency in our clients it occurred to me: my job is to empower these women, but I go home everyday finding that they have empowered me. I learn so much about life from these women. They teach me everyday how to forgive, how to heal, how to overcome hardships, even other skills like new recipes or trying a new activity. I’ve created a new challenge for myself to think of one thing I learned each day, no matter how hard of a day it was. Sure, the job is not all daisies and rainbows, but overall I have learned that I am blessed to have the privilege to empower women who have not lost hope, which gives me more hope than I could ever have imagined. On the days when I feel like complaining, I think of the hardships these women have faced and how far they have come. As a prospective social worker, I hold onto that hope everyday, and it reminds me why I wanted to be in social services. I’ve always wanted to make a change and provide hope is an irreplaceable feeling, and I look forward to many more years in the field.
IU School of Social Work