Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Bear Cub

I  run my groups differently than my co-workers here at work do. I don't feel that standing up before a chalkboard and lecturing on the different types of drugs or 'telling' clients 'how' they should think as my office mate does, are the ways to bring about a sustained recovery. First of all, in my opinion, substance abuse is the outer manifestation of an inner conflict that the client has not been able to face. Hence, they drink or use drugs not only to mask feelings, but also to bury the pain even deeper. Until issues are addressed, they will continue to fester until they eventually boil over. So, in my groups, I like to encourage them to talk. I do this by handing out a motivational quote or a parable like the one that follows:

"The bear cub was miserable. Her father, the leader of the pack, had left a month ago to find them winter shelter and had not yet returned. Everyone went on as if nothing had changed.

One evening the cub had a dream in which her father appeared and said, Daughter, I know you grieve for me, but your burden is too heavy to carry alone. Share it with the others and let them comfort you. Sharing will only lighten your load, and if you can accept help now you will find it easier to give when others are in need.

The next morning the little cub woke with a much lighter heart. As it turns out, everyone in the pack shared the same dream. There was much hugging and crying and reaching out and healing.

We can easily lighten our loads by asking support from those who love us, knowing our turn to help will come."

As we read through this little tale, it brought to mind all special support I have found here in the world of blogs. We all have a need to connect with others, and blogging offers us the opportunity to meet people from around the world. It offers us a way to let someone into our lives. When one of us is ill, we worry about them and send them healing thoughts. When another is going through some sort of personal turmoil, we assure them they don't have to go it alone. We are there for each other, and that is such a good feeling.  Just wanted to take this opportunity to thank  you, dear friends, for helping to lighten my load.  I love all of you.   

Before closing, I wanted to share a little something special with you all.  There is a new client who was recently placed on my caseload.  Not only does he have a diagnoses of substance abuse and mental illness, but also some degree of retardation.  He's almost like a child. He caught me yesterday with a tear in my eye over the fish and assured me that it would be all right. 

Later I was seated at my computer and caught him passing by out of the corner of my eye.  He had a shopping bag in his hand, and he headed right into the room where we keep the tank with the little goldfish.  Through the curtain, I saw him reach into the shopping bag as he stood over the fish tank.  I flew out of my chair as clients have, in the past, attempted to feed the little fish bread and other items, killing them.  He looked up at me and smiled, "I told you everything was going to be all right."  No lie, he must have had over 100 little goldfish in one bag, 50 guppies in another, 2 beautiful goldfish types with a gorgeous blue coloring, and 2 little sea frogs. It was totally overwhelming, and luckily we do have an extra tank. His little gesture brought a smile to all of our faces and joy to a day of sadness.


  1. Oh my god, what a sweet story. I love hearing these stories - so uplifting after hearing all the negative stuff that goes on in the world. Sometimes we forget how much good there is out there.

  2. That man who brought the fish and said those words of comfort made this hard headed/hearted woman shed a tear. Angels are among us for sure.

  3. Mary, I love the little bear tale, very moving and carries a simple, but important message. I feel whole-heartedly the same way you do about our blogging friends. Always ready to listen and to lend support. Ready to share laughter and whimsy, yet also ready to be quick to act in dark times. How sweet about the fish, though watch out with those may end up with hundreds!!!

  4. What a heart-touching sharing Mary. Great story about Bear and oh so true...and I feel the same as you about my Blogging Family! :)

    The true magick/miracle here is your client who bought the new fish...who says they are mentally challenged eh? The truest of hearts are those our society deems mentally retarded.
    I always find Creator's Love shines most deeply through our Special Angels.