“Rosy” works as a substance use disorder (SUD) counselor for Valley Health Associates providing counseling to those who receive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and support services for prescription opiate and heroin addiction. As I watch our counselors manage patients faced with the sadness, loss of hope and daily struggles associated with substance abuse I often wonder how they find the inner strength to do their jobs. I recently asked Rosy what has kept her going through the years and her reply to me was “a lot of years of healing.”
Rosy shared her own story with me and, as a result, I understand why she shows up each day to help those served by our clinic. Rosy began by explaining she reconnected with her father 2 months ago as a result of his release from prison. Rosy went on to describe her childhood and a father who abused and sold heroin, and how she was raised in a motel until age 16. As a result of her fathers’ parole, she grew up fearing law enforcement and police officers. Rosy talked a lot about the long-term effects of her childhood and feelings of abandonment. Rosy also explained that working at VHA is a part of her own healing and spiritual journey, and she is just one of many VHA staff.
Rosy has dedicated her life to serving this community and VHA is a large part of her journey. Her goal is to break the cycle of addiction for her own family as well as for those she counsels. Rosy wants to give people hope suffering from the same issues she was faced with as a young person growing up in East Salinas. “We need more people who want to get educated and come back to serve this community.”
Each day I am in awe of our SUD counselors, nurses, and staff members who provide support and assistance to the patients we serve. Round of applause for all of you!