Those people and things I value most is God, my recovery, self, respect, family, education, career, freedom, friends, community, and finance. For me, these people and things are desirable and important. However, there are times when those things and people cause dilemma in my life, and when I neglect to attend to them, especially when it is those values concerning family, friends, and community, I develop this personal conflict. One thing I have learned to value most is my personal relationship with my Higher Power whom I chose to call “God. While in active addiction I did all types of horrible things that I should have lost my life for.
However, God kept me safe and healthy throughout my entire time in active addiction. For instance, there were times when I would be coming down off a multi-month drug binge and was hungry, but I was too week from the large amounts of drug intake to go find food. My Higher power always came through for me and provided me with the much needed nourishment for my body. Once my mind started to clear, I was could see how my Higher Power had been keeping and carrying me and learned to appreciate and value Him a great deal.
Because of my past active addiction, other than drugs I have not always known what I valued. In fact, there was a time when I did not value myself, anything, or anyone. Since being in recovery I have learned to value me, other people, and things. I think that what shaped my values most is my being forced to honestly work a 12-step, self-help program and actively participate in the recovery fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous (N. A. ). In the rooms of N. A I was able to find me and my truths, and this provided me this strong desire to seek personal change and find a new productive way of living life.
Acquiring this strong desire for lifestyle changes and seeking it in this fellowship, I was forced to involve myself with people who are free of drugs, living a N. A. Program way of life, and had significant clean time. It was these individuals who molded, helped, and shaped me to develop a sense of self. These new people in my life loved me until I learned to love myself, and this provided the opportunity for me to learn to value me and those people and things in my life at the time.
As I continue to fight for my recovery, and as time go by, I noticed that over the years those people and things I value most changes on some level, and honestly working a program has provided me a much better quality of life. For this I have developed this great value for the program of Narcotics Anonymous and its members. Early in my recovery I lived with and in a lot of guilt. At that time, the only thing I had learned to somewhat value was I, and I had done and caused so much damage in my life.
This led to my having to deal with a lot dilemma’s that lead to a lot of convictions, and as a result of these convictions, I began to value myself more. Because of this I was later able to appreciate me and not do anything else that could bring potential danger in my personal life and would make me feel worse than I was feeling. Since being in recovery with significant clean time, the level of how much I value people and things has changed. I think that by my incorporating the principles of the 12-steps in my personal life effects my approach and outlook to life.
In honestly working these steps I am forced to look at both me and how I am interacting with society. As a result I find that I appreciate people and things more and have come to value them more. I value my family a great deal, especially my immediate family, e. g. , my mom, sister, brother, stepfather, guide mother, and guide sisters. They are always there for me no matter what or how bad I or it had gotten. I did not call often for help, but when I did my family was there to love and support me in any way they could.
Today, they are right here on the side lines cheering me on, and they show their appreciation for my new way of life through each of their actions. As a result I have built some wonderful relationships with my family and, I have learned to value and appreciate those relationships a great deal. While facing one of my many horrible consequences I made the best decision, I could have ever made. This was the decision to go back to school to earn my GED. Because of my consistent good accomplishments in school it provided me this great since of appreciation for school and at some point I began to value education a great deal.
Today I still value education and although I am facing many dilemmas in my life that, causing conflict with this value, I still push myself to accomplish my education goal. I think that going to prison is something that helped me establish a great value for my freedom. It was not a good feeling being locked up in a small cage like some animal. Neither did it feel good to have others tell me when to sleep, eat, bath, etc. While in prison I was forced to be alone with me and learn how to be in a relationship with me. As a result my sense of self multiplied, and it was the first time that I felt this sense of personal value.
Although I had lost the ability to do so I have always valued work and establishing a career. This is one value that was instilled in me from my mother. I watch her work day in and day out to provide for and take care of us. Due to my being raised in a neighborhood where many of the children’s parents did not work I took great pride in and valued the fact that my mom had a job. Not just a job but a job that allowed here to give me and my sister most of the things we wanted. Watching my mom work instilled in me a desire to work as well. Once I started to work, how I valued working changed because I was now getting a check.
Making money from work provided me this very strong value and desire for both work and money, and it also confirmed for me that working a job was the only way I could make money, thus being able to take care of me and make it in this world independently. Here recently I have come to value friends and community. I guess that this is due to my having established some healthy relationships that I appreciate and desire versus the those that I was accustomed to in my past and resented. Today, I am well liked and respected by personal friends and people in my community, and this provides me a sense of belonging and being apart.
An ethical dilemma I had little difficult with was one that happened when I was working as a case manager at this Social Service Agency. There was a female client who came into the office seeking rental assistance services. During the assessments it was learned that she had participated in another rental assistance program through another agency six months prior. Due to the agency being in relationship with this agency, through Memorandum of Understanding, our office was able to call their office and provide and get information about this young lady participation in their program.
After contacting the partnering agency it was learned that the client had participated in another rental assistance program four months prior to receiving services there. As a result it was believed that the client was abusing the rental assistance programs and funds in the area and was denied services. This did not cause much conflict with my personal values because this client was abusing the system. I know of many people who could really use, need, and deserve the assistance and here this lady is abusing it.
I wanted to be angry with her and sabotage her file so she could not ever receive any kind of services from the agency again, but I knew this would be unethical practice and I did not do it. I felt that this client deserved to be denied for assistance; however, many of the staff including myself argued that contacting these external agencies about the case, and providing information about the client was in violation of the client’s confidentiality rights. I think that this lady and others like her needed to be stopped, and the rental assistance program funds needs to be protected from abusers like this client.
I think that I would have a lot of ethical dilemmas if I worked with the Department of Corrections (DOC) population, especially if I am employed in their health care/treatment system. I tend to believe that many of the individuals in this population do not want treatment and would refuse it if they could. DOC forces many individuals in their population to participate in treatments that he or she do not really understand and really have no interest in understanding. In fact, it is almost unheard of for inmates within the Department of Corrections to receive an informed consent prior to receiving various treatments or services.
In most cases the health care department calls the inmate over and tells him or her what is going to be done and walks away without any further information until it is time to provide the treatment or service. This causes a dilemma for me because I believe that everybody, including prison inmates, should be entitled to the same privileges and freedoms when receiving treatment in prison. He or she should be provided an informed consent and allowed the opportunity to volunteer for services or treatment. There are some things that I desire and feel are important to me, e. g. , God, my recovery, self, respect, family, education, career, etc.
Due to convictions that result from the desires to and importance of these people and things, I must sometimes deal with personal conflicts. Over the years, I have learned to value my relationship with God. God is at the top of my value list because he has done so much in keeping me. Today, I value myself a great deal. When I do not attend to my personal needs I feel this great sense of conviction and I think this result from my involvement with the Narcotics Anonymous program. I value the N. A. program because it and its members has provided me a new way of life at a greater quality.