I can definitely relate. Now that I’m a few years removed from the field, I recognize that I was sicker in my ‘recovery’ than I ever was in my addiction or mental illness. The culture in mental health is so dysfunctional and now that I am free, I can practice what I preached and set healthy boundaries. I now get paid enough to care for my family, have a work-life balance that actually allows me to engage in self-care, get entirely employer sponsored insurance, and I get fantastic benefits like gym memberships and reimbursements for anything that helps me stay fit. My employer doesn’t petition the government to keep the minimum wage low, demand that I read books like Man’s Search For Meaning on my unpaid time off, require overtime or work on holidays like the residential programs I worked at, encourage Medicaid billing fraud, or force me to lie to patients and say that drug testing holds you accountable, or addiction is a disease or that antipsychotics work. I no longer work for a company that pays below a living wage or gives just the legally mandated amount of vacation. I got 12 weeks of paid parental leave at the start of the COVID lockdowns to transition my son to the online schooling. I get to set my schedule and can work from wherever I want. I no longer work for a company that won’t adopt an EHR but won’t pay for printer ink and I don’t feel obligated to buy candy or cupcakes with my $18/hr salary for a patients graduation because the company won’t do anything to celebrate the achievement. I no longer stay late to write notes or write them for free because they’re not ‘billable hours’. I’m able to take my vacation because I don’t feel bad about my patients going weeks without anything cause the company won’t do anything when I’m gone or they’ll overload another counselor with an already ballooning caseload. I don’t have to dearth with insurance agencies that would rather patients die than pay out or probation officers that don’t care. My name is Brice, and I’m in recovery from addictions counseling, not addictions to substances.