A wedding ring is worn and rarely removed. Encircling the finger and glinting in the sunlight, it is an unbroken and eternal symbol of love and devotion.
Baby shoes are bronzed and kept as a reminder of the boundless promise and spirit of adventure that accompanies a child’s first steps.
Medals are polished until they glow and displayed against brushed velvet – enduring testaments of valor and sacrifice.
Photographs are kept safe in albums so while the inks may fade, the memories never will.
Regardless of race, religion or upbringing, people the world over cherish some sort of sentimental touchstone. They either keep it close to their pulse or tucked away from the chaos of the world to remind them of the hope held in the human heart.
For Rebecca, this keepsake is a chip.
Verdant kelly green and embossed with a large 3 nestled in a triangle, this little piece of circular plastic is a hard-earned symbol of sobriety as well as a symbol of the continual struggle to change the odds for herself and for her children.
When DCF arrived to remove her children from her home, Rebecca was in bad shape. Her home was filthy, it reeked of rabbit droppings and instead of food, the house was filled with a collection of half-empty liquor bottles.
Community Partners Family Recovery Program Therapist Andrew went to the removal and assured Rebecca that help was available to her if she needed it.
She agreed to let Andrew help her and after going through the intake process, Rebecca was admitted to Village for Change, Community Partners’ outpatient and residential addiction recovery program.
Even though she was seeing therapists at the VfC program, Andrew continued working with Rebecca, helping her get back on the wagon and hopefully, get back to her children.
During this point, Rebecca experienced her longest stint of sobriety thus far – a full eleven days straight. The first time she had gone so long without a drink in five years.
“It’s funny,” said Andrew. “People ask me why I work with clients with substance abuse. They’re one of the hardest to work with but I do it because you really get to see tangible results.”
The importance Andrew places on tangibility must have resonated with Rebecca.
One day, he came into his office to find a gift at his desk – a small plastic disc, bright green with the number 3 embossed on it in gold.
Wrapped around the chip was a note thanking Andrew for his work and telling him that without his help, sobriety wouldn’t have been a possibility for Rebecca.
“This right here,” Andrew says, holding the chip tight between his fingers, “This is tangible material. This is a symbol of everything we’ve worked on. This is why I do what I do.”