Last Stand

Vance Larson
3 min readAug 27, 2023

It was a Friday. Two of my coworkers and myself are standing in the sideways rain, trying to convince a client to go to rehab. The same story plays out over and over again, almost on a daily basis. As I am on the tail end of my career, I try to impart knowledge where I can. And regarding our clients, we are going to lose far more than we are going to save. It was knowledge that was passed onto me decades ago. You simply can’t outwork the client.

Those were my words to him. We’re trying harder to save your life, than you are. Never mind we’re standing in the pouring rain. We obviously care. I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but I do care. And that is why I have spent my entire life working in mental health. But now it’s time for real talk. I will let you fail. I will let you cry for mercy. That “rock bottom” or pain that you may experience, that is your last shot. Not my words, not the treatment and not the medicine. It’s the pain. It has to touch the very core of you. Not everyone. But many people. How do you tell the difference?

The person with a hundred excuses is a good indicator. The person who minimizes the pain. The person that does nothing, yet is always asking for help. Me personally, I will let you fail. Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? You know who got it right? Al-Anon. You can love someone from a distance. As painful as it might be for you, you don’t have to go down on a sinking ship. We see this in domestic violence situations as well.

Look, no one wants to lose a loved one. As for me, I don’t want to lose my clients. Truth be told, I have had to ID far too many bodies {family, friends and clients} for multiple reasons. And it always hurts more, when the body lying in front of you gave up, didn’t care, or minimized their pain until they succumbed to it. So I learned to save me. I state my case. I plead with them that I care more for their life than they do. Then I walk. I turn into Casper. I ghost.

I will take the death journey with you. But it’s your death and your journey. And if you choose to fade away, I will honor that. But what I will not do, is watch you beg for mercy, and then refuse every bit of logical, medical and rational piece of advice. It’s a fucked up place to be in. And I won’t be in there long. This is your last stand. And you don’t have to stand alone.

--

--

Vance Larson

I am a retired crisis counselor of 20 years. I share my experiences {both personal and professional} about thought provoking subjects. Follow me.