I taught in an alternate school for two semesters. I walked in terrified. But the kids were curious. They just wanted to know if they could trust me. "Hey, Miss, I got your back," with giant grins on their faces. I thought I had to be tough, so, instead of thanking them, I over thought it. "I'm good, " I answered, inferring that I don't need you.
My phone was tossed out the window and into the ravine the first second I turned away from it and toward the board. I won't need to lose my phone again to remind me to trust the good side of every person that walks in our sober house door. When someone is late, I still say, "Good job, you shaved off five minutes from yesterday." If I am going to be there for someone , I want to reward their improvement every time; whether its for being on time or cooking a meal or getting a sponsor. I know that people change slowly over time. They have both good and bad days. It's natural for the newly recovered to be ambivalent