Yesterday marked my last day with North Range Behavioral Health. This job was the stepping stone I needed when I didn’t have anyone out here besides my husband and a handful of friends. I remember moving to Colorado and feeling super anxious about finding a job. I declined an offered in Fort Collins within walking distance of our house, because the pay was laughable and the hours included evenings and weekend shifts. But in the back of my mind, I wondered how different my life would be passing up that job when North Range panned out the same week.

When I started working for North Range, it was a huge adjustment for several reasons: One, the agency employees over 400 people, whereas I was used to working with less than 50 colleagues. Two, we have about 8 locations in Weld County and quite a few different teams. It was all I could do to keep everything straight, and I’m still unfamiliar with many of the youth and family teams. And lastly, it took some time to adapt to people’s mannerisms in Colorado versus Tennessee.

6 months into this job, I really wanted to quit and move back home. But when I confided in a few of coworkers, they encouraged me to stay, and that meant the world to me. If anyone understands my struggle, it’s Christine with her infinite wisdom–a Baton Rouge native, equally as homesick at times. If there’s one friend I’m especially grateful to have met out here, it’s Christine.

Over the last year and a half, I’ve familiarized myself with folks from ARP (Adult Recover Program), RSS (Recovery Support Services), CBT (Community Based Team) and ACT (Assertive Community Team). I also learned more about CSS (Crisis Stabilization Unit) by interning with the ATU (Acute Treatment Unit) which resides under the same roof as detox.

Then I had to learn about the resources in Weld County, nursing facilities, and PASRRs. I moved from ARP to West Greeley (private practice) then back to ARP about 8 months later. And I almost accepted a position with True North helping develop the newest team in our agency: TACT (Teen Assertive Community Treatment), helping teens and young adults cope with first episode psychosis. But after careful consideration, I selected the agency in Loveland to begin a new chapter in my career. I’m beyond eager to use my Master’s Degree and am privileged to serve adults with intellectual disabilities.

The change in population will be yet another adjustment, but it’s welcomed and refreshing to imagine. I also look forward to meeting new coworkers and making new friends. Not to mention, my favorite place to eat will be super close to my new job. And, I’ll become more familiar Boulder, Longmont and Fort Collins, as my clients will be scattered across Northern Colorado.

 Sunday night I dreamed I had an opportunity to move back home. This has been a recurring dream in one form or another. But this time the ending was different. Rather than jumping on the chance to move I thought, “But what if I miss my life out here?” I considered our house, our friends and most of all, the mountains. For the first time ever, I decided to stay. I felt very calm and content and relieved when I awoke. What a milestone in my subconscious mind–it felt like I conquered another small step in this journey as I navigate my way through these homesick feelings. Maybe it was all the fun we had for Keegan’s 30th birthday, knowing we have enough support to corral a small group of people for a pub crawl. But who knows? I’m just grateful that this place feels more like home with each and every passing day.

I am so gonna miss my coworkers, especially Christine, Kelly, Regina and our front desk staff. I’ll also miss my community based colleagues and all the laughs we shared in the nursing homes. I won’t miss being the only one that knows how to do PASRRs for the county, but I will miss most everyone I worked alongside. Between brunch at Your Place on Monday with all the case managers, dinner at Coyotes with CBT last night, and drinks with my close friends tonight at Syntax, I am humbled by the support. Kelly watched the season finale of This is Us with me last night, and Christine’s crawfish boil is Saturday, so knowing we’ll all KIT softens the blow.

Here’s to a new chapter and moving forward on a positive note! It was nice to take a day off, but tomorrow begins a new phase in my career, and I embrace it with open arms.

Last day at the office

Y’all know how to make a girl feel special: Wine, starbursts, an angel, a candle, a plant, “Enjoy the Little Things”, a nifty pen and 4 different cards. I am indebted to you guys–thank you so much!