In the past few weeks, as I was driving down a particular street in Kensington in my luxury vehicle provided by Recovery Centers of America where I am employed as a driver, I was about to pick up a person who has private insurance and wanted to be done with his Substance Use Disorder issues.
As I was driving, I saw Melanie walking alone and looking lonely. I so much wanted to stop and spend a bit of time with her to let her know she's loved and cared for. The only thing that stopped me was the lack of parking and the long line of cars already stacked up behind me.
And so, I drove on to meet this person who had called 1-800-RECOVERY a few hours earlier, had his insurance cleared and scheduled a time to be picked up at an address of his choosing. As I did so, I thought about Melanie:
- the times we had chatted on these same streets and under bridges and in my car as we dined at McDonald's
- as we sat side by side in the visitor's area at the woman's jail while she, as a patient of Substance Use Disorder, sat next to me in her one-piece orange jumpsuit as a prisoner of the city and developed a plan for her future.
- the time I spoke under oath on her behalf at one of her court sessions
- and more.
When I arrived at the address that this new (potential) RCA patient had requested for pickup, we saw each other. He looked at me and stated that since it was "Banana Man" picking him up, he would go even though he was hesitant to do so. And so, off we went toward RCA and the high-quality care that comes with private insurance detox and rehab.
As I write this blog, this private insurance patient of Substance Use Disorder has gone through the process of rediscovering life on a healthy path. Melanie, also a patient of Substance Use Disorder but reliant on Medicaid for her detox and rehab is trying to be found on the streets of Kensington by her caseworker who has some exciting news...
 As a way of further adding anonymity and privacy in my blogs, pronouns (his/her, etc.) are very often switched up. This story, while very real, may or may not be about a man who I brought to RCA.
 Our paths had crossed only a bit at some point in the past. This person was not one of my "regulars" but I did recognize him as having seen him before.