I Let You Down


While sitting in my office  my phone rings.  Frantically, I answer the phone, “Hello… pumpkin how you doing? She breathed heavily into the receiver and shouted, ” I RELAPSED LAST THURSDAY!”

My heart rose to the center of my head… I kept hearing over and over, ” I relapsed last Thursday.”  I leaned back in my chair in unbelief.

In my line of work, relapsing isn’t a good thing. It is a death sentence depending on the person.  I worked so hard to keep her off of the street.  What next?

I thought, “You fool!”  For the first time, I felt useless.  What kind of Case Manager am I? I can’t even keep her off the street!”

I pinched myself and wondered, “Is this real? This is a dream. I’ll see her tomorrow and everything will be fine.”  A tear dropped from the corner of my eyes.  Then a flood of tears came.

She started crying and said, ” I let you down….I’ve been clean five years. Look at me now.”

  • I’m thinking, ” It’s your fault.  You didn’t go to the CAG meetings. You didn’t see the Therapist, and you barely saw me……Your Case Manager!”

Feeling guilty at the fact that I’m thinking this way. I’m not thinking about her. I’m worried about my ego, and the agency.    Then I thought, ” What would I want someone to say to me?”

I said, ” No! No! You didn’t let me down! Everyone makes mistakes. Can you come see me today?”

Her crying stopped.

I couldn’t hear anything.

One more time I asked, “Can you come see me today? We love you.”

Still sobbing she answers, ” I’ll be there in an hour!”


  1. Such great compassion…Love covers a multitude of faults and will always have the power to draw us all in… Loved it! Thanks for sharing.


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