Change is More Than a Number

October 13, 2016 | Kristen Goettsch, Director of Evaluation and Development Featured

Empowerment, strength, confidence – the symptoms from the disease of addiction can rip it all away from a mother who is fighting with all that she is worth to get help for her son. I was that mother. Loving someone suffering from the symptoms of the disease took a devastating toll on my ability to see things clearly, especially in my skills as a mother. But it didn’t have to happen that way. My physical, emotional and spiritual reaction to my son’s disease could have been different if I had access to Face It TOGETHER early on.  

Thankfully, after my son and I were on way in our recovery journey, I learned to dramatically change how I communicate and support my son. My strength and confidence in myself as a mom came because I was empowered with information and support from a Face It TOGETHER recovery coach.   

How would I measure the restoration of my confidence, strength and sense of empowerment as my son’s mother? Honestly…I wouldn’t give myself a survey with multiple choice options. My response to any question on this subject could never be boiled down into a sound bite. But, I can tell you our story in great detail. I can tell you what I have learned about the disease of addiction and how I can now talk to my son in an open and supportive way that is helpful instead of destructive to us both. My story is one of many such stories from loved ones who have received help from Face It TOGETHER. 

I have been with Face It TOGETHER for over 18 months and currently serve as the Director of Evaluation. I work with data for the better part of my day. Our evaluation system allows us to better understand what factors aid and hinder recovery, the components of successful addiction care practices and the impact our work has on the social and economic fabric of the people and the community. The numbers are important…they tell us something. It could be so easy for me to get caught up in the statistics and lose sight of the day-to-day impact of the work that we do with families of people suffering from the disease.  

The sense of empowerment, strength and confidence that Face It TOGETHER can help build back up with loved one, someone just like me, can be immeasurable. That loved one - mom, dad, sibling, spouse, friend – may be at a place of complete isolation and despair, not knowing where to turn for help and credible information. It is that healing of human pain, by allowing them the opportunity to find a sense of purpose and to become empowered, that can never and should never be adequately represented by a number. 

It is critical that Face It TOGETHER crafts and carries out comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and learning plan for our solution of solving the disease of addiction. We know, without hesitation, that our evaluation process and its results will help healthcare organizations, employers and communities save lives, improve health and reduce costs related to addiction. 

It is just as important that we acknowledge the work that we are doing to reduce and reverse the devastating toll that this disease has on families and others who love someone who is suffering from the disease. These very positive outcomes may never be fully represented by a number or a statistical measure or a pleasing-to-the-eye visual, but will always be recognized by Face It TOGETHER as a very important part of the impact that we are having as we strive to solving the disease of addiction.