The Hard Lessons of Advocacy
I’m carrying a heavy burden today. I have clients who keep hitting one brick wall after another and it’s a terrible feeling. There are many times when I score well, when I’m able to help a client make their way to the other side. Then there are those days when every step you take to improve a client’s situation leads to nowhere.
No matter how many times I succeed, it’s always the clients you can’t help that remain on your psyche.
Sometimes clients are in this situation because they’re intent on getting things done their way. They have an idea in their head about where they should be and how they should get there, and no amount of counseling or coaching will change their mind. Other times, it’s because the resources I have are not available to them for whatever reason. It doesn’t make the experience any easier.
Speaking to other advocates about this topic, these feelings of disappointment are across the board. You just do the best you can and wish for the best – basically a miracle, that somewhere down the road circumstances change and the client finds their way. It’s a long shot, but something you must hold on to if you want to continue in the field of advocacy.
There have been times when a critical situation has made an unexpected turnaround. When someone comes out of nowhere and is able to help, but once again it’s a long shot. All you can do is keep stiffening that spine as one door after another slams in your face until something gives.
Believe it or not, that’s purpose. We all come to a point in our lives, somewhere down the road, where one opportunity after another crumbles before our very eyes. At this point, you have two options: give up and ride with the tide, or get back on your feet and keep trying. I’m learning through my advocacy that the only option should always be the latter.