Risk Management

By Beth Wilson   

Abigail’s brief marriage to a drug dealer at eighteen years old has affected every element of her life in the twenty-two years since. Now she’s forty with a son in college, a career counseling people with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs), and an aversion to serious relationships. And everything is fine! Just fine…until she loses her job thanks to funding cuts to behavioral health services.

To stay afloat, Abigail goes to work as a medical receptionist for her dad – even though accepting his offer feels like failure. He’s never respected her choices in life, and now it looks like he was right all along. It doesn’t feel right, though! She refuses to believe she’s at the end of the line in the behavioral health field. And then, she does find an unconventional way to continue helping people with SUDs. However, because of the many laws regulating behavioral health services, her new side job could be a mine field, and a misstep could lead to disaster.

Abigail isn’t flying blind; she has friends she can turn to for professional advice. There’s Jeff, a compliance specialist with a long-standing crush on her. But, after a recent one-night stand fueled by disappointment and way too much alcohol, Abigail feels like their friendship is too tenuous to complicate with legal stuff. And then there’s Richard, who has a successful business consulting firm and is great in bed. But asking him for advice might upset the balance of their casual relationship. 

The bottom line is that Abigail hates asking for help, and she doesn’t want anyone telling her she can’t work with her SUD clients. Deep down, she knows her desire for independence stems from unresolved trauma, which could become a serious liability for her career and relationships. If she really wants to overcome her challenges, she’ll have to admit that her actions are creating risk instead of managing it.