Hartford HealthCare Engineer Seeks to “Pay it Forward”
Recovery is Michael Meheran’s passion. Now, the Hartford Hospital Engineering Department staff member would like to make helping people find the peace he’s experienced in sobriety a career. Meheran is enrolled in Recovery University, an 80 hour advanced training and certification program for persons with mental health and addiction histories. The program, created by Advocacy Unlimited, allows participants to be certified as Recovery Support Specialists with the hope of finding a job within a behavioral health agency. Now 13 years sober, Meheran says his alcoholism led to four DUIs, 120 days in jail and losing a job. He turned to Alcoholics Anonymous where he says he met a network of people to support him in his recovery.
“I could have easily died because of this, the depression and the mental illness. I didn’t know if I had a purpose. I didn’t know if I wanted to live. I have four kids and a wife but I just felt like I wasn’t worth saving.” he says.
Meheran says he immersed himself in AA, especially the Twelfth Step: “to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” He says he found comfort in the support he was providing and wanted to make it his life’s mission.
After a few years of sobriety, Meheran found work in Hartford Hospital’s Engineering Department. He says he was open about his struggles and is so grateful that the hospital took a chance on him.
Meheran is also thankful that he was allowed to utilize Hartford HealthCare’s Tuition Reimbursement Program to help him earn his associate’s degree in drug and alcohol counseling from Tunxis Community College. Meheran worked nights while going to school during the day. “That’s one reason I like working at Hartford Hospital. [My managers] were so accommodating and supportive,” he says.
Still employed in Hartford Hospital’s Engineering Department, Meheran also works parttime as a driver at a drug and alcohol treatment center in Canaan, Connecticut. He’s hopeful to find a full-time job helping people find joy and success in recovery.
“After a few years of sobriety, I found there was hope and I wanted to give that hope to other people,” he says.