“Who is Micah?”
“The person sitting across from you.”
Great. So that’s how this spotlight’s gonna go?
For this week’s spotlight, we brought in the newest member of our counseling team and dad joke extraordinaire, Micah Rausch. Since he was a kid, Micah has had a calling to help others. This craving has led him to stints working in every industry you can think of. He’s worked in film, construction, restaurants, airports, shipping—I half expected him to tell me he used to work in the mines. His jack-of-all-trades mentality and inquisitive nature have led him to become an incredibly diverse personality with surprises lingering beneath his tough exterior.
Micah grew up in Texas in a family of ten. TEN. The fourth of eight children, Micah decided he would move away for college. During the summers he began working at an airport in Minnesota, where his uncle and grandmother lived. There he would go on to experience his first battle in a long-lasting war with depression. The death of his grandmother and uncle, just as he was beginning to get to know them, sent him spiraling into an abyss of sorrow. The despair he faced caused him to fail out of school; it took a few years to build himself back up to a place where he could continue his education.
Alcoholism did not become a problem until he moved to LA. Micah’s drinking steadily increased while working in bars and restaurants. It got to the point where he had a small moment of realization on the job; thinking to himself “Hey, maybe I am an alcoholic.” However, before he could get help there was an accident. He had an on-the-job injury that required two surgeries to fix. While incapacitated, Micah tumbled back down into a deep depression, but this time his alcoholism prevented him from climbing out from under the weight of the bottle.
Eventually, enough was enough. Micah got in contact with his brother (one of many) who got him in contact with Beit T’Shuvah (the one and only). During his vetting process, an outstanding warrant was discovered for driving under the influence he got in another county. The warrant prevented him from being admitted, but, determined to get help, Micah immediately hopped on a bus and went down to take care of the issue in court. Unfortunately, the court wasn’t open that day, so he went back home and returned the next day. On his way home from dealing with the warrant, he called BTS and was quickly admitted.
In February of 2020, Micah came into Beit T’Shuvah as a resident. His admittance could not have happened at a better time, as less than a month later the COVID-19 lockdown would hit and lives would change forever. Addicts around the world, found themselves relapsing, but Micah had made it to a safe place…just in time. That is not to say, it was not a tough existence. He spent 20 hours a day in his room, had no physical contact with other humans, and the depression began creeping back into his life. Micah found a way to push through. He picked himself up by the bootstraps, dealt with his court issues, and landed an internship at the front desk.
Throughout Micah’s life, there’s been one constant that has helped guide his path: his passion for helping other people. When he got to BTS, the way was lit up in glaringly bright lights and he had no choice but to walk down it. The first step was becoming a program facilitator. As soon as it became possible, he began interning in the PF office…while also still working at the front desk. Quickly, he moved solely into PFing, and was then offered a full-time position. He worked in that role for a few years before his current transition to counseling.
If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Micah, you know he has a very straightforward personality. The by-the-book mentality, he brought to his role as a PF, could come across as abrasive to some residents. This was, of course, not without its merits. From his time as a resident, Micah understood that a strict approach to that job was a necessity for recovering addicts to thrive. “When people deal with me, they know exactly what they are going to get. I want to be a constant in a world of chaos.” and that is exactly what he is, providing consistency to the tumultuous lives that recovering addicts are known to live. The calming breath in the eye of the storm. That constant and rule-following mentality always made certain disorderly residents feel… let’s call it…unhappy with Micah, but as a staff member very close to him once said, “If you hate Micah, you aren’t far enough along in your program.”
While, as a PF, he was sometimes responsible for a hundred or more residents, as a counselor he will have only a dozen or so people under his supervision. However, with his new job, he will be able to help residents on a much deeper and more personal level. Micah is stepping into a role where he has a chance to combine his passion for service with his calculated interpersonal skills to make a meteoric impact on the clients he works with. As one of his clients, I can attest. Micah’s heart, mixed with his devout respect for consistency, will prove to be a great asset in his future as a counselor.
Who is Micah?
More than just the person sitting in front of me.