More thoughts on Social Work

At the risk of sounding emo, I don’t think I can take a lifetime of helping people. I love it, I love being that sort of person, but relentlessly, every day of my life, for the next few decades… I don’t think I can do it. I’m getting slightly depressed, which I think is a little pathetic, but it just fills me with despair. And I should avoid things that fill me with despair, right?
I care less and less about the problems in the world, rationalising it by saying "I’m doing enough, and I’ll be doing much more once I get my career going."
But really, I think my heart just can’t bear any more burdens than the knowledge that, in four years time, it’s all I’ll be doing.
PS: Every time I see Sue Lodge for my communications lecture, I get very distressed. If she is what results from years of helping people, then… So help me God,  it had better not be.

Diaries (original, I know)

You know what’s the worst idea ever? No, not hiding in the crusher (although that’s up there). Reading my diary. It’s like talking to a volatile depressed person for four hours, and it leaves you feeling down for the rest of your day (or at least, an extensive period of time).

My diary is an outlet in times of distress, a way of recording and reliving events (good or bad), and a method of figuring out what’s going on in this head of mine. For every happy entry, there are two or three contemplative entries. For every contemplative entry, there are five or six frustrated or upset entries. Reading it is like reading a 365 page book of every negative feeling I’ve ever experienced over the course of a year. Same goes with many of my blog entries, on MSN, LJ and Xanga. I used LJ as my diary because I could type faster than I could write, and there I recorded every relationship issue I had. I read it not so long ago, and it was just concentrated angst collected from months of pain. It left me feeling physically terrible. Going through my 2007 Diary made me feel almost as bad. My diaries are things to write in and never to be read.


When last we checked, our hero (that’s me) was concerned that he’d never be able to do enough to save the world, and could not possibly show as much care and empathy towards everyone’s problems. In this week’s episode, Xin faces something far more daunting and bleak than anything he’s faced before:

What if he just stops caring?

This is something that genuinely worries me. I’ve noticed over the past couple of days a slight change in my attitude. I killed a mosquito and didn’t apologise to it. Little things like that have gotten me thinking- I’m no longer showing as much care about people’s problems. And I know it’s because I feel that I’ll have enough to deal with later in life. They played a video in one of my lectures about the typical life of a social worker- spend all day dealing with other people’s problems, trying as hard as you can, and sometimes it just doesn’t help. People get hurt, people hate you for it. And then you have to go home, get over it, and go back to work tomorrow. My lecturer for Communication Skills is a counsellor, and I genuinely believe she’s lost the ability to sympathise. She can show appropriate amounts of empathy at all times- she’ll always understand how you’re feeling, she just won’t feel it with you. That troubles me. If I continue on this path and have to deal with that many problems, will I just treat them all with the same distant "non-possessive love"? Will I be so cold, yet always willing to help? So… hollow?

The sheer magnitude of problems in the life of a single client is enough to overwhelm me. If I continue to walk the path I have chosen, my clients will be endless, and I’ll deal with as many as I can possibly fit into a day. I don’t know if I can take that…

These changes I have noticed are the start of something. I’m worried about my future. But I’ll finish the degree, at the very least. If, by the end of it, I haven’t learned how to avoid carrying everyone else’s problems as well as my own, without turning into an emotionless, unsympathetic asshole, I’ll be able to do something to change the lives of a few people. If I do spiral to my overwhelming doom, I guess I can say I had a dream…


Whenever I am frustrated by my own weakness, I try to take solace in the fantasy that I could whip out a sword and absolutely destroy whoever it is that brought me down from my throne. Surely people would respect me if I showed how powerful I was. Surely people would acknowledge I have strengths, and that I am humane enough not to use them without provocation. I think, deep down, I seek to rationalise my own shortcomings, which only ever serves to frustrate me even more.

Something I find intriguing: I may never allow myself to learn kenjutsu or any sword art, for fear that one day I’ll just walk down the streets of Perth cutting down everyone I meet. Irrational, but I can’t help but think, ‘just in case’.

This entry isn’t really going anywhere, but I can’t be bothered writing it by hand.

To be…

It ends today, one way or another.

Note. I do not talk about my life. I refer to the hellish existence I have sustained for the past couple of days, particularly the last 12 hours or so. I have been ill, I have been stressed, I have lost much sleep, and today, it will all be over.