Hello internet! It’s been a little while! I’ve been pretty busy lately I guess, working six days a week and spending my seventh training or with Bethwyn or running errands etc. But I guess that’s life, and most people do something very similar! I’m trying to be grateful that I don’t often need to cook or do laundry.
Life has been going quite well. I still feel anxiety most days, but I came to the recent realisation that I don’t need to keep focussing on the fact that my anxiety is still with me. If I focus instead on how much I’m looking forward to, and how much I enjoy work/whatever I’m doing, then I generally feel a lot better than on the days when I keep thinking about how my anxiety is still there. It’s simple, but makes a huge difference. Where a little while ago when people would ask me how I was, I’d usually answer that I was feeling a bit anxious but managing well. Now, I leave the anxiety part out, and I generally feel a lot better.
Placement has been going pretty well, too! One of my supervisors took two weeks off to enjoy a cruise. On the days when I’m normally with her, I’ve been assigned another social worker to keep an eye on me, but I’ve been somewhat left to my own devices. It’s made a pretty big difference not feeling like I have to act a certain way in order to please my supervisor in order to avoid failing placement. It’s given me the chance to grow a little, to do things my own way and to learn what works and what doesn’t. This is very different from “trying to do it the way my supervisor does it, because she likes me to do it that way”. I suppose it’s my own fault for being so timid and not wanting to go against the wishes of my supervisors, but the fear of failing placement is still strong within me. I trust that when I work as my own social worker, independently and freely learning what my own style of practice is, I will grow much faster and learn more about myself and others.
Speaking of which, I don’t really have a strong idea of what direction I want to take after placement ends (in just over one week’s time). Ideally I’d like to slip straight into hospital work so I can be paid for what I’ve already been doing. But because of the bureaucracy, I might not be able to get back in quite so quickly and possibly wait a few months until they need new workers. The sense of freedom that comes from having a degree is somewhat daunting – I have so many options now, and I don’t really know what I want to do with myself. For the moment I’d rather not return to academia – I’d like to learn more about the field I’m in before I start doing research. I’m vaguely considering doing something in mental health/recovery, but I’m honestly not too sure what’s out there. I guess that’s part of my adventure. Anyway, it will be awesome to earn a semi-decent wage in the near future. The money will hopefully enable me to go on and do many other awesome things, such as renting or buying a house and moving out with Bethwyn.
I recently started Mass Effect 3. It’s freaking awesome being Shepard again, though sadly my old character design was lost. In case you didn’t know, I get really, really into role playing games, and I’m loving making ethical choices as a super respected/strong Commander. I get to play one or two nights a week, which isn’t nearly enough by my standards but which is probably more than what most people who work full-time get.
Whenever I haven’t been playing Mass Effect I’ve been doing stuff with the Young and Well CRC or Tune In Not Out. I’ve written a few blog posts, written some articles for parents around the use of technology, done a few surveys on suicide and the likes. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had to shape research and help inform/educate young people, and I’m grateful to be a contributor to these two great organisations.
I haven’t been training as much as I’d like, but I’ve still been a bit addicted to bagua lately. I’ve finally got all eight palm changes with reasonable accuracy, and it’s such a pleasure to practice it. I’ve also kind of got the shisochin embu under my belt, but I’ve got a lot to work on.
I think I’ll stop this vague rambling update now. Drop me a message if we haven’t caught up in a little while! Take care everyone.