... it hits like a hurricane.  We'll call this one hurricane Christina (only because Christina begins with a C and this is the 3rd metaphor hurricane of this year for Shoes and I.  Christina is also the name of one of the therapists I grew closest to while I was at Community Outpatient Mental Health; Christina the person is not the same as Christina the hurricane.  I just spent a solid 3 minutes explaining that to you, when it doesn't matter at all, because none of you have met Christina the person.  But, there it is.)

I went to Day 1 of training at new Social Work Agency and it was lovely.  I left town at a decent hour. I was home at 5:00.  Shoes and I visited and had dinner.  The people at Social Work Agency are talented, top notch therapists and social workers who are also extremely empathetic.  They told me I could take Friday off since I'll be out all next week at training.  It was calm, and peaceful and healthy.  Not all days will be like that, I know.

I am a social worker, after all.  Sometimes it just gets crazy.  Like, crazy.  O, the stories I could tell, of fights and cops and emergency rooms.

But I digress.

I went to bed last night and couldn't wake up this morning.  As in, begged Shoes to take Rose downstairs to her Puppy Palace (we keep her in our unfinished basement during the day - it's huge) so I could keep sleeping.   And I slept and slept and slept.

Sometimes when you get out of a situation that's not the right fit for you, you see things with more clarity.  Sometimes you see how unhealthy things really were.  That's the spot I'm in.  And I'm a little freaked out by it.  Sometimes when you're in the middle of trying to work and survive and live, you let a lot of things go, because you just have to.  You have to to be able to make a living and try to serve the needs of high risk clients who deserve your absolute best.

I still don't know how to talk about the bad place I was in with this other job.  Not in a way that I would be proud of or comfortable with.  I'm sitting here staring at my exit interview packet thinking how in the world am I going to answer these questions when I know it doesn't matter and my feedback (which has always been gentle and empathetic and constructive) will be taken personally.  How can I fill this out when I know that at least 4 other therapists, in the last 12 months, have tried to share the same feedback .. and there have been very few efforts to address what's there.

You know what was good about the old agency?

The therapists I grew close to.  There are a handful I trust implicitly, and was always so grateful to see their faces at the Emergency Room as we supported each other in detainments that lasted hours and hours and hours.  We've hung out.  We've met spouses.  Our dogs have made friends with each other.

It was one of the therapists that quit earlier this year that told the new Social Work Agency that would be crazy not to hire me.  We're now working together as satellite therapists in our Very Rural County.  I don't have to miss her; she's right here.  But I am so very grateful for the people who are still holding it down at the Old Agency.  And I'm looking forward to camping trips and summer bbqs and deck parties with them.  When you're dealing with untenable situations, there are few things that are more dear to your heart than colleagues who drop everything to  back you up.

Oh, the things I continue to learn in my 35th year of life.

I don't feel as tired this afternoon, but the feeling of being wiped out still lingers a little.  The weather is gorgeous, and I'm about to take Rose over to Shoes' mother's house to hang out with her and her new Terrier puppy, Maggie.  Rose is having "Grandma's weekend" while Shoes and I go up North to the mountains for a night away on a crystal clear mountain lake.  I feel different already.  I feel like a human.  I feel like I still want to do social work.

Self care, dear hearts.  Self care.


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