Thought I’d share some thoughts about why I haven’t shared any thoughts. In the process, maybe I can update you on my life. Ok..
For one, it’s hard to believe I’ve been working for only 10 months. The brief recap on the job is I began doing group therapy at an in-patient psych hospital, and have been moved to an “intensive outpatient clinic”. The gist is I do 2-3 group sessions a day, a group consisting of 9-14 people. The “functionality” of the people vary, from a person recovering from traumatic loss, suicide attempt, psychotic episode from bi-polar, to a schizophrenic actively responding to internal stimuli. One guy thinks I’m spiderman. Basically it’s people recently discharged from an in-patient psych unit and in need for continuing treatment.
I haven’t been writing about this because it doesn’t feel right, on many levels.
One level is the privacy factor. While I would never use names, I’m still referring to people, and maybe some moderately intense internet searches combined with the fact that it’s a small world could cause a person to make some connections, and figure out who I’m talking about.
Another level is, for what purpose would I be serving for myself in writing about my job and the people I interact with? What is my endgame? Outwardly it would be to show my friends what I do, mixed with some info on mental illness, mixed with an occasional diatribe having to do with the public’s conception of mental illness (very relevant with the bombings/shootings/etc… ugh). Anyway, that’s the ‘outward’ reason, but inwardly it would probably be to show off. I think for those that do ‘altruistic’ work there is this need to remind others that what you are doing is ‘hard’ and ‘real’. It’s a method of coping, I suppose, but probably a method of shaming. And… I don’t want to do that? To show off, to describe in dramatic terms my job… I would be essentially talking about people, real people and their personal life… in order to show how “hard” or “meaningful” my work is. I’m not a bad person, I don’t think, and my posts wouldn’t reek of that behavior, but there would be a hint of it. That’s not for me.
Moving on… slightly, another reason I haven’t been updating is this work has, without a serious motive to be fishing for ‘so sorry’s’, well this work has been taking a toll on me? I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping, and I’ve been working on that, but I don’t want to document that. Being that with facebook and too many blogs and too many articles written by people that feel a need to write and analyze absolutely everything in real time… I just felt that there was no need for me to be putting my stuff out there. I’ve even fantasized about putting a ‘last post’ statement or something, but then I stop myself, because that’s so self-serving.
And, well what was the reason I started this, part of probably was to document my “altrustic adventures” into Americorps, and yea that has a lame element, but the other reason was I wanted to update my friends without sending out mass emails. I forget that my friends have insanely interesting lives, as well, that I tend to put myself in a bubble and over-analyze that bubble, as evident by this blog entry, and.. so yea. No need to shut down thatssodubsy. I can still update without falling into the earlier ‘traps’ I’ve mentioned here. So, here’s an update.
A lot of my groups mix different diagnoses. For instance an actively hallucinating schizophrenic will sit next to a depressed person who has no problem connecting with reality. One thing I try to guide my people to understand is empathy, meaning seeing what someone else is going through to the best of your mental ability. As in looking to a person who believes I’m spiderman and trying to really understand what it’s like to be them. How would you cope, act, and feel. How would your relationship with your mother be. If you’ve have a nightmare, and woke up, and for a split second still felt the presence of that demon/murderer/whatever you dreamt in your room… and 2 seconds later when you reorient yourself… well imagine that belief that something is in your room, and that’s what you are always worrying about. Or imagine/remember taking shrooms or LCD and having a bad trip, and all you wish is to come down from your high.. you’re seeing too much real shit, your ability to process past present and future is deteriorating and you just want to get back to normal, and then imagine that you can’t that is now your reality. And the only thing that can help is medication that feels like a horse tranquilizer. It’ll slow your thoughts down, for sure, but at a cost. That’s the best way I can describe schizophrenia, and why so many people with that diagnosis are so anxious and angry and violent and unpredictable. Their life can be hell.
But then again, it doesn’t have to be hell. And that’s my job! What a self-serving blog post!
Too long, didn’t read? Sorry