Category Archives: Work

Hospitals, Boxes, & Bachelorettes, Oh My!

So, here’s the deal with the deal.

Life has been really not so fun lately but I’m doing my very best to put on a smile and hope for the best. The great Mindy Kaling said, “Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched.” I hate lip gloss, so for me let’s say that I put on my volumizing mascara and do my damnedest to serve up that illusion of being psyched.

A few of you have noticed that I’ve been vacant from my blog and that’s pretty frickin awesome, so thank you for noticing my absence and actually reading my shit. My cousin even brought to my attention that Netflix is releasing yet another piece on mental illness (this time anorexia) on July 14, titled “To The Bone”, and let me know that she hoped I’d watch and review through my social worker lens as I did with “13 Reasons Why”. That pretty much made my life and I totally can’t wait to watch it in hopes that it isn’t another glorification of the “manic pixie dream girl” shtick. But more on that after the 14th.

So if you’re wondering where I’ve been, or even if you know where I’ve been but are reading this anyway, I’ll break it down. A couple of posts back I had mentioned that my boyfriend is sick; he’s still sick and will actually need surgery for a second biopsy in just about two weeks. Let me tell you, it’s really painfully easy to get lost in the internet and somehow convince myself that I’m an M.D. and that everyone’s dying. In reality, the internet has the power to make even a paper cut look fatal and I’ve got an M.D in bullshit. <sarcasm> So, with that said, things are going just great. </sarcasm> I’ll try not to worry until I have to because there are a ton of other things going on that I can throw myself into in the meantime…

Like work! Work has been super hectic. We are opening up another affordable and supportive housing program about 15 minutes away from my site and it is the biggest project that my agency has taken on yet! We have a bunch of our clients that will be moving into this project because it is permanent housing (my site is transitional housing and rehabilitative support) and a less restrictive setting. With those people moving out, we have been doing lots and lots on intakes for new clients to move into our program (Yo, I heard you like intakes so I got you some intakes to go with your intakes!) so that they may begin receiving our services and eventually, hopefully, move on to a more independent level of care.

I also turned 26 last week! So that was… fun? ((I’m totally lying and freaking out and the existential dread is looming)) That’s all I’ll say on that.

Aaaaaand, as if I’m not completely overwhelmed, I’m moving in 27 days. Thank the sweet lord that I work in a residence because the one thing I have enough of right now is BOXES. Sleep? Don’t got that. Energy? Nope. Motivation? FUCK no. But boxes? This I got. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m moving in with Matthew and let me clear this up for the 67th+ time: I WISH. He still lives upstate and is still waiting to take a promotion to NYC parole through the dept. of corrections OR (which I don’t think he’s jazzed about anymore since finding out he could take the promotion test and go work in parole) the NYPD. He will, however, be taking a leave after his surgery so I’ll get to spend more time with him!!! I’m truly looking forward to being able to go over there and see him whenever I want or vice versa. I’ll never take that for granted ever again. I’m also just trying to just be patient and remember that in (almost) every single scenario where things didn’t work out how or when I wanted them to, they wound up working out how I needed them to. So, basically in the meantime of all this craziness, I’m taking a 2 year lease on a super sweet apartment (with an in-unit washer/dryer, which we haven’t had in OVER EIGHT YEARS) and splitting the rent with my momma bear. My sister lives with us too, but she’s away at college a great deal of the year. If you’re not from Long Island, and I know I’ve actually had some readers from other continents even (THANK YOU!!!), trust me when I tell you that this is the smart financial decision. Times be tough in suburbia but at least we know how to have a good time.

For me, when things are hectic and I feel a little lackluster I need to try to find things to look forward to and be happy about. I feel like this is generally good advice, and I would likely advise my clients to try to do the same thing. This move, although stressful, is definitely one of those things keeping me going. The apartment we live in now has a lot of negative associations and painful memories and I have been desperately craving a fresh start from that.

Another HUGE thing to look forward to? My best friend is getting married on October 20 and her bachelorette party is in less than a week! To say I’m looking forward to this would be an understatement. We are renting a house by the beach so we will be going to lay in the sun, visit a cider house, go to a nice dinner, and most importantly, stir up some shenanigans (because what kind of a bachelorette party doesn’t have shenanigans?!). I have some surprises up my sleeve as well… ::insert evil laugh here:: MWAHAH. Yeah, yeah, yeah, everything is going to be dick themed. You caught me.

Anyway, there was definitely more I wanted to share today but I’m losing steam and I’m hungry.

Thanks for catching up with me! I’m sure as the weeks go on I’ll be wanting, and frankly needing, to write more.

 

 

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I never work a day of my life.

Who remembers that cliché and cheesy “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life” shtick? All of you? I thought so.

Today I’m thinking about that and thinking about how truly beneficial my job is to me. Every quarter my agency hosts a staff forum in which there is a guest speaker and lunch is served. This past quarter we had a speaker come in and discuss the benefits of employment for the mental health community. Many of my clients are able to lead productive lives in the work force, and as someone that struggles with my own mental health (anxiety and depression– this is a post for another day), work can be a true solace of mine. I enjoy throwing myself into my work and letting it occupy my time and feed my soul.

If you’re not familiar with what I do I’ll explain. I’m a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) working as the program supervisor in a residential mental health facility. Essentially, it is a 50-unit apartment building for people living with serious and persistent mental illness where we provide intensive services to assist them in gaining the skills necessary to live independently. Working in a residence is really difficult (one of my cherished friends and coworkers, may he rest in peace, used to say, “In residential social work you get to get down and dirty, to the nitty gritty, and smell the piss…I love it!”) but it is completely fulfilling and rewarding. Plus, I always have the best work stories. But truthfully, you cannot work in this field if you don’t have a true love for others. You need patience, compassion, a strong backbone, and a strong stomach.

Back to my original point. My day started terribly. I don’t want to get into it, but all you need to know is that it involved Geico insurance company and my thickly-accented and verbally aggressive Armenian neighbor. I came into work in a mood. I was dealing with said incident all morning and did not have enough time to properly finish my morning routine. The second I walked in the door I was greeted warmly by a few of my clients, who didn’t even notice that my hair was in a wet messy bun and that I did not have a stitch of makeup on my face. They are literally always happy to see me. Stigma about the mental health community drives me crazy and kills me a little on the inside because some of the people I work with are nicer, warmer, and more resilient than anyone I know that doesn’t carry a diagnosis. But I digress. #Resist

Later in the day, a client that barely ever speaks told me a cute joke (How do you turn vegetable soup into gold? You put 24 karats into it!), one client offered to assist us by sweeping up the hundreds of cigarette butts polluting the outside walkway and garden, and another client that moved out a few months ago came back to visit and gave me a big bear hug. These are only some of the things that made me smile and feel warm inside. Somehow even when dealing with the not so great things I still can keep a smile on my face. So much happens in a day. Although I had some great interactions in the morning, I also happened to be called rude by another client because I wouldn’t breach HIPAA privacy laws, got side eye and major ‘tude from another one that I had to address for bringing alcohol into the building (program contract rule), and caught a third one of my clients watching pornography in the client computer room in the afternoon. It’s all relative.

But that’s just one day in the life, and that speaker I mentioned earlier really knew what he was talking about.

Let me tell you something, Sallie Mae is an evil mistress with green dollar signs in her eyes. BUT THAT’S OKAY. I know that I got into a flobbityjillion (science!) dollars worth of debt and that really sucks, and seeing the direct debit come out of my account every month really REALLY sucks, but loving my career and feeling like I don’t work a day of my life doesn’t suck so much at all.