Did I mention I’m tired all the time? I’ve thought about writing several times this past week, but just felt too exhausted to drum up the energy.
Part of it is, I think, the amount of trauma work I do. Almost every one of my clients has some degree of trauma in their history, and a couple have such severe trauma that even I, with my history, marvel at their ability to survive as well as they did. Which, let’s face it, wasn’t very well considering their current legal troubles. Drugs and alcohol play a role either directly or indirectly in almost every story I hear. Talk about keeping it green! I think that even if I hadn’t been sober for 18 years (as of this past Monday), I might well quit drinking after seeing and hearing all the pain it has caused in the lives of others. Then there was the the poor man whose fiancee was abducted and gang raped by 3 men when she stopped at a convenience store on her way to visit him last weekend. Even as he was wracked by guilt over this, she broke up with him because she felt too shamed and dirty by what happened to her. He’s shattered. For her. For him. It pours off of him.
After all of that, 2 days off just don’t feel like enough time. Practicing self-care has become an imperative. But I have books I need to read on my own time in order to better help my clients- interventions and techniques that might enable me to help them move forward; so many are stuck. I feel like I have too much to do and not enough time to do it all. In a stroke of blessed serendipity, my Internship II professor chose the same text we used in Internship I, so I don’t have to do the readings for that class. And the text for my other class is a fascinating and easy read, so that helps. But on weekends when I should be turning off Aravis the Therapist, I’m focusing on that role even more.
Then there are my concerns over my future post-graduation. I was initially told that the DOC hires licensure candidates and gives us 3 years to get our license. But, as it turns out, that only applies to CSWs (Clinical Social Workers), not LPCs (Licensed Professional Counselors), so I can’t get hired when I graduate after all. I have to spend the next 3 years somewhere else until I’m licensed before I can apply to work in a prison. It seems they only started hiring LPCs over the past few years, and nobody in the union (it’s a union job) has ever advocated for the same rights for LPCs that are offered to CSWs. So I’m screwed. I have email notifications set for LPC job openings around the state to see what’s available, and the answer is: not much. So I’m worried about finding a job. I have massive student loan debt looming over me, and need to start acquiring my clinical hours so I can become licensed as quickly as possible. I’m sure I’ll find something and land on my feet, but I’ve never been fond of uncertainty, and that’s what I’m left with right now.
On the bright side… dogs. They drive me nuts but make me smile, and even laugh. If nothing else, they distract me when I’m down, like all good dogs will.