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taking a year out

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by Goneofftrack, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Goneofftrack

    Goneofftrack Member

    hey all, I just joined im a newbie. I'm from Ireland F22. I have been battling with depression and anxiety all my life :( Major Buzz Kill. But anywho Im a real carebear, I am happiest when Im reaching out to people and being there for a person making sure they don't have to face anything alone. Im training in social work and this is something I plan to decide my life too. My other loves are poetry, dance, drama, teaching etc.

    But I had college work experience my 3rd year, and it was at domestic violence refuge and I was doing play therapy with traumatised children. I couldn't cope seeing the children angry and distressed, nothing I seemed to do helped. I never been in the situation before, and due to stress. I failed my work experience and been told to a take a year out. Im just lost! Totally confused everybody has said enjoy time out, relax, and other have said study and work and cop on and grow up :( So I after I snapped myself out of suicidal thoughts, I did like 20 training certs and volunteering and decided to work on towards passing my driving test, getting a bf, and a job. Now its Sept I feel I have run out of steam and I don't know what to do?? Has anybody ever been in a situation like this. I feel if I don't do anything, Ill go back into depression but If I continue Ill crack from exhaustion. Im embarrassed cuz my friends are back in college, and everybody is moving forward I am being left behind. I am afraid that I have missed things up, and Ill make things worse.

    Im trying to keep positive but I feel my life is full of uncertainty at the moment. I am feeling insecure and unhappy. I applied for a job and got a interview, but recently they asked me for a full degree which I wont have at least til May. They told me they wanted me to start in January. So now im like do I just focus making time for myself, or should I go look for another job, but with no car or degree is it worth it? I always been set myself a to do list and got such satisfaction each time I achieved a goal, but since this work experience not working out. It just made me question so much about me and my life.

    Thanks for listening
  2. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    Hi,. Welcome to sf. I think its a good community. I am sorry you are going through all of this.

    Sometimes the people who have suffered with anxiety and depression have the compassion for pain that makes them the best social workers, if you know what I mean. Perhaps you might volunteer someplace. Maybe at a place that feeds your soul. It does sound like you want to keep busy to try to keep the depression away. I understand that for sure.

    One more thought, Sometimes situations may call for taking time for some inner work. Have you ever considered working with a professional to explore why you have the underlying depression? sometimes doing this work can end up being an invaluable asset in the area of work you want to get into. Social work. I do not know. I could be totally wrong here. but I thought I might just put out the idea to you. Glad you are here.
  3. Goneofftrack

    Goneofftrack Member

    Hi flowers thanks for the warm greetings. Yes I know how to relate to people emotional distress, can certainly empathise and have good understanding of feeling like disappointment, hurt, rejection, abandonment etc. I have been volunteering since I was 16 and im nearly 23 now. I hate myself for not having sorting my life out by now. Everybody in my family/relatives etc had their degree and were travelling the world by the time they were 21. How can I be suck a fuck up? Inner work ya I have been in counselling since I was 15, I have used self harm to cope with my depression and anxiety.

    I got it because my mom had cancer for most of my childhood and my best friend was living with domestic violence and my mental health hasn't improved cuz I was abused my first year of college and still dealing with that crap. Your probably thinking, I sound insane I shouldn't be allowed in my job, maybe I should have my own social worker. But I have always managed to pick myself up and dust myself off and get on with life. However at the moment I feel like my compass is broken, I don't know what direction to take, and I feel like I need escape from life. Just not be on this planet. My life just feels so empty.

    The only thing keeping me strong is my boyfriend, I had him in my life 5 amazing months and last night if I was single, I would have just fallen to pieces, but his my motivation for battling with my fight for life at the moment. I mean I did some much training and voluntary stuff to get the job and in the interview the recruitment manager seemed to love me and was very impressed and then he refers me to his colleague and she is demanding all different stuff of me, and I wrote her email explaining that I have re do my placement from Jan til April, I promise I would work from May to Sept full time and in college do relief work, for children in care. But she didn't respond and now my anxiety is so high, I don't even know if meds will be enough to keep me from being self destructive.

    That's the thing about me, is you could give me a person who has just been in a car crash and I cope with their trauma fine. You could bring a teen to be who has just taken a cocktail of drugs and drink and is in crisis and I wont bat a eye lid. But if something happens in my life that affects me from achieving my personal goals, I cant see light at end of tunnel. My body just shuts down.

    * I cant fix all your problems, but I promise you wont have to face them on your own* <3
  4. emily83

    emily83 Well-Known Member

    hello and welcome to sf

    hope you find the place supportive
  5. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    I am sorry you have experienced so much adversity. Thats surely enough to cause both anxiety and stress. Many people who have been injured or lived with great adversity go into the helping profession. I do not find that odd at all. It is understandable. I do understand what you mean when you say that you can handle the care of others well. But are less ept at handling things if something gets in the way of your own personal goals. That does make sense to me. Perhaps your way of learning to survive the pain is to stay on course. When that is not happening, the internal anchor is no longer in place. But also from upheval or chaos can come opportunity for things coming back together in a way much better than before. This is what I have been taught. Easy to say, right?

    i am wondering, you said that you are not sure that medication right now can keep you from being self destructive. Do you think that this might be one of those times to work extra hard with a therapist on it? Perhaps there are things that are ready for another round of healing. Coming up now to work on them. I could be totally off base about this of course. It just was a thought. Please do stay safe. You deserve all that is good. I can feel in my heart that you are a good person. Deserving of good things. And I am glad you will be a social worker. You have first hand expereince on what it is like to feel pain and suffering. The profession needs more people who are able to have that compassion.
  6. Goneofftrack

    Goneofftrack Member

    Hey flowers, I actually found the courage to call a therapist for my PTSD, and im meeting her 2moro, my heart is racing. Its not even the idea of talking about the trauma, its that in my career we are trained to be people that give help and support, but we are never shown how to ask for it, not only that but how to accept it. How let somebody else take care of us, which is why some many social workers get burned on. I have signed up for a mental health support group that directly talking about how to achieve positive mental health.

    I feel bad though, my family and friends have been supporting me with my depression for years now, well tried to i never really let them. Now I feel at 23 I should have a car and at least a part time job, im on state benefit now til xmas, but then in Jan, I need to start my college placement and I will need a new apartment, of course I have to run to daddy for money and the guilt make me want to stab myself, I feel so bad. It makes me think what kind of social worker will be, if I cant lead a independent life at this stage in my life, how can I help others. I love this psych nurse, she was amazing, she was there for me last 6 years, and she is retiring next month. I often feel If i could half the person she was, I wouldnt be doing so bad. Everybody has such a low opinoin of my job * oh your working with damaged people, psycho, druggie, waste of space, hopeless case* I dont see the people I work with at all like that, then they say * well sure why not just give up this crappy job and find a real job* whatever that means?

    I do appreciate all your kind words and advice, your very wise and insightful. Ya im firm believer of what doesnt kill you only makes you stronger. The point about the internal anchor was really deep, really hit a nerve I never thought about it like that, and that exactly what I am going through. Yes I have always been a planner, and fixer. I lived with a mother who had cancer 5 times, and she was often brought to hospital, so from a young age, i was looking at medication, packing a emergency bag, list of helpline etc. My sis took it so seriously, she went on to be a nurse. I guess we never really switched off from that. Well personal development is a life long journey, it makes it to cope when they are people like you on this website, to numb the emotional pain a little. I think for a long time I have just been putting a bandage over my * psychology wounds* I never really check to see if they were healed. I didnt even want to acknowledge they were there. Oh man water works starting. Sugar sorry
  7. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    Yes I would believe that. I do think of it like a festering boil. When it becomes full blown we no longer can put a bandage on it. That is the time of greatest opportunity for healing it. Cant do the bandaid anymore. It takes so much courage and strength to do this healing work. So I think you are strong.

    Sometimes kids develop their coping mechanisms at a very early age. for you it may have been that the only way you knew how to try to make it better was to take care of your mother as best as possible. It was your way of surviving. If so, then of course it was :hug:

    I just answered the end of your post, before the beginning. So here is what I wrote in response to the other things you wrote. It is long. But it is from my heart. For your heart.

    That is amazing news about the therapy. I will tell you something you likely already know. one cannot really be healthy unless they are able to take, along with giving. For one thing, when someone needs to give in order to feel strong, then it often creates a situation or pattern of dependence... on unhealthy people. You deserve more than that. And yes, you are so right about the burnout. When there is so much going out leaving the well dry. Especially if you are the kind of person who feels for other people. I am. I had to stop helping people because of that. It took too much of a toll on me physically.

    So I think you are very wise to be dealing with the issues that are coming up. The PTSD. When I read your first pots, tt did feel to me that this time might be about working on the issues. Which could make it a very rich and important time for healing. Allowing help is a very important thing. I once heard a popular spiritual teacher say about receiving: One much have a balance of both giving and receiving. It is like breathing. One is the inhalation, the other the exhalation. When one is out of balance, the breathing process cannot function well. So it is with giving and receiving.

    You are recovering from PTSD and all that surrounds it. Recovery/therapy for the PTSD will make you a stronger social worker. Just like when metal is put to fire it becomes stronger. I would imagine the strongest social workers are those who have dared to do the work you are deciding to do. this takes great courage and strength. Healing work is not "taking" It is rather becoming stronger.

    I do hope you will find a way to not allow those who think so little of the work you persue, define who you are. It sounds like they may have issues and blocks within themselves. You can do great work helping others. This is your calling. AND it is a very real job. Please be careful to not define yourself by the standards of people who are perhaps afraid to face their own pain, and project that as degradation on to you. Also. they might call it weak to seek help and work on things as you are choosing. I call it very strong and courageous. Please be careful to not take on the voice aka thoughts, of those who are judging from their own place of fear.

    The end result of working on things is that you will be more able to work with clients without being triggered in any way. There will be less unhealed places within you for their pain to settle in. Right?

    You rely on your father because you have PTSD. Please do remember that the PTSD and depression are not your fault. They are not even weaknesses. You would know this so well for a client. Right? You keep coming here and posting as much as you want. Okay?
  8. Goneofftrack

    Goneofftrack Member

    Flowers I met the therapist, it was for two hours, very intense work indeed. She asked me about my reason for asking for help, she asked about my history, she wanted to do deep breathing , guided imagery and then tried rewind therapy technique, it was really scary, at one stage I almost felt the guy was in the room as me, I felt like shouting or throwing something, but she was in backround, telling me I was safe, and everything was ok. I cried a little but mostly switched off, I completely zoned out. I really like the comment you said about balance, giving and receiving should be like breathing, we need oxygen to survive, and when you put it like that, it sounds like it was something very serious that I really need to consider adding into my life.

    Putting fire to metal to make it stronger, I may steal that metaphor myself and use it on my clients. Im so grateful you have taken the time to reach out and answer my post. I was starting to feel invisible and hopeless, but writing here has been like a form of narrative therapy. Ya the part of people making a joke of me, I can tolerate but mocking my vulnerable and brave clients fills me with rage. They have never walked in their shoes, so they have no right to judge.

    If you would like to share you story or would like support with anything in your life, please let me know. I would like to give back to you, and help in anyway I can xx
  9. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    I am so glad that you were able to talk so successfully in therapy. Talking does make such a difference. After time it slowly takes the charge off of events. So the ptsd can become lessened. But as you know, this is a process that takes time. As you do this for yourself, you give your future clients a healthier social worker. And yet you will have the compassion of someone who has suffered and done the recovery work. This can only make you a stronger and better social worker :hug:

    yes, the people who would mock your clients are likely in a lot of fear themselves. But I would be angry also. Believe me. They do not have any right to judge. And yet folks like that often are the quickest to judge. I am so glad you are working on becoming the strongest you that you can be !! Those people who judge .. it is likely they do not work on things themsevles. So I hope you can not ever let them define you. I can tell that you are a good person. A person who deserves to receive. I will repeat that. You are a person who deserves to receive. Your value is in WHO you are. What you give to others is important. But it is not your vaule as a person. Again, your value as a person is WHO you are. You are someone with a good heart. Just in being this, you add good to the world. :hug:
  10. Forgotten_Man

    Forgotten_Man Well-Known Member

    Sounds like my college experience for sure. College is REALLY good at burning people out. It is not really about education, it is about seeing who can survive the longest and therefore be the most use in the workforce. Burn out in college is very common sadly, I burned out many times. You just have to hang in there. However, once you are done with college you will have plenty of time to recover from your burn out. All of the sudden your day ends at 17:00 and you have all night to do whatever. It is kind of odd.

    As for this job offer, you need to explain to them that you will have your degree in May. While it sucks you might need to let this chance go by you. There will be other ones and you will have your degree then. The challenge is convincing people that you are not going to fail a class.