Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Circumstantially, things are stabilizing. I have finally found a job that is close to home, so I won't be spending a fortune on fuel just to get to work. It is not a glamorous job by any means, but it is better than other jobs I've had in the last few months, and pays me a bit more than those jobs did, as well. All in all, not a bad deal. The money I'll save on fuel will help me get caught up on other things.
No, the culprit for my wild ride is the absolute uncertainty of what the heck it is I am supposed to be doing in the grander scheme of things.
When I left CMH, I still had the absolute certainty that I was supposed to be a social worker. More specifically, a social worker in a setting dealing with mentally ill adults.
Since May, however, roots of bitterness and indifference have had time to grow, and I am at a point where I am disgusted with the idea of working in the mental health system...Yet, it is something that won't let go of me.
I can't seem to shake it, this desire I have to work in the mental health field. Not as a nurse, not as a corrections officer (yes, corrections officers are default mental health workers. Look at the statistics on the mentally ill in correctional facilities.) ... Not as anything but a social worker. A very proactive social worker.
I think my experience with CMH left a bad taste in my mouth, in that it showed me that the expectations for mentally ill individuals are set VERY low, and this is considered perfectly acceptable in the mental health community. It is not acceptable to me, nor to many of the consumers I had contact with, and I get beyond frustrated when I think about working with a bureaucracy that encourages helplessness and codependency. I feel angry...Even enraged at times...That those who attempt the raise the bar are blackballed, and those who continually bludgeon people with their mental illness are the ones elevated to positions of power in the mental health system.
And yet...It will not let go of me. I cannot seem to shake the desire...The need...To get my hands dirty by working in such a totally screwed up system, if only to shake things up and be an advocate for the individuals who are suffering at the hands of a system purported to help them.
I think it is wanting everything all at once. I am not content with the idea of playing their game any longer. I want to be a mover and a shaker, and make monumental changes. Maybe my problem isn't a lack of direction. Maybe it is a lack of patience.
Maybe you can have both. Maybe you can pursue your education so that you will achieve the credibility you need to walk through certain doors (although God can open any door He chooses), while volunteering at a home or rec center. Then you won't feel like you're on hold until you finish school.
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