The Land of Should

(In your mind as you read this please picture the snootiest person you know and read this in their voice. Hope you enjoy!!)

Welcome to the Land of Should! I am your tour guide today and my name is Penny Perfect.If you need assistance and I am not around, They will tell you what you should do as a perfect person like me has many things to do to keep our land of Should running in tip top shape.

The first thing you should notice about our land is that everything is done in shades of either black or white. There are absolutely no shades of gray permitted as things need to be one way or the other. We wouldn’t want to confuse people by muddying the waters with possibilities or exceptions. There are no exceptions allowed here. Our laws are absolute and if you do not follow them all, you shall be kicked out of our territories forever.

Your house should be equal to your status so that people are clear about who you are and what kind of work you do. You should also have a car that matches your status which makes it easier to identify who the rich and powerful are versus those who are just scraping by. After all what would happen if someone rich and powerful stooped down so low as to spend time with people of a different class? They might start having compassion and decide that everyone should be equal and obviously we can’t have that! Can you imagine?!

You should be married if you are a woman and have at least two children. It is not required for your husband to participate in the family other then to be the bread winner. You should put all your dreams and wishes aside to make sure his come true because after all what perfect woman wouldn’t want to do that for the head of their household?

You should strive to be as skinny as possible because after all we are perfection seekers here. Anything above a size 2 is not acceptable and you should work as hard as you can to get here or lower. The absolute most perfect size is double 00 but we do acknowledge that this is difficult to achieve so we do allow the sliding scale from there to size 2. Remember a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.

You should make sure you are always perky, happy, and smiling. We don’t want to bring anyone down with a frown now do we dear? If you are having a difficult day it is okay to drink some mommy juice to take the edge off and make sure that frown turns upside down. If you are really weak and cannot manage to do your duty and be happy, please refrain from leaving your house as it is unfair to all the other women doing their part to make this the loveliest town ever made.

Excuse me, where are you going dear? I haven’t finished the tour yet. What do you mean you are going to look for a home in the Town of Possibilities? Don’t you know how dreadful that place is with their murky rules and exceptions and mingling of perfect people with not so perfect people? There is misery and complications and a lifetime of wondering if you have made the right decisions. At least here you know what the rules are and you know what to expect. Everything is cut and dry, black and white. Why would you want to leave? Well okay speed your little car away.

I don’t understand why nobody want to move in here anymore. Ah well back to smiling brightly and pretending it’s all okay. La te dah, life is great!

*BANG*

There is perfection in silence alone.

Victorious Agony

Well dear friends I made a promise I could not keep. I was supposed to write a blog a day leading up to this challenge at my gym. I have failed. My job has kept me from one of the few things I enjoy and I’m good at.

This past week has been absolute hell. From being betrayed by the very people who were supposed to support me during a difficult meeting this week and being thrown under the bus, to having a mother break down today while her three bitches of Eastwick (“supposed” professionals) decided that they were giving up on working with the kid because he was “too dangerous” but demanded that I get the kid into an out of home treatment facility ASAP, I have had it. My stomach is a mess, I’m not sleeping well, and naturally I have resorted back to the one thing that can ALWAYS bring comfort, at least temporarily, and that is food. This is not good considering I’m about to go into a weight loss challenge.

I don’t know how I am going to get through this challenge. I feel like I’m buried under a mountain of responsibilities and I can’t keep up. Is this really what I want the next 40 years of my life to look like, because let’s face it, the odds of me retiring are non-existent strictly from a monetary standpoint. I am at my breaking point. My doctor wanted to put me out of work but as always I decline because all that does is back up my workload so when I come back from resting everything is just 10 miles high. I took Xanax earlier and it barely made a dent in the anxiety and stress I am feeling. Technically I could take more as prescribed but all that does is make me loopy and tired and I can’t think.

I want to go into a freshman classroom of Social Work hopefuls. I want to tell them the truth of the field and see if they still want to go into this hell of a job. YES it can be rewarding. YES some days my heart soars when a child and family makes accomplishments. But those moments are so few and far between that I fear I may never see another one. I want to go to school. But I can’t do that and keep this job. It is physically impossible. There are not enough hours in the day. We have to double and triple document things and it’s just too much. I feel like I’m failing at all levels of my life from health, to work, to being a good wife and kitty mommy. I have been screaming, yelling, cursing, and having zero patience. I’m going to have a stroke in my car because of all the yelling I’ve been doing. I need a break but I can’t take a break because then I will be behind. Even when it’s supposed to be down time I am STILL working just to stay afloat. I can’t wait for Saturday.

 

Burnout

 

 

Dementors Are All Around

I have noticed a lot of deaths by suicide lately. As a worker in the field of mental health this is very disturbing to me. As a person with depression I get it. I see the appeal. Days, weeks, months, years of mental torture, public stigma, gallons and gallons of medication that never quite make you feel normal. And you could end it all in an instant. One action to end all the pain. But then there are those you’ve left behind. And they are left with shattered hearts, feelings of guilt for not knowing (because we who are depressed and anxious often hide it well from the world, at least until we can’t anymore).

My heart aches for all these families who have lost incredible people both celebrities and those we will never meet. I wish, just like in Harry Potter, I could send out an endless supply of chocolate to chase away the dementors that plague others. For those who have not read the series, dementors are creatures that suck the soul out of someone and when they are around intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness and despair are felt.

We need to connect with one another. Not over Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. We need to turn the computer off and physically go and talk to people and REALLY listen instead of just waiting for a chance to get our two cents in the conversation. There is too much me me me lately instead of we and us.

Please spread some love today. You could literally save a life.

HOPE

Breaking Through Cognitive Barriers

Yesterday and today were my first days back to work after being on vacation for a week. I didn’t really go anywhere but I definitely enjoyed having time to myself to do things I love and some things I’ve been meaning to get to (like cleaning my whole house!). I read books, I colored, exercised, cleaned, spent time with family, played video games, and just generally relaxed. I could get up when I wanted, sleep as late as I wanted, and nobody was around to yell at me for not doing enough for their child.

So back to work. I come in to 28 e-mails and 6 voicemails all with parents needing this or wanting that. I kind of expected this. But what I did not expect, and literally became speechless at, was a parent calling her child a “psycho” and a “nut” because the child engaged in self-injury. She feels the child should “just get over” things that have happened in the past. No matter how much I, or other clinicians, try to explain to her the reasoning behind it (coping skill…not a good one but still a coping skill) she just doesn’t get it. I couldn’t think of a single thing to say professionally (although I thought of plenty that would have lost me my job). I talked to my supervisor and she said we could talk to her together at some point. I let her know I already spoke with his therapist and family therapist.

I forget sometimes that not everyone is in my field and doesn’t have the knowledge or the training I’ve had. There really are people out there that think that mental illness is something to be ashamed of ,or worse, mocked. I think even if you don’t get it basic human compassion should kick in at some point. This is obviously a person in pain and you think it’s okay to treat them horribly?!

Good night for now.