Although I have been somewhat consistent in telling you all about my new job and life and whatnot, I have not really done updates about my mental health. So this is a post to just chat about that and whatever my little brain comes to think about.
My mental health I would say as of lately has been pretty stable. Working in a field that prioritizes mental health and self care almost incentivizes me to come to work and to reduce burnout. I think my new job is more emotionally exhausting than physically because it’s not a super physically demanding job, but when you see clients on hospice, you know they will die and die sooner rather than later so it makes for an interesting shift each day.
I was told that I would be working in 24 hour intensive care and supposedly working in the “hardest house” which I think I described in earlier posts. But I did more training in a different house this week and these people, I hate to use the term, but were higher functioning. Only one was incontinent versus having three incontinent folks who also all use wheelchairs. I enjoyed working with one person who has Down syndrome and one who was my age who is nonverbal with autism.
With the person who has Down syndrome, my trainer who is also head of household and I went to the grocery store and my client and I were showing each other our best dance moves and having a good old time. On our way back to the house, my client tells the trainer, even though I was right there, that he wanted me to keep coming back and that I was a lot of fun to be with. That warmed my heart.
I just feel like it was more rewarding to be with the folks who can recognize and appreciate what we as staff do for them. You get to see the changes in behavior improve rather than deteriorate like you see in the house I was supposed to be at with the ladies on hospice. I am not saying it is not important that the folks in hospice and are wheel chair bound get the help they need, but it’s just not for me to help them. I know myself well enough that in an environment of high needs and large demands of me is not good for my mental health and I couldn’t give those ladies the best care that they deserve.
So tactfully, I told my program coordinator that the “hard house” was not for me. I learned through my trainer this week that there were three parts of the company, not just 24 hour care. The other two sections were supportive living and community protection. In supportive living, you spend about two hours a day with a client doing whatever they want to do like go out to lunch, go to the store, go on a walk, and you basically make sure they have food to eat, are taking medication, but for the most part are independent and living on their own or with roommates. As far as community protection goes, females cannot work with males and vice versa. But I would be working with other woman who live in a group home and are living independently and are not incontinent and maybe have some mental illness or cooccurring disorders.
I told my program coordinator that I wanted to work in community protection and she said that was a HR matter to transfer me over to a different program. I messaged HR on Thursday and they said I had training in office all next week but they would try to get me trained and working on that side of the field after training.
I think interacting with those with mental illness is more my speed rather than dealing with those on hospice. Don’t get me wrong, all of the work is invaluable, but for me personally, I just can’t touch people I don’t know unless I have to. Especially when it comes to hygiene and incontinence.
So that’s the work front. I have decided to go back to school to get my A.A. in Social Work. I am in the process of getting my grants transferred over to the community college and I think I have about four classes to take in order to graduate with all my transfer credits and classes. I can do this! I have an academic advising session on Friday to confirm this. But I am very excited and I told my dad where I would be going this fall and he seemed pleased if I can get it done and get that degree.
I think for the first time in a while I feel very hopeful. And that excites me. My finances are a wreck because I only get paid once a month at this new job. I might get a couple hundred bucks on the 10th of this month, but I won’t get a full paycheck until July 10th. So I am stuck borrowing more money and being further in debt. It sucks and I am anxiety ridden over it. But I have food to eat and gas in my car and nicotine and most importantly, I am taking my meds. And I am not skipping doses.
Let me know in the comments how you are doing and your mental health status. Would love to hear from you! That’s it for me this morning but I hope everyone has a great day and weekend.