Posts Tagged ‘Community Mental Health’

I’m Done!

May 1, 2017

I’m done!

I’m done!

I am done.

I wrote my last paper for the semester today and I got it done faster than I thought I would, my friend in the cohort told me it was going to be a much easier paper to write than Trauma, that it would, in effect, write itself.

That was exactly my experience.

Almost spooky how it wrote itself.

Nine pages, 2,832 words.

It took about two hours to write, maybe two and a half.

I was shocked how quickly it happened and I had absolutely no problems or sticky spots, it just flowed out of my fingers and I was able to finish and have a really nice late lunch out on the back patio.

I did my typical Sunday gig and roasted a chicken and made a pot of brown rice while I was doing the writing.

I was rewarded with a yummy lunch eaten al fresco under the warm sun.

I was stunned, actually, I still am a little.

It all happened.

It all got done.

I even, shhh, read a little today after my meal and it was pleasure reading!

Holy shit.

I haven’t done that in a while.

I don’t have to read anything for school for the next weekend of classes, I’m done with the reading, I’m done with the papers.

I sent in my Couples Therapy paper last Sunday and did my Trauma paper yesterday and my Community Mental Health paper today, the Trauma and CMH paper I will be handing in hard copies of.

I will do a small presentation of my paper to my Trauma class but I don’t actually know that we are going to be doing a whole lot of work in my other classes.

I feel like I’ll just be floating through next weekend, just showing up and turning in the papers and making attendance for my classes.

I won’t have to be doing any catch up work or reading, I won’t have any papers or projects due after the final weekend.

All I have to do is show up and turn in the papers.

I can take it easy the rest of the weekend.

I won’t skip out on the classes, mostly because I want to see my friends and since I am paying for the experience, I’m going to go and have some experiences.

I am off to my second hour of supervision tomorrow morning before work and that’s really about my only school obligation for a few weeks until I start the internship.

I made it through!

God it feels good.

I did yoga today too, even though I am not a fan of the teacher that was the substitute, I showed up and got some stretching in and put in my time, it’s a practice I need to keep practicing.

I am breathing and being in my body and it helps to do that before I write my papers, takes the edge off, gets the anxiety out of my body and frees up my mind to do the work.

I am grateful for the little yoga studio in my hood.

I am grateful for my hood.

Seeing people I know, being seen.

Going to the coop, having dinner tonight at Thai Cottage.

I had a date as well.

We went to Thai Cottage.

There was kissing, but I did not invite him in.

I am actually quite proud of myself for that.

And I can’t actually tell if I want to pursue it or not.

I liked him, he’s attractive, smart, tattoos, sober.

But I went in and out of being interested.

The kissing was nice.

But it wasn’t the key to unlock the door to my studio.

I’ll have to go on another date.

I’m not usually this ambivalent.

It’s usually a yes or a no.

This guy is a maybe.

I’m not worried about it, no, not right now, I do have a lot happening this upcoming week, supervision tomorrow, therapy Tuesday, doing the deal, connecting with ladies to read books over tea, work, then school over the weekend.

Thursday one of my girl friends from the cohort will spend the night with me and we’ll head off to class together Friday.

And next week.

Paris.

Oh my God.

I can actually see getting on a plane now that I finished up all the final papers for class.

It’s not so surreal.

It’s happening.

I am so very excited.

It’s going to be so nice to have ten days off.

I ran into a friend in the fellowship yesterday and told him about my Paris trip, he’s a big Francophile and a photographer and his photos are on the walls of the cafe I was at, most of them alleyways in Paris, and it was with much excitement that I shared I was going.

He asked me to send Paris a kiss from him.

We talked about the museum pass and he said, “you got to get the three-day for sure.”

I’m actually thinking about getting the four-day, I’m going to be there for ten days, well eight when you take out the travel time, but still I can definitely do four full days of museums.

The other four days, Sacre Couer, The cemetary in the Montmartre, Pere LaChaise Cemetery, the markets, the broquantes, some clothes shopping, a tattoo from Abraxas, getting lost and then found in the Marais, walks along the Seine, the Luxembourg gardens, the Tuilleries, maybe a pop into Le Chat Noir and do the Paris open mic scene for old times sake.

There will be plenty for me to do.

And I get to do it without worry about school or internships or work, it’s all lined up.

I have a great job, a good internship, I’m wrapping up my second year of my Master’s degree, it’s all happening.

It feels so good to have these papers put to rest.

No stress for the rest of the week.

Just showing up for my responsibilities and recovery.

For friends.

And fun.

Definitely can squeeze a little more fun in there for sure.

I got my papers done!!

So.

Over the moon.

Seriously.

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Jazzed

April 29, 2017

Until I look at my financial aid account, motherfucker I have sent you my Master’s Promissory Note three times, why the fuck is it not updated, where is my award?

Jesus school get on the fucking ball.

Ok.

Rant done.

I am in a good place, actually, and I should have known better than to look at my financial aid account.

I noticed yesterday that the school was still waiting on my promissory note, so I forwarded them the confirmation e-mail from the FAFSA people, you know, those good folks in government, ahem, and still, today, this morning, and again tonight, the school is “saying” they have not received it.

Sigh.

At least I am not getting too distracted by the bullshit to not focus on the stuff that really needs to be done, like my papers.

Here it is.

The weekend.

And here it is.

The last big fucking push.

I have to write two papers in the next two days.

I spent my down time, my break time at work, listening to the interview I did for my Community Mental Health class and jotting down notes and flipping through a book and post-it noting things that I am going to write about.

Basically the same process as I took for my Trauma class, but with a little less work, as there was less material to go over.

Still work.

And.

I got it done.

I have a good idea about what I will write for the paper, lots of notes, lots notations, quotes from the interview, and a good idea of what it’s going to take to do the writing.

I am not looking forward to either paper, but I shall do both of them.

I also made sure and did a grocery run today in between work and doing the deal and I have no errands that need to be run or things that need to be bought.

I am all set for the weekend.

Tomorrow I’ll go to yoga in the morning, meet my person at Tart to Tart, meet another lady thereafter, do some reading, get right with God, inventory some shit, make the head stop running for a few minutes, than jam back out here and have a late lunch and launch into my Trauma paper.

I should be able to finish it before I head out to do that thing I do in church basements, then maybe, I’ll do a little fellowship, just so I don’t feel like I’m losing my mind from the school stuff.

Then Sunday will be a somewhat similar gig, yoga in the morning, then back here, breakfast, shower, do my own morning writing and then hit the Community Mental Health paper and crank it out.

I’ll roast a chicken, because Sunday roast chicken dinner is about the way to roll and I hope that I will be done by 5p.m.

5:30 p.m. at the latest.

I have a speaking thing at 6p.m. and I really would like to be done with the papers by the point that I get on my scooter to go to the Inner Sunset.

I’m not sure how it will all work, but it will and I will get the work done.

It’s all there in my head, it’s all there in the notes, in my books, I have it all there, I just have to compile it, write it, pull the pieces together and make it look sexy.

I can’t believe I am so close to the end of my second year.

One more weekend of classes.

I’ll be turning in all projects, I won’t have any papers or things due after the last weekend of classes, which is a first and I’m super grateful for that.

And two weeks from today.

Well, ah, yes, you know, I’ll be in Paris.

Two weeks.

I’m so close.

It feels further away than that and not really real at this point my brain is super focused on the work that is in front of me and all the words that have to march across the page and get my point across.

I am also, although I gripe about what’s the point of showing up for the last couple of my classes when all the assigned work has been turned in, looking forward to a chill weekend with my cohort, it should be pretty stress free for me, I’ll have all my papers done by Sunday and I can just show up for class and be chill.

I am going to hang out with my friends, go to lunches and dinners, I have one friend who is actually going to spend the night with me next Thursday.

Little slumber party.

We’ve done it one other time and its super fun to have a school friend to hang out with.

She’ll get into town late afternoon on Thursday and we’ll meet for dinner and then pop out here to my place, it will be good to have company and bitch about school.

Although, I do want to express my gratitude for doing what I am doing and that the school is doing the best it can too, sometimes it feels like I should be getting more support, or better this, that, or the other, but ultimately, I am getting a lot of what I need and I am excited to be this far into the program and to have met and gotten to know the quality and caliber of my cohort.

They are some damn good people.

I don’t think we’re going to save the world, but I do think we are going to make it a whole lot happier, sweeter, healthier, kinder place to reside.

I’m definitely a better person for the experience of going to this school and for learning what I have learned, I have learned so much, it boggles the mind.

That I have so much more yet to learn and experience is a constant leveling of my pride, a constant learning of humility and a constant surrender.

I hope I have soften some.

That I have let you in a little more, let down the walls a little, or at least directed you to the gate and showed you that though it may be latched, it’s not locked, and I’d like to, no, I’d love to, invite you.

Come in.

Sit down.

Relax.

Get cozy.

Let’s get to each other.

I bet we have a lot to talk about.

So much.

I can’t wait.

Just let me get through this weekend and I’ll be so down to have a cuppa with you.

I can’t think of anything I want more.

Night y’all.

I have to get some rest.

I have miles and miles to go.

I can almost see the light.

Almost.

There.

 

God Damn

April 28, 2017

I got a lot of shit done today.

I am, in fact, still getting shit done.

I am cooking a pot of chicken soup as I blog.

I am trying to do some peremptory food preparation for the next weekend of school so that this Saturday and Sunday I can give my full attention to the papers that I have to write.

Speaking of writing papers.

I got a lot of my Trauma paper mapped out.

I have four pages of notes and references from four different sources all set up and notated.

In fact.

I laughed at myself when I was finished listening to the podcast for the second time (in full, a couple of the segments I listened to three or four times) and I had all my paper notes and references complied.

Fuck.

I have a 10 page paper with all the work I complied today.

The paper is 5-7 pages.

I will have more than enough material to cut a fine suit from.

I am actually excited about writing the paper, I have such a clear idea of what needs to be done, I thought about writing it tonight, however, I wanted to wait until I had a clear swath of time.

And I like to have my down time when I get home.

Of course that down time tonight includes a couple of loads of laundry and making homemade chicken soup with veggies and brown rice, but it’s not writing and focusing in a scholarly way.

I am awful proud of taking the time to do the work that needed to get done though for the paper, I spent a great deal of my breaks this week working on the Trauma material.

I will be ready to pop out that paper Saturday and then turn my full attention to the Community Mental Health project that I need to do on Sunday.

I will work on that all day Sunday, nothing else planned, on the books or off, for that matter.

Tomorrow at work during my break I will go over my Community Mental Health notes and the half hour interview I did with the program that I am writing on.

I will basically do the same thing that I did for my Trauma paper, map it out, make notes, post-it note my notes, and go back over the reading material that I am going to utilize for my paper.

I’ll provide my frame-work for the paper and then be able to sit down on Sunday and write it.

That one is 8-10 pages.

I feel like it should be the other way around, my Trauma paper has so much richness to it and so much to explore, it should be the bigger paper, but I don’t make the rules, things might be different if I did.

Ha.

I’m super grateful that it’s coming together.

As I get closer and closer to my Paris trip.

Today to incentivize myself I wore my Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick that my dear French friend gave me as a birthday present.

Nothing like getting a gift bag of Chanel makeup for a birthday.

It was such a lovely gift.

Part of me, a very large part of me, is so thrilled that I will be wearing Chanel makeup on my trip, I know it’s silly, but Chanel products are above my paygrade, so when I got them, I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy shop.

The first time I went to Paris I discovered Sephora.

Oh my god.

I wasn’t able to get myself much, I was there on the slimmest of budgets.

I remember I actually got my sister a lipstick, as they had a brand that was the same as her name, although slightly different spelling, and I got myself a set of red barrettes.

I loved those barrettes so much.

Today, when I put on the red lipstick it reminded me of those hair clips and I realized, yes, that’s definitely a souvenir I will let myself get when I am in Paris, hair clips.

Maybe some red ones like the ones I got my first time there.

It seems surreal that I will be going back.

I remember when the woman I was working with in Paris told me that it was going to be ok that I moved back home to San Francisco, that Paris would always be there, that I could come back and make another go of it.

I’m so grateful that I had my time living there and I can contrast it with the life that I built and then re-built here.

I have it really good.

Oh.

Sure.

I make half the median income that the city recommends to get by and I am taking out student loans for therapy, hahaha, but ultimately, my life is really rich.

REALLY.

Abundant.

It’s gorgeous.

I have so much.

I have an amazing job.

I have a great therapist.

I have an internship.

I get to go to graduate school in San Francisco.

I get to live in San Francisco.

I get to write every day.

What writer doesn’t long for that?

Every day.

I get to live a recovered, full, useful life.

I get to travel.

I get to go to Burning Man.

I get to ride a scooter to work.

I get free parking when I’m there.

I have laundry in the garage, I get to wash my clothes for free.

I have chicken soup cooking on the stove and hot sheets in the dryer.

I am listening to amazing music on my Macbook Air.

I have a lot.

I have happiness.

I have self-esteem.

I do estimable acts, that helps.

I have red lipstick.

I have pretty perfume.

I have love.

I have friends, family, chosen and of origin, I have my cohort.

I have Ocean Beach a hop, skip, and jump away.

I have beautiful tattoos.

I have poetry.

I have abundance, joy, happiness, freedom.

I have.

All the things.

All the things.

 

Asking For What

April 4, 2017

I need.

Not always.

But a lot more.

Even when it is uncomfortable.

Like it was today.

My employer left me a check for the work I did over the weekend and it was not correct.

It was much less than I had anticipated and I knew, knew without a doubt, that I would need to address it.

There were years and years when this sort of thing would have thrown me for a loop.

All the things I’m not allowed to say, to ask for, to accept.

That I am enough, that my time is worth my payment, correct payment, that I am allowed to correct a mistake, that I can have conflict.

And resolution.

I knew that there was no malice on my employer’s part and that it was simply a mistake.

But.

For a few minutes, about the first fifteen at work, I was a bit upset.

Then.

I reasoned with my own self, with my stupid, silly, unwarranted fears, and I got the fuck over myself.

So when my employer came home today and handed me the check, I handed it back and said, “I don’t feel this is correct, would you please double-check the math.”

She did, I was correct, and she re-wrote the check and then added, that it had been an accident, which I had known, but still felt good to hear, and then she apologized.

My goodness.

It was a nice moment.

It was uncomfortable, but I did it and I didn’t make a big deal out of it either.

I just acted as if.

Fabulous.

Of course.

I blew my load on that one and when presented with an opportunity to do more of that same negotiating for myself, I couldn’t quite do it.

I was going to kill another fantasy and ask a guy out on an official date, we did that “we should hang out dance” last week when I bumped into him in the neighborhood where I work and I saw him tonight after work, but I couldn’t quite pull the trigger.

I suspect I wasn’t ready to kill the fantasy quite yet.

I will.

To move on would be nice.

Maybe that will be one of my goals in therapy.

I have my second session tomorrow and my therapist, I sort of like saying that, suggested that I think about what some of my therapeutic goals are.

We already agreed that her supporting me through the school program was a big draw for me, especially as she went through the same program.

She also suggested that we look at ways that I could manage my anxiety.

I figure I’d love to work on dating.

Which means I will probably be addressing a lot of family of origin issues.

I will need to address the abuse, trauma, neglect, incest, and emotional violence I grew up with.

No biggie.

REALLY.

Heh.

I can clearly see a number of patterns in my dating life–emotional love affairs with unavailable men, being in love with unavailable or uninterested men, not being in relationships for years, crushing on guys but not saying anything, obsessing, blah, blah, blah.

Not knowing how to date.

All of it, really, goes back to instinct and ways of being that don’t serve me.

I can fucking see it clear as day.

But.

I haven’t a great road map for moving forward.

And really.

I am my own worse navigator.

I had sent out that message a few days ago to a man I have always had a crush on and getting a pretty decent response for yes, let’s do a coffee in the next few weeks.

I sent back my availability and haven’t gotten a response

So of course, last night, as I’m about to drop off to sleep, my diseased brain attacks.

“Psst, you should have paused longer before responding to his message, you came off too eager.”

Fuck you brain.

This was followed up by a brief, thank God, obsessive thought of what should I have messaged instead to get the result I want….

Ooh.

Aha!

There.

That.

What should I have said to get the message I wanted.

Well, duh, lady, that’s manipulation.

And if it’s not meant to be I can’t manipulate it into happening.

And if it’s meant to be, I can’t fuck it up.

Whew.

Also.

I am human.

If I made a “mistake” in my communication that led to this man not responding in the time I wanted, then I made a mistake and I’m allowed to make mistakes.

I can fuck things up.

I don’t like to fuck things up, I want to be perfect.

But I suspect that need for perfection is what really stands in the way of me killing the fantasy with the other guy I saw tonight.

I want to get it perfect so I can control the results.

Again.

That’s manipulation.

So.

I vow here.

Just to get it off my chest, next time I see dude, I’ll just cut to the chase and pin down a time to “hang out.”

I would rather fall flat on my face than try more to figure it out.

I can see that the figuring it out is never going to serve me and it will just drive me nuts over time.

I’m already crazy enough.

Hello.

I’m in therapy.

Hahahahaha.

Sorry.

Not sorry.

I had to.

Anyway.

Seems there’s plenty of fodder for my therapeutic goals.

Ahem.

I’ll be back in school this upcoming weekend, so that will also land on the table, or the couch, as the case may be, plenty of stuff to look at there.  Although I feel quite prepared for the weekend of classes.

I’m actually almost completely finished with my reading for not just this weekend, but the final weekend, for my Couples Therapy class.  We have a fairly big final project/paper that I wanted to have as much reading done for as possible, get all the lectures under my belt and be ready to tackle it right away after the weekend of classes.

I just want to finish so I can go to Paris.

That’s really where my brain is at.

The one fantasy I am not willing to kill.

Paris, my dream, my reward, my carrot to get me through the next two weekends of classwork.

It’s all happening.

And I’m allowed to stand up for it and take it in and accept it.

This life.

Lovely, luscious, and all mine.

I don’t want to waste it on fantasy and unrequited love.

I want to be present for the gift it is.

One moment at a time.

All the things.

They are happening.

Yes.

Yes.

They.

Are.

Made It

March 25, 2017

To the weekend.

And I’m just hella happy to be home writing my little blog and it’s not even 9p.m.

I’m already in my bunny slippers.

At least I have some good music on.

There is a dance party up in here, y’all.

I’m listening to Parov Stelar, Mama Talking.

So fucking good.

I’m not quite sure what to call it, Neo Swing,  Electro Jazz, maybe Electro Swing.

Whatever.

I fucking love it.

I definitely dance my ass off when it comes on and I’m quite happy to have discovered some new tunes.

Dancing makes me happy.

And I haven’t had very much chance to do it recently.

I don’t think I have been dancing since right after New Years Eve.

To be honest, I’ve been pretty bushed with the work, the school, the internship, the supervisors, the finding a therapist, the whole damn deal, it’s taken a bit out of me, but I’m grateful and I know it won’t be forever.

I do suspect that it’s going to be about a year or so of being pretty exhausted and trying to keep whatever equilibrium I can.

I also suspect that it will be exhilarating and exciting and overwhelming and sure, why not, I bet it will be fun too, it’s fun to be on the path, to be headed somewhere, to have a direct goal, a vision, I feel like I’m fighting the good fight and doing the work and I know that is its own reward.

Yeah.

I also look forward to a time when I’m actually taking real clients and making money, like real money, I’m just getting by at the moment, it’s not a bad getting by, but it’s a tight getting by for living in San Francisco.

Especially when I start to contemplate having to start to pay out-of-pocket $120 a week for therapy.

The money will be there though, I know it, I have faith, and I’ve a bit socked away for a rainy day.

In Paris.

Actually, I fucking hope that it will not be rainy in Paris when I get there, I will want to devour every last bit of the city and I am hoping for sunny days, warm nights, long walks through the markets, the Marais, where I will be staying, a lunch at a cafe by Place de Vosges, a visit or four to Les Rouge Enfant Marche, a trip out to see the Louis Vuitton Institute out in Parc de Butte Charmont, a walk through the Pompidou, a tattoo, I mean, hello, that’s what I do, at Abraxas, a shopping visit to Fleux, a hat from a vendor in the Bastille, an afternoon at the Jeu de Paume, the Orangerie and the D’Orsay, a walk along the Seine, a walk up to Sacre Couer, a dinner at Odette and Aime, maybe a visit to a Brocante, grab a book and some postcards from Le Merle Moquer, fuck, as long as I’m in that neighborhood I suppose I’ll have to hop to Pere Le Chaise for a stroll, oh the places I’ll go.

I’m allowing myself to use half of my travel savings when I go to Paris.

The rest will be used for Burning Man tickets, travel to and from, supplies, food, and camp gear and that infrastructure.

Of course.

I haven’t gotten the ticket to Burning Man yet.

I have, though, to Paris and I have a place to stay, so I’m allowing myself to spend some money a few nice things and experiences while I’m there.

Not extravagant by any stretch, but for me, decadence.

I’ll eating out, I’ll definitely be drinking cafe cremes in cafes, I’m for sure going back to Cantine, that was fabulous, plus, I know my friend whose place I am staying at in the Marais, will have all sorts of good recommendations for me.

I swear.

Paris dreaming is what is helping through this part of the school process.

I’m in the short stretch of the semester, I’ve got to write a paper this weekend, I remind myself, there’s only two weekends of class left.

I e-mailed my advisor regarding all my paperwork, the supervisor, the therapist, and the internship hours, all the things, and I will be going in next Thursday to get his signature and turn over all the forms to the practicum office and registrars office.

This is happening.

I’m pretty happy with this turn of events, it’s been, yes, a bit nerve-wracking, a bit anxiety inducing, my own doing, but, to be able to walk into my next weekend of classes, two weeks from today, and have my internship nailed down, my schedule of hours, my supervisor set up and scheduled and have started my therapy requirement for the Master’s program requirement, big fucking stuff for me.

I was hoping to have my Community Mental Health project done too, but I’ll be ok with what I just mentioned.

Plus.

I have been knocking back the reading for my classes.

I may try to finish up Couples Therapy this weekend on top of writing my paper for my Trauma class, I will be working next weekend, so I don’t think I’ll be writing any papers.

The kids are also on Spring Break and the family is not going anywhere.

The big yummy hours of reading time I had this week will evaporate the next week.

I’ll get as much prep done this weekend and really, I’ll be damn fine with what ever comes of it, I’ve really been kicking it out.

So.

NO.

I’m not at all sad that I am not out at some club tonight celebrating Friday.

I am happy to be here, at home, rocking the fuck out of some good music.

Besides.

I’ve got a yoga class in the morning.

And.

I will make sure I spend some time hanging out with people tomorrow.

Some fellowshipping and some socializing.

Now.

Excuse me.

I need to dance around my room a little more in my bunny slippers.

Happy Friday!

That Moment When

March 15, 2017

You realize that had you known how much fucking work it would be you wouldn’t have embarked on the god damn journey.

Fucking grateful as fuck that I did not know it was going to be this hard.

I wouldn’t have decided to do it.

Granted.

I do know that with time will come familiarity and it will be ok.

But right now.

Just in this moment.

Wow.

Wow.

Wow.

So much work.

I met with my new supervisor for my internship.

We filled out the paperwork.

We talked about what I need to do next.

Turn in the paper work to my advisor, get his signature, then turn it into the practicum office.

Then.

I need to get another supervisor to take me through process of being an intern.

I will find the person on my own by using the supervisors list that is in the practicum office.

Then I need to get that person to sign some paperwork and I need to get registered for the summer course.

I need to do this fairly damn quick.

And I need to make sure that the supervisor can be someone who I can fit into my schedule, I’ll have to meet with the off site supervisor two hours a week.

In between that.

I will be working and I will be interning.

My supervisor and I set a date.

I start on May 22nd.

That’s the official paperwork date, but I’ll probably go in on the 23rd as I will be getting back from Paris on the 21st.

I’ll be going into work either way at my job on the 22nd.

My supervisor was sweet though, and said, “I’ll let you get over your jet lag, let’s just have you start the 23rd.”

And I will be starting with a bang.

And I will be doing a lot of hours.

Which I knew.

I knew.

Just the reality of it hit when he was asking me what my optimum schedule was like.

“Think about it for a minute,” he looked up from the paper work he was filling out for me, “but I will need to put it in the paperwork so you can go to the next step.”

I gave it a moment.

I took into account my current work schedule, my recovery schedule, wanting one day off a week without any kind of obligation and what would that mean for getting the hours in I needed to make the time investment.

My supervisor wants 13-15 hours a week, part of which will be a few hours of mandatory training, but mostly taking clients.

Plus.

My off site supervisor will need 2 hours.

And.

I will need to get a therapist as well for a year while I go through the process.

That’s an additional hour.

So.

Um.

Fuck me.

That’s basically 15-18 hours of work a week.

I took a great big deep breath and figured I would need to be there at the internship four days a week.

I decided to do it like this: Mondays and Tuesdays 6:30p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Wednesdays and Thursdays same hours, 6:30p.m.-9p.m.

And Saturdays from 2p.m.-8p.m.

That’s the time estimate breakdown.

It won’t start out quite that big and I will have a bit of wiggle room for the first few weeks and I’m super grateful that I’m getting into it before the fall semester of school starts.

Because, yeah, I need three semesters of practicum.

Which means that on top of work and the internship, one year of my interning I’ll also be in school full-time.

Granted the course load for the third year is eased up to accommodate practicum.

But still.

So much.

I’ll basically be doing a 60 hour work week and school.

Bwahahahahahaaha.

Fuck my life.

The upside is that I will have accumulated over 800 hours by the time I graduate.

We can take up to 1300 hours, but I cannot fathom what kind of fresh hell it would be to incorporate another 500 hours into the routine.

No.

I mean.

I am already thinking about what is going to need to be cut out.

Will I have to stop blogging?

Maybe.

Or doing my morning writing?

Maybe.

I can’t say quite yet, but I do know this lady won’t be socializing for a year.

Sigh.

Super grateful.

So grateful that I am going to Paris after the semester ends.

So grateful I get to go to Burning Man.

I am assuming I’m getting a ticket, I got the time cleared with my supervisor as well, who told me that it will be a great tool to use when I get to tell a client that has gotten attached that I am going to take a vacation.

He also told me that once I’m up and running he foresees me taking about 10 clients a week.

TEN!

He also relayed that as I am available to take clients at night I will have a full dance card pretty quick.

That most clients want evening hours or weekend hours.

That the site already has a wait list for clients!

He also said that he would work with me to help me get my hours and that I he would make sure of it.

He even told me that he wished I was coming on board sooner, they had a client he felt that I would be particularly helpful with.

That was nice to hear.

I am grateful for the opportunities.

I am scared.

But.

No where neared as overwhelmed as I was this morning when I was contemplating how it was all going to happen and how was I going to navigate the next moves when I wasn’t even sure what the next fucking moves were.

I was strangled with fear this morning.

Anxiety my old friend.

But.

I did a lot of reaching out.

I called all my people and I called a friend in my cohort who talked me off the ledge.

God damn am I lucky to have the resources I have.

I am also really fortunate that after the paperwork was all sussed out and the schedule, that I was able to do a twenty-five minute interview of my supervisor for my Community Mental Health final project.

I got all the information I needed.

I also recorded the whole thing as well as taking notes, procuring brochures, and asking all the pertinent questions and then some.

I’m not going to write the paper this next weekend.

I’m going to let myself have the weekend “off,” but I will probably start it the following.

The other thing that is going to make this all work, the thing that I am so very grateful for right now, is my job.

I have down time.

Not always.

But enough.

Enough to pause, catch my breath, pray, talk to my people, leave messages, connect, and to do homework.

I got a chapter and a half read in one of my Trauma books today.

I read a chapter and a half yesterday in another book.

Three chapters done while I’m at work.

I am good at time management, I will be able to do this and it won’t be forever.

I remind myself.

I get to do this.

And I get to be of service.

Faith.

I got faith.

Heaps and bunches.

Baby.

‘Cause I gotta have faith
I gotta faith
Because I gotta to have faith, faith
I gotta to have faith, faith, faith

Yup.

Like that.

Sleep won’t hurt either.

Ooh.

Sleep.

Drool.

Twelve Hour Headache

March 14, 2017

Seriously.

Go away.

I’m on my second dose of 600 milligrams of ibuprofen.

I’m not a happy lady.

I’m also not horrified, it’s not a migraine.

It’s annoying, it hurts, but it’s not a migraine.

And for that I am hella grateful.

It’s been a few years since I have had a migraine and I certainly don’t need to start now.

I used to get them as a kid, but didn’t know that’s what was happening.

I just thought I had really bad head aches.

I was finally diagnosed with them in my early to mid-twenties.

“I don’t think you have migraines,” the doctor told me looking over some paperwork as I sat on the table in the examining room at the clinic.

“I do think that you have some issues that need to be addressed, however,” he said, looking up from the clip board.

Then he told me a story about people who smoke.

Now.

At that time I was definitely smoking.

Not my all time high, that would have been in Iowa when I was living in Newton and bartending at Boots and Spurs, Iowa’s Largest Country Western nightclub (I shit you not, they even had a mechanical bull), I could smoke behind the bar and would find myself going through a pack and a half to two packs a day.

Of course I left many a cigarette smoldering in an ashtray as I was slinging drinks, oh so many margaritas and pitchers of Bud Lite, but still, I was smoking a lot.

At the time I was seeing this doctor I must have been slightly younger than I was first thinking, as I was still with the boyfriend of five years and I was working at the Essen Haus as their General Manager.

I couldn’t have been more than 23 years old, 24 years old, tops.

I don’t recall a lot of the conversation, but I remember how he told me a story, the doctor did, about himself and when he had been a cigarette smoker and how he smoked to cope with emotional issues.

I think he was hinting at I needed psychological help rather than medical help.

And he was right.

And.

I still wanted him to go through with the exam.

I still had headaches, which I was pretty sure might be migraines, despite the doctor telling me that the pain I was experiencing did not corroborate a migraine diagnosis.

We did talk for a while and he got a lot of my family history and then he said, “well, you’re here, we might as well do a quick exam and check you out.”

He listened to my heart.

Checked my throat.

Shined a light into my eyes.

“Well, look at that,” he whistled softly, “you do get migraines.”

It turns out that there were broken blood vessels on the backs of my eyes that indicated migraines.

“You have stress migraines,” was the doctor’s diagnosis.

I was given a prescription.

I don’t recall what it was for.

But.

I do know that I filled it and I followed the directions and it worked.

I had to take it at the first sign of a migraine for it to be effective and I wasn’t able to figure out what my body was telling me the first couple of times after I had the medication to dose myself in time.

I had what I learned to call “pre-migraine” symptoms, but I didn’t recognize them right away.

Until.

One day I did.

And it was a revelation.

I was able to take the medication before the migraine landed.

It was miraculous.

I had migraines on and off over the years, but they eventually tapered off.

I stopped taking medication for them over 12 years ago.

My stress levels have decidedly changed over the years, and I have learned how to manage it better, so I know this is not a stress migraine, but it is a bad headache.

What I am hoping is that it is just that, not whatever cold was going around at school.

One of my professors showed up sick the first two days of class and got progressively worse over the weekend and had to call in by Sunday.

I am, however, not feeling anything but pain in my right temple.

I think I just have a nasty headache and hopefully, my dinner will kick in, the ibuprofen will kick in and some nice hot tea will help.

Plus a full night’s sleep.

These things will turn the trick I am certain.

I hope so anyway.

I meet with my internship supervisor tomorrow to fill out paper work after I get done with work and I am also going to be interviewing him for a class project I am doing for Community Mental Health.

I would like to be on point.

So.

With that.

I am going to wrap this up.

Do some self-care.

Get some rest.

Night y’all.

Sweetest dreams.

 

And That’s A Wrap

February 5, 2017

Holy shit.

I have had a full day.

But.

It all got done.

I mean, it just flowed, it was smooth as silk, one thing to the next to the next.

Yoga in the morning.

Hot shower.

Hot breakfast.

Hot coffee.

Writing.

Having a lady over to do some reading and some work.

Taxes.

Yes.

I did my taxes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

I am getting a refund.

I am happy for that, travel money!

Oh the places you’ll go.

Burning Man.

Portland.

Anchorage.

Puerto Rico.

Paris.

Barcelona.

Mallorca.

Venice.

Well.

Maybe not all those places on my tax refund, I’m getting a few thousand back though, thank you education credit, almost makes up for taking out $20,000 in student loans this year.

Almost.

I’ve no complaints though, I am super grateful that I can take out loans, that I get to go to grad school, that I have what I have.

And I have a tax return coming.

Taxes got done.

Then I did some cooking and made a nice hot homemade lunch and I made a big batch of chicken and vegetable stew with brown rice and garlic and stuck a bunch in the freezer for the work week and for the upcoming weekend of classes.

Then.

I sat and I wrote my first paper for the semester.

5 pages.

1,653 words.

Not too long, took about an hour and a half.

It was a reflection paper for my Trauma class and it wasn’t too hard a stretch to come up with things to write about, it was harder to keep it contained to the brevity of the paper requirements which was 3-5 pages long.

Mine was the full five pages and I could have written much more, extrapolated much more, gone quite a bit further.

But there wasn’t a need for that and I was happy to proof it and get it printed off and into my school folder.

I made some tea then sat and kicked through 3/4s of a 40 page paper for my Community Mental Health Class.

I took a small break and wrote out some Valentines Day cards.

I love giving out Valentines Day cards.

Probably because I haven’t had much success with Valentines in my life, and I so enjoy bringing a little touch of sweetness and love and silliness and humor to the holiday.

Last year in class I gave every single person in my cohort a Valentine.

It felt wonderful.

Yes.

I am a dork.

And I don’t care.

When the clock struck 6:30p.m. I headed out the door and hit the MUNI to the BART to the Oakland.

My friend came and picked me up at the 19th Street stop and we went and grabbed dinner at a taqueria in the hood where I was not shamed by the counter guy when I ordered a steak burrito without the wrap.

Yeah, it’s a thing.

After Mexican food, we went for coffee, I got a decaf thank you very much, at Gaylord’s where I ran into friends I hadn’t seen in a while and we all got caught up.

Finally arriving at the spot a little while later and doing the deal and saying the stuff and getting up and sharing and not really remembering what I said, which is good, that means I was honest and didn’t have an agenda.

Although I always have an agenda.

I want to look cool and hip and sexy and smart and oh, so available for dating.

Usually I am just honest and speak from the heart and yeah, I don’t remember what I said and that makes for the best kind of sharing for me.

I can’t fuck it up.

My friend was a total sweetheart and didn’t just drop me off at the nearest BART, but actually drove me all the way home here to the Sunset.

I wouldn’t actually be blogging right now, I’d be on a train, if he hadn’t driven over the bridge.

Such a gift.

A ride home.

And we talked loads of Burning Man.

He was at my first Burning Man camp and is one of the few people on playa who actually knows my first playa name and still calls me by it.

He encouraged me to come and camp with his camp again.

I haven’t actually camped with them, he started an off shoot of the one that I went to my first year, but I have spent lots of time hanging out around their camp fire on playa and I know many of the people who are a part of the crew.

They are definitely my fellows.

And yes.

I know.

It’s February and I’m already talking about Burning Man.

It’s in my fucking blood.

Of course I want to go.

And I will.

Not sure how.

But I will.

Not sure how I’ll get the time off from work.

But.

I will.

It always works out.

Just like today, smooth and sweet and falling into place, showing up for each moment as they come and living in that moment.

It’s a grand way of life, being present, not living in fantasy, just being in the here and the now.

A gift, the present.

All my life, so many presents, and so often I was too far inside my head to realize what was in front of me, I missed life because I was focused on what I didn’t have and what I wanted and thought I needed.

I was always provided for.

I have always been taken care of.

I have such faith that this vein of love and care will continue.

As long as I show up.

Do the next indicated action.

And.

Let go of the results.

Simple.

Not easy.

But really.

Quiet simple.

It is an elegant design for living.

Beyond grateful that I have been gifted with it.

Just for today.

I have it all.

Right here.

Right now.

Perfect.

Love.

And.

Grace.

 

And I Made It

January 16, 2017

Through the first weekend of the second semester.

Whew.

I was tired.

I am tired now.

Of course, I also have some adrenalin, which naturally seems to arrive at the times when I might wish to be winding down.

As opposed to the middle of my Trauma Class or towards then end of my Couples Therapy class when I was so sleepy I didn’t know if I was going to make it awake the rest of the day.

I was at that point when caffeine stops working and the tiredness was kicking in and it was touch and go and sort of woozy and sleepy and dreamy.

And then class ended and I got zipped up and a bit more energy as I got outside and out of the school and into the air.

I met with a few friends from my cohort at Reveille Coffee in the Castro, then on up to Firewood Cafe for dinner and fellowship and then doing the deal in a church basement up the road.

It was good.

It was really good.

I saw lots of folks that I don’t get to see often enough.

I got lots of hugs and asks for dinner and coffee.

I found out one friend and his mom are going to be in Paris at the same time that I am and we made plans to chat about that, I can be the tour guide he never got.

His first visit was supposed to be when I was living in Paris and we just missed each other.

I love touring people around Paris, makes me happy, especially those friends that don’t speak French, I love being of service, makes me feel useful.

So that was lovely.

And just the feeling.

To be seen, to be witnessed to take a moment and acknowledge love, struggle, surrender, doing the deal, showing up.

All of it.

And to get to be showing up for the rest of my life as well.

Like my new job tomorrow, I got a sweet text from the new mom asking after my weekend and also that I make a slight change to my schedule, which I am happy to accommodate, so that the oldest boy and I have a solitary date to go to the Academy of Science.

Super excited.

I’m a dork like that.

I love field trips.

And that I get to have the oldest on a solitary field trip means we get to do a little bonding.

I think that will be quite fun.

Plus it’ll be nice to ease back into the week and the new family and the new schedule.

Tomorrow is a holiday, not for me, but for the school, and so it’s nice to have something already planned and something to do outside of the home will be fun.

I’m happy I’ll also get another hour of sleep tomorrow.

I am ready for it.

I am grateful for the time in school this weekend, albeit feeling some stress about getting my practicum stuff together, I know it’s all falling into place.

I do need to make some proactive steps around it this up coming week and weekend and I’ll start in on my reading for the next semester here pretty quick.

Probably not tomorrow, but soon.

There’s a lot to cover in between the weekends of class.

I do like to give myself a little down time after a weekend of classes, but I also like having the reading on tap and completed for the next weekend and there’s so much that a little bit really has to be done on a pretty regular basis.

Plus.

One of my classes, Community Mental Health, I have to go out in the field and interview a clinician and gather data and do a lot of extra work, which, when the fuck am I going to do that as I’m working business hours and most community mental health programs are not open nights and weekends, but I get to work on that and ferret out some place I can go and talk to a clinician in a diverse community setting.

This is the semester of getting really prepared in the next steps for interning, getting into the community, starting to practice the craft that I have been learning, not just in school, but in my life.

I am absurdly grateful for this and I am astounded when I think about how it all came to be and where it is all going.

Well, I don’t know exactly where it is going, but it is exciting.

And it’s exciting to think that maybe, just maybe, my nanny days are coming to an end.

Oh.

I don’t think it will be for a few more years yet, but there is something really exciting about being with this new family and getting to have a job that could spell out longevity to match the end of my program and the work that I will have to do when I am interning and collecting my hours towards MFT licensure.

3,000.

Just a few.

I’m not there yet.

I am, however, happy to report that another few small steps have been successfully taken down that path.

I know that those little steps, one day at a time, add up so much faster than I could ever realize.

“Didn’t you just start this program?” She asked me with a hug, “and look at you now, already into your second year!”

It feels interminable at times, slow, and sticky and the long classes and the huge reading lists.

And then it seems like, wow, she was right, two years ago this time I had just sent off my application for the school.

Two years later I’m half way through the program and looking down the line.

A possible PhD in Psychology.

A career as a therapist.

A teacher in the community.

A helper.

A giver.

A worker amongst workers.

A friend.

All the things.

So grateful for it all.

So, very, very grateful.

Seriously.

It’s Been A Day

January 9, 2017

And I haven’t left the house.

Well.

I tried.

I thought about it.

I was going to.

Then.

I didn’t.

I took care of all things domestic and necessary–laundry, cooking, food prep, cleaning.

I took care of all things personal and grooming.

Even knowing that I might end up spending the entire day indoors I still got up, took a shower, did my hair, my it looks fine, and even put on make up and a cute outfit, because, well, I like to dress for myself.

And I was to have a visitor and I like to be nicely put together when I have people over.

I am so glad she and I met.

It’s been about a month since we sat down and did the deal, it was so good to get caught up and hear about her life and listen and be present.

Such a gift, that, being present for another, no expectations, just me here at the table reading a few words from a blue bound book and listening to fears and love and faith and joy and happiness and challenges.

Getting to share what I have gone through, knowing my experience can be of service, that nothing, and I do mean nothing, is wasted, that every moment, triumph or painful fall, has meaning and can be shared with another.

My life has meaning.

That is a great gift to know.

My greatest assets are my experiences and knowing that another can make use of them is incredible.

So there was that and it was good.

Then there was the overwhelming feeling of it wasn’t enough.

That I wasn’t enough, that I hadn’t gotten enough done, that I had left too much undone during my vacation time.

Meaning.

FUCK ME.

I am already behind on my school work.

Fuck me.

I mean.

Holy shit there is a lot more reading than I thought there was.

I really took a look at my syllabi today.

And get this.

I did read an entire book yesterday on the train.

Granted, it was a small book, only 87 pages, more a pamphlet than anything.

But.

Shit.

I did not see the rest of the syllabus readings until today.

Whoa.

There was a lot of reading there.

I also, before the discovery that I wasn’t nearly far enough along, done a bunch of reading for my Trauma class.

Maybe 90-100 pages.

I only have one of the books yet, so I read what was assigned from that book.

I need to read about another 150 pages between two other text books for that class and at this point I am just hoping I get them in the mail this week.

Just to have them.

I mean.

I have plenty of other reading to keep me going.

I had been warned by two of my friends in the cohort that the reading for the first weekend of Couples Counseling was beyond the pale.

I didn’t think much of it until I look up the work after kicking through what I could of the Trauma class.

Holy fucking shit.

Whoa.

I mean.

Does this teacher realize that we have other fucking classes this weekend?

Good gravy man.

Fuck you.

I texted a friend and just sort of lost it, what the hell is up with ___________ class?

We commiserated about the amount of reading and that the reader wasn’t available yet, so he’d sent a fuck ton of downloads to the class to read.

I am not great about reading on a computer screen, it’s super hard for me and I also knew that I wouldn’t get through all the reading unless I was able to take it with me and read a little here and there while waiting for the train, or on the train.

Fucking weather.

Fucking fuckedy fuck fuck fuck.

The storm is also why I didn’t really get out.

I didn’t need to, I had done all my shopping and errands previous to this weekend because of the impending doom of the storm.

And it was big and is still going on.

I was going to leave for a moment, I got on the coat, I got my umbrella, I grabbed my purse and I walked out the door, locked it, opened the gate, popped open my umbrella, took five steps and said, “nope.”

I turned right back around, shut the gate, unlocked the door, put my umbrella back and hung up my jacket.

Then I went back to the syllabi.

I messaged my friend a few more texts and then discovered that the grades were up from last semester.

Wait for it.

Straight A’s.

And Passes for the classes I had that were pass/fail.

Which I still think is hilarious that some of our courses in a graduate school program are pass/fail.

Then again, thank God that some are, I tend to get caught up in them and then realize, hey lady, focus on the ones that have a letter grade.

Which means.

Yes.

I have straight A’s through three semesters of classes.

I am half way through the program officially.

Officially I didn’t do dick today in regards to my practicum stuff.

But I did buckle down after a bit of freaking out and needing to get talked down off the ledge by my friend in school and a couple of phone check ins I did with my people.

“Your timing couldn’t be more perfect,” I said as I answered the phone.

“Lay it on me mama,” he said.

And I told him about it all and how I felt overwhelmed and I have had nightmares recently.

Ugh.

Recurring nightmares that haven’t had in years, but hey, here you go, have a nightmare, not stressed at all are you?

hahahahahahahaha.

Vomit.

“It has to be enough,” I said to him, “it has to be, I already did more today than most people do all weekend.”

I felt the tears well up and slide down my cheeks.

Sometimes it feels like there is just so much work to do and no one to rely on but myself and my God I better make this work or I’ll be homeless in the park.

Thanks brain, really needed that added incentive.

We talked it through and I felt the pressure valve open and the emotional steam hiss out.

Then.

I expressed some plans for the weekend.

Yeah.

It is a school weekend, but it’s also a big anniversary for me on Friday.

So.

I’ll be leaving school, I decided, a half hour early so I can go sit in a church basement and make a little announcement where I have made a few before, eleven other to be exact, but who’s counting?

I am.

That’s who.

I’m also going to go to a special church on Sunday and have dinner with some friends before hand and pick up a little something that evening.

A sort of talisman if you like.

A special token of time and effort and work.

If I only do that.

If I only did that work today, the sitting across from the lady bug, the listening, the sharing, than it was a good day.

Fuck.

It was a great day.

An amazing day.

To help another.

Spectacular.

With those thoughts and feelings I got off the phone, ate a home cooked, I told you I did food prep today I have meals for every day this week and all my meals at school all portioned out and ready for take off, made a cup of tea and got onto the reading.

I watched a two-hour movie required for one of the classes and then read two clinical papers.

I did over two hundred pages of reading today and watched that movie.

But most importantly I acknowledged to myself that I am enough.

I am doing enough.

I have enough.

There is no scarcity.

No.

I have all I need.

I am so grateful.

Because the one thing that I may have the most of is perspective.

It is astounding to realize how well I have taken care of myself and how far I have come.

I’ve come a long fucking way.

Just saying.

And though I have a long way to go.

Well, they say, “they” who the fuck are they, it’s the journey not the destination.

I’m on the path and though I don’t know where it leads exactly.

I’m happy to report that I made some nice strides along it today.

And at this juncture the most important thing is to acknowledge it and to take my rest.

There will be more work to do tomorrow.

But for tonight.

I am done.

Seriously.

l am pretty much toast.

Which means.

Time for tea.

And listening to the rain beat against the glass on the back door and the deep hallucinatory roar of the ocean as the waves smash upon the beach.

Warm.

Safe.

Cozy.

And loved.

That too.

I believe it.

I know I love me.

And that is enough.

It was even when I did not realize I was enough.

Perspective.

Seriously.

Where it’s at.

 


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