Posts Tagged ‘DSM 5’

You’d Make Some One

November 14, 2016

A good wife.

I thought to myself as I was canning up homemade chicken soup with rice a few minutes ago.

I burst out laughing.

I make me a good wife.

I am my own good wife.

I do it all.

I do the laundry.

Two loads today.

I do the marketing.

I cook the food.

And.

The food is tasty.

I just finished putting up my food for the week and for the next weekend of classes which is fast approaching.

It’s hard to believe that I have classes this Friday.

I don’t know where the time went.

But fuck me.

It went.

I do know where the majority of today went.

Into my 14 page, 4, 484 word Psychopathology paper.

Holy Toledo.

Yeah.

Most of my day was that.

I was supposed to meet with a couple of ladies.

That didn’t happen.

And I was going to go to yoga.

That didn’t happen either.

Although I set my alarm to get up early and go.

What happened?

My internal clock went off and said, “get the fuck out of bed!”

And in no uncertain terms, my day changed and changed for well, the better, not that I necessarily had a bad plan for my day, things changed, they often do.

I got up earlier than my alarm by an hour.

I got up because I have a cold.

Oh.

It’s not devastating.

Although it is annoying.

It’s a sneezy cold with a bit of a fever.

No cough, which is nice, but a nice low running fever and a sneeze, also, a slightly whisky throated cigarette smoking huskiness to my voice that is actually sort of fun.

I think I caught it from one of the women I work with or one of the families.

Everyone has had it.

I’m better off than most of the folks that I have seen come down with it.

I’m a healthy lady.

But.

I didn’t want to meet with the women I do the deal with if I had a cold.

However, I wasn’t going to cancel my blind date and I wasn’t going to not do my paper.

So.

I offered both the ladies the option to opt out.

My person does that with me, as she knows I work with kids and I do the same for her, if one of us is feeling under the weather but capable of meeting we do, unless the other person opts out.

Both my ladies opted out and I have to be honest.

I was grateful for the extra time.

The paper took longer to write than I thought it would, although not longer than I estimated.

I was just hoping that my  estimate would be over.

Nope.

It was pretty spot on.

I estimated four hours and I started writing at 10:30 a.m.

Yes.

I did get up early, but I also did laundry, took a shower, got ready for my date so I wouldn’t be stressed about that, even wore my favorite dress, and I had a nice breakfast, tidied up the house, and wrote my morning pages.

I also had a phone check in with one of the ladies.

Then.

I wrote the paper.

I finished it just after 3 p.m.

I took a lunch break in there for about twenty minutes or so and I got up once and walked outside and just stood in the sunshine to let my brain rest and let my body have some sun.

I skipped yoga.

Kind of hard to do yoga if you can’t breathe and are sneezing.

But I’m grateful to that too, I needed the time I would have been in class to write.

My paper, as I already mentioned, but feels good to say again, thank you; clocked in at 14 pages, 4, 484 words.

Yeehaw.

I wrote about Post Traumatic Distress Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder.

Things I know nothing about.

Ahem.

There was so much to write about and so many notes and books and stuff and things.

So much.

But it got done.

Thank God.

I even had time to proof half of it before I left for my date.

We met at Samovar Tea Lounge above Yerba Buena Gardens.

It was a beautiful late afternoon and I was grateful to be out in the world, even if it took a few minutes to come to and realize that I was actually on a date and not writing a paper.

It was a nice date.

I had a nice time.

There was not really any zing zip for me, but he was a kind man, a nice man, and we talked.

He wants to see me again, that was clear, though I will probably pass.

I am grateful for the experience though, to be out in the world, to be trying new things.

I mean, this was my first time being set up by a friend.

I’ve never had that happen before and it is super flattering to be thought of.

Speaking of thought of, I received an e-mail today in regards to a book project, turns out a photograph of me will be in the book.

I was super flattered and it’s really nice to be included.

My world feels sweet right now, heady almost, the relief of having that paper done is quite nice.

The author of the book asked if I was still in graduate school and a nanny, as those will be listed alongside my portrait in the book.

Yes.

And.

Yes.

Care taker–of myself, graduate student, budding therapist, Burner, all the things.

After I signed off the e-mail I finished proofing and editing my paper.

I printed it off and voila!

I’m done.

And so is my weekend.

Fuck it went by fast.

I’ve still got some reading to do for class but it can wait for tomorrow.

I have earned a video and a cup of tea.

My candles are all lit up, I have Coleman Hawkins playing and I have my bunny slippers on.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Happy Sunday!

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Do A Little Shimmy

November 12, 2016

In front of the mirror.

Um.

Yes.

But before that I have a lot of moving and shaking to do.

Holy shit do I have a lot of stuff to do.

I preempted it by doing some of the work today.

I mean I got busy already.

I brought reading in with me to work and for the second day I was able to do reading while the boys were on their quiet time I kicked out some reading.

I also just finished doing another hour of reading.

That’s right.

Because this is how I have to roll to get it all in.

Actually.

I did an hour of reading then I took another twenty minutes or so and organized the material that I will be using for my big Psychopathology paper.

It has to be 12-15 pages long, in APA style and it will be an in-depth analysis of two different diagnosis with emphasis on using the DSM V and as well as a psychoanalytic approach.

I will be addressing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

And.

Alcohol Use Disorder.

Ahem.

I may have a little experience with the two.

Hahahaha.

Fuck I amuse myself.

But.

Hey when writing I have found that the best things to write about are things that I have experience with.

I have experience with both in spades.

Thank you very much.

So after I did another two chapters of reading for my Family Therapy class (this is after working a full day at work, and yes, it was full, though lovely, so lovely especially, getting out to the park in the sunshine) after I got back from doing the deal tonight, I sat down and organized the reading and the materials.

I did not start the writing.

But I have started the thinking.

It sits and stews a little up there in my head.

I don’t know exactly how that works, but I do know from a great deal of experience that it does.

I have done the reading, which is a huge part of the battle.

I have the beginnings of where I need to go in my mind.

I have reviewed the directions for the paper a number of times.

I have started sticking post it notes in the places I need to go back to and integrate into the paper.

I will devote seven pages to each diagnosis.

I will break them down, do an assessment, how it presents in the client, what the diagnosis looks like in the DSM V, what it could be, and how to address it psychodynamically.

I have FIVE books I am working with.

One of them is the full size DSM V and the other is the desk reference.

One book on psychodynamic psychiatry and another on psychoanalytic case formulation.

Plus one book of personal experiences.

I actually won’t be using that one so much, I have, ahem, plenty of my own first person accounts to draw from.

I really won’t have any problem sketching out what the presenting problem looks like in the client.

Anyway.

So yeah.

That.

That will be taking up a big part of my weekend.

But it won’t be all my weekend.

I meet with my person tomorrow.

I plan on getting up and doing yoga, I need some exercise, before I meet her as well.

I need a mani/pedi and some eyebrow waxing and I need to do grocery shopping and cooking for the next work week.

I will also do the deal tomorrow.

And I will meet with two ladies on Sunday.

I plan on doing the bulk of the writing tomorrow after I get back from doing my errands in the Inner Sunset.

I am not sure how long this paper is going to take, it’s a big fucking paper, but having started to delve into it and having organized my materials is a big step forward.

I estimate three to four hours.

That sounds like not that much, but for me three hours of straight writing is a fuck of a lot.

I wrote my Family Therapy paper last weekend in two hours, but that was not with as much referencing and was seven pages.

This paper will be double that.

So I figure four hours of writing.

My hope is to get the majority of it written tomorrow before I head out to my 7 p.m. commitment.

And I will work on it more after ward.

I had originally planned on doing the bulk of the writing on Sunday.

But.

Um.

Ha.

Something came up.

I have a date.

What?

Totally out of the blue.

Once it was all set up I messaged my friend, what do I wear?

I laughed to myself, the quintessential question.

Not whether I can appropriately show differential diagnosis in a co-morbid presenting psychological disease, but what dress to wear, and heels, should I wear heels?

I mean he is 6’4″.

6’4″!

Yes.

Thank you God.

And doesn’t drink.

Yes.

Lives in Oakland.

And happens to be a friend of a friend.

This was not the message I was expecting to get today as I was reading my text books at work while the boys were down in their rooms.

A message pops up.

A friend doing some match making!

OMG.

Blush.

Flattered.

So, so unexpected.

Would I be interested in?

Check out…

And yes?

Ok?

What’s your schedule look like?

How about these days?

And this time.

And.

BOOM.

Date with guy set up for this Sunday at Samovar Tea Lounge.

Holy shit.

I mean.

My friend did all the leg work, said to both parties, hey go check out so and so on my page and if you like I arrange.

She did it all.

Professional like.

Damn Gina.

I feel hella looked out for.

By the time guy had checked me out and I had checked guy out she’d verified times and dates for both of us and had gone ahead and made a freaking reservation for us!

Holy Toledo.

And like that.

I have a date for a cuppa tea and a new friend on Sunday.

So.

Yeah.

Um.

Writing that fucking paper tomorrow like a house a fire.

Heh.

Oh.

And side note.

I GOT THE ASK FOR MY NEW JOB!

I got it.

I got the money I asked for.

They responded today and said, absolutely, totally reasonable, no problem, we can do that and we can’t wait to start working with you.

Quote, “can’t wait’ end quote.

Fuck yes.

I was so freaking busy after lunch with the boys, then doing the deal, then homework that I totally forget to check my e-mail.

The response had sat for seven hours in my box.

Hahahahaha.

“I’m sure you’re going to be taken care of,” a friend of mine told me when I bumped into her after my get right with God.

“I always am,” I said, “I’m sure they’re just figuring out the contract.”

And they were.

The family will have the contract to me by next week to sign.

Huge sigh of relief.

So what am I wearing to my date on Sunday?

When I jokingly asked my friend.

She was like, girl you don’t have to worry about that!

And I liked her rule of thumb.

Wear whatever makes you stand in front of the mirror and do a little shimmy.

Yes.

I know exactly what to wear.

Hello weekend.

Let’s get cracking.

I got places to go and things to do.

So.

I get to get my shimmy on.

Shimmy, shimmy.

Coco pop.

Shimmy, shimmy.

Pow!

Oh.

Yes.

Yes, please.

The Pink Lady

September 24, 2016

Rides again!

Yes.

I got my new Corazzo jacket in the post today while I was at school.

So glad to have a nice motorcycle jacket again.

Of course I got the pink one.

Please people.

I love pink.

Not.

However, that it is my favorite color.

Nope.

It is not.

But.

I like being a cute girly girl on my scooter with my little applied star stickers and my star and sparkle helmet.

And.

My awesome new Corazzo pink riding jacket.

I was a little flummoxed when I got home, though.

For a minute, or five, it was not much fun, I thought the latch on my scooter seat was broken and that I couldn’t get my seat open.

Which meant.

I couldn’t get to my purse, my house keys, my phone.

Fuck me.

I stood outside the gate, I could see the package inside the door.

Irony.

God having a good chuckle at me.

I don’t know.

But.

I did manage to get my seat open, turns out the latch was never really quite latched, the strap to my purse was caught in the spot where it should have latched.

Instead it just reminded me to slow down.

I tend to go fast.

Zoom.

Zip.

Slow down.

Take it easy.

One moment at a time.

No where that I have to get to that fast.

I can be quick to the gas, pressing it forward, going quick.

I like speed.

Sometimes, most times, it’s a feeling of freedom, but it can also be a way to escape the situation, quick, get the fuck out of here, run before there’s a feeling, a connection, an intimacy.

Grateful I know this about myself.

And.

Grateful my friends are persistent with me.

I am thinking of my two best girl friends in my cohort and how wildly grateful I was for their presence today in school.

Especially after the unnecessary anxiety I felt yesterday.

The classes turned out to be just fine today.

And yes.

I do still have reading I need to do, but I handed in both my papers and there were folks who did not have the papers to hand in.

And I could tell there were plenty of folks who hadn’t done all the reading either.

But I had done enough, enough to stay in the flow of what was happening in each of the classes and to participate, which is huge in my schooling experience.

If I participate, the teacher remembers me, I get attention, positive for the most part, and I am a part of the experience.

That’s what I prayed for today, to be of service to my cohort, to show up without expectation, to be myself, to help where I could and to do good self-care.

I brought my lunch, my dinner, my homemade cold brewed coffee.

I had tea for the evening class that wasn’t caffeinated.

I had lunch with one of my darling friends.

I have a lunch date with the other tomorrow.

I was extended a Thanksgiving invitation that I am very seriously considering taking too.

So glad for these women in my life.

So glad that I just showed up.

Showing up is so much of the battle for me.

It’s a big deal.

Especially when I can run from things, or stick my head in the sand or not participate out of fear.

Actually.

I have gotten a lot better at walking through the fear and letting myself be emotionally vulnerable in class.

I mean.

Fuck.

I am going to school to become a therapist, I better be in touch with my feelings.

I volunteered to do a demo with one of my professors today and that was great.

The class got to practice assessing my presenting problem.

Was it PTSD?

Or.

Was it Major Depressive Order?

I’ll let you in on a secret.

It was probably both, but what I was presenting with was PTSD.

And it was the first time I actually understood what the hell was being shown when I was originally diagnosed with it.

I read it in the DSM 5.

I noted the presenting symptoms.

And voila!

I got to diagnose myself.

Not that I recommend that.

And frankly.

I did feel some tenderness around myself and a lack of wanting to engage with certain people and relationships in my life.

I needed a break from looking at all the child hood stuff.

I had to take it gentle and do some self-care.

There’s still stuff to work out and I could go into further detail, but really, why?

It’ll get worked out and it doesn’t need to quite be in this public of a forum.

Besides.

Read enough of my older blogs and you’ll make a damn good guess at some of the traumas I got to live through.

And come out stronger.

Not that I’m advocating trauma for growth.

It just happens to be a part of my journey.

That’s all.

No judgements around it other than I get to be really kind to myself.

Which meant coming home tonight instead of going out with friends from school.

Or.

Friends from life.

“What are you doing tonight?” A new friend text me as I was wrapping up my final class of the day.

I told her I was still at school.

Really my plans.

Go home.

Rub one out.

Take a shower.

Write my blog.

Drink some hot tea.

Watch a snippet of a video.

Go to bed.

Get up and do it all again tomorrow.

The only difference being.

I will be attired in pink.

So.

Very.

Pretty.

In pink.

Yes.

Please.

There Is Only

September 23, 2016

So much I can do.

I told myself as I felt completely blown out of the water by an e-mail I got from one of my professor’s today right before I left for work.

It was a cheery, chatty little hello death bomb.

You want me to what?

Why are you telling me this now?

It’s the fucking day before class and I’m working you twat.

Fuck me.

You can’t spring an assignment on me that last-minute.

I was spaced out the entire time I was on my scooter heading into work.

I kept having to pull my attention right back to the road, to the moment, to the feel of the wind on my body, to the blue sky over me, to the cars in front of me, the lights and the intersections.

By the time I got to work I felt overwhelmed and anxious as fuck.

I called a few people.

I felt the fear like a strangle hold on my neck.

I couldn’t breathe.

I started diagnosing myself with affective disorders from the DSM 5.

Just a little light reading before heading into work, no  worries.

I joke with one of my cohort that there should be a diagnosis in the DSM 5 for anxiety caused from being in graduate school.

I broke it down to myself today.

I can only do so much.

Listen.

The fact that I got out of bed, made it, and prayed was a big deal.

The fact that my rent is paid, my phone is paid, I have a clean home, my fridge is stocked with food I have cooked for the weekend of classes, that I have a job to go to, it’s enough.

I told myself these things.

I looked up at the trees, green, gold, red tinged with yellow against the cerulean blue sky, the cooing of mourning doves on the telephone wire, the warm sun, the cool wind.

I breathed.

In and out.

All I need to do is this.

Breathe and do the next action in front of me.

Panic is not going to help.

I look at all the things I do right.

I am not drinking, smoking, or blowing lines of cocaine.

I don’t eat sugar or flour.

I have a prayer practice for fuck sake.

I’m doing ok.

If grad school imploded.

I’ll be ok.

“Carmen, even at your worst, you are a rock star student,” she just assured me over the phone.

Thank God for my people and their perspectives.

Plus.

I had a major curve ball thrown my way with work this week.

Not like that hasn’t affected me a bit.

Please.

Be nice to yourself.

I caught my breath.

I got my bearings.

I knew I was ok.

I knew it was enough.

It just has to be good enough.

I just show up and that’s the majority of the battle anyway.

The nice thing for me too is knowing that I have to do a certain amount of self-care, this blog is one of the things I do for myself.

And you thought it was all about you, didn’t you, you sexy thing.

No.

I don’t much write with the audience in mind.

If I do I might freak out.

MY MOTHER COULD BE READING THIS RIGHT NOW.

Jesus fuck.

That’s enough to make a person edit themselves.

Heh.

But no.

I digress.

I know there’s only so much that can be done in a day and I do so much.

Really I do.

Even when I lose focus, even when I get complicated in my head, even when I want to shout, don’t you see how hard I’m trying?

There is no one to shout these things to.

Just me.

Whistling in the dark.

As the case may be.

But I think of the owl, the heart shape of his face, the cold dark eyes, the white fluttering wings, and I feel that I am just exactly where I am supposed to be, learning all the things I need to learn.

“People tell you who they are in the first moments you meet them,” he told me gently.

Yes.

What do I tell people in those first moments?

Can I treat myself kind so that others may give themselves permission to do so as well.

Can I smile.

Offer the kindness of a gracious demeanor, can I say thank you and please and you are welcome and it’s nice to see you too.

Can I remember a person’s name.

I can.

And I got through the day.

Granted I had to talk myself out of a hole a few times.

I fell in it.

But.

I also got to smile at the cashier at the market and wish her a happy day, I got to say thank you to Dave Hale who always has the best apples at the Bartlett Farmer’s Market, I got to get hugs from the boys and kisses from the dog.

I got to raise my head to the sunshine and lift my face in the wind.

I get to show up tomorrow and I get to be in graduate school.

If life were fair I’d be in the gutter.

Or.

Dead.

I mean.

Let me be honest.

I should not be here.

Too many things colluded against me for my life not to be viewed as a miraculous, magical, amazing gift.

I get to do all these things.

And I’m grateful I got this thing called perspective in my back pocket.

All I have to do is look around my beautiful little home to know that.

I have so much.

And when my head tells me I’m not enough I know that I don’t have to listen to that lie, that’s just an old tape that needs to get thrown in the garbage, not put on the negative feed back loop.

The highlights of my life are still to come.

It is only getting better.

Seriously.

 

To Dance

September 15, 2016

Or.

To not dance.

I got a very sweet e-mail message from a friend today regarding all things Burning Man and when the hell were we going to go out dancing?  And we need to wrangle our third mutual friend and do that damn deal.

Don’t I know it.

September is a tough month for me in regards to that.

It’s the only month in the semester that I have two full weekends of classes.

Next weekend.

Which means this weekend is going to be writing papers, doing as much reading as I can cram into my head and burrowing into a hole.

Unless I get asked on a date.

Heh.

Fuck me.

I’m pretty transparent as it goes.

I’m all about the books, unless there’s make out on the table, then I’m like, um, I can get up early next week and do that paper.

Ha.

Oh.

I do so love how my brain works.

I did, however, give myself an hour of reading today before work and I cranked out a lot of one of my classes.

I am however, loathe, seriously so, to even crack the syllabus for my Psychopathology class.

I got my DSM 5 in the mail yesterday.

Nothing says sexy like a $158 text-book.

This thing is a serious piece of work, I don’t know how much it weighs, but I’m going to say the 5 in the title refers to pounds.

Even though I know it means fifth edition.

This sucker is heavy.

I have the desk reference for taking to class and the gigantic one for working out of.

I have two whopper papers that are going to be a part of the class and the professor said we’ll basically be reading the entire DSM 5 by the end of the semester.

Yeah.

Right.

The full title in case you were wondering: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.

Say that ten times fast.

The book is 947 pages long.

Now.

I have read books longer than this.

For pleasure, with eagerness and joy.

Not with dread and trepidation.

Also, said longer books were fiction, I wasn’t writing any papers on them and I won’t be going back to them for referencing the rest of my career.

Though to be up front I am hoping that I won’t be using the book all that much.

There is a substantial amount of controversy over the use of the book and how the medical model for psycho therapy has gotten its’ panties in a twist with insurance billings.

You have to have a diagnosis to get your health insurance to reimburse you.

Nobody wants a permanent diagnosis on their record.

I mean.

I joke about mine.

Acute clinical depression.

Acute clinical anxiety.

Severe PTSD.

Classic Adult Child of an Alcoholic.

So.

Let’s see, I’m a drug addict (in recovery, thank you very much), an alcoholic, and yes, I also have an eating disorder.

Anything else here to stare at?

Ha.

The thing is that I don’t really give a fuck what diagnosis I have, either on record or off.

The only thing that I don’t have is a criminal record, although not for lack of trying.

Ahem.

I sought professional help for the anxiety and depression and for three years I was on antidepressants.

I didn’t like being medicated and I was on the lowest dose possible.

I will also add that it saved my life.

I hadn’t had suicidal ideation until I got into recovery.

Which freaked me out.

I discovered later that I was self-medicating, first through food than alcohol and drugs.

And cigarettes.

God, did I love me some smokes.

I’m absurdly grateful for the help I got, help I didn’t even know existed and I didn’t know how to address all the things that were going on.

I couldn’t make sense of the trauma and abuse.

I didn’t know that the neglect and the upbringing I had were not not normal.

It was what it was and I was always surprised when I was told that what I experienced was not healthy, in fact, the very counter-indication of health and normalcy.

Yeah.

What’s normal though?

I suppose a body can get used to anything and my mind and body did what they did to get me through and I had no clue that those things which had helped me deal would eventually stop working.

And when they did.

Well.

It wasn’t very pretty.

But.

Thank God for the help I received.

I am beyond grateful.

I am graced.

Loved.

Taken care of.

“You are going to be of such service to so many people,” he said to me as we were driving back into the city from Sausalito.  “I mean, I just know it, you are going to help so many people.”

I hope so.

Actually.

I pretty much know so.

That sounds like ego, I know that, but I am in a special and unique position.

First that I have gone through the wringer, that I have gone through that puppy more than once, I have a great deal of experience with getting through.

And.

Not only getting through.

But.

Getting better.

Stronger.

More flexible.

More kind.

More loving.

To myself and to others.

But mostly to myself so that I could be more loving to others.

Second, I am extraordinarily resilient, which is just an offshoot of the first.

How I have not drown in all the muck and morass and the sadness and grief, I do not know.

I have hope.

Nay.

I have faith.

Faith like the sunrise rising no matter what, the disco ball spinning in the club, the music beating in my heart, the waves rocking the boat in the night, a cradle of love, God’s hand holding me a loft and strong.

I am taken care of.

So that I can take care of others.

I don’t take antidepressants any longer.

I manage my stress.

I haven’t had a panic attack in years.

Yes.

I get anxious, but I know what to do.

I have a meditation practice, a prayer practice, I am of service, I help out in my community.

Fuck.

People.

I go to yoga.

Spiritual giant, yo.

Mostly though.

I just do the work.

Take the suggestions.

Put one foot in front of the other.

And love.

Lots of love.

Lots of joy.

Lots of happy.

And free.

Yes.

To question the abundance and prosperity I have in my left would be to spit on the hand of God that has helped me through this all, made me stronger, more gracious, more bent with love.

A burden, no.

A gift, yes.

A perspective I am graced to have.

A life beyond anything I could have imagined.

One day at a fucking time.

It’s pretty awesome.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And Like That

September 4, 2016

I got a date.

Now that was fucking fast.

I don’t know that he is necessarily the man I have been hoping to manifest.

But.

Then again.

I have no idea.

Funny this.

He asked me out over a year ago and then I ran into another guy who I thought was him and I asked that guy out thinking it was the first dude who had asked me out.

Oops.

Not the same dude.

But they both do look a bit alike.

That being said, this is pretty much a blind date.

He was someone who friended me on social media after reading one of my blogs.

I think a mutual friend must have shared it, because I am uncertain how we connected, just that I remember he asked me on a date, but we never did connect.

Then a couple of weeks ago, right before Burning Man, while I was still working in Glen Ellen, he messaged me on Instagram.

I think he liked one of my photos or I liked on of his, who knows, but he reached out and asked me out to dinner.

We chatted a bit and I said probably after I get back from Burning Man, but yeah, I also got that school thing happening, so, it might be a minute.

And then.

I forgot about it.

Except there it was on my phone tonight, a little message in the in-box on my Instagram account.

And like that.

I have a date tomorrow.

I’m not certain exactly what we are doing, but we’ll hang out after I get done with school.

Sunday’s I have a half day, done by 4p.m. and I also have Monday off, so if it goes well and I’m out a little late I’ll be cool with it.

I’ll be happy to celebrate getting through my first weekend of the second year program.

I ordered more books today, well, one more book, a big gun, the DSM 5 and I also got my advisor situation worked out.

My advisor is on sabbatical this semester.

Which is cool by me, we didn’t really click and I never met with him.

My new advisor is actually the head of the program department, and though I know he’s really busy, I also had him for one of my classes last year and I really connected with him and how he communicates is right up my alley.

I got the paperwork sorted and I’ll be having him sign off on it tomorrow.

I had a tiny moment of panic today when I thought about things, all the reading, all the paper writing, all the paying attention and learning and doing, there is so much of it.

But.

Then I remembered.

I only have to do today.

I only have to show up, to the best of my ability, on time and alert and to participate.

Sometimes that participation is just to make sure I take a moment, sit down and eat my lunch.

The next things will fall into place, the next actions will happen, and the next thing you know I will have my masters in psychology and I will be heading into the doctoral program at the school.

I get a head of myself.

Just a note to self.

One day at a time.

One moment at a time.

And.

I don’t have to figure it out.

It will happen how it is supposed to happen.

But damn Gina.

Am I ever so glad that I have a writing practice, that I sit down here every night and write.

That I sit at this same table every morning and I write.

Write, write, write.

It’s a good habit, it’s a life line, it’s the thing that makes my blood surge and my heart beat and I decompress and unwind and let the day do it’s thing on the page.

Sometimes it’s really good.

And.

Sometimes.

Well.

It’s ass.

But.

I do it anyway and I keep doing it and one day, millions of words later, and I do mean millions, the blog I published last night was number 1,900.

I average 1,000 to 1,500 words per blog.

Which means I have written over two million words on this site.

Not bad man.

I don’t know what that breaks down into hours, they, the infamous “they,” say that it takes 50,000 hours at something to be considered a master.

Want to be a master cellist?

50,000 hours.

I wouldn’t say my blogs take me an hour to write, they typically take about a half hour to 45 minutes depending on what I have to say or what kind of mood I am in.

And the longer I have done them, the faster I have gotten.

My typing skills are pretty sharp, lots of practice, yo.

So.

Let me just think about that if I’ve got 1,900 published, which is less than I have written, I have a few dozen drafts that have never seen light of day and about another 50-100 that I scrubbed out after wanting to be careful about what I am writing and making sure that I am keeping the focus on me and my experiences and not judging others for whatever their experiences are (but I’m not perfect, it still sneaks in once in a while), so let’s just say, 2,000 blogs.

2,000 blogs at 45 minutes=90,000 minutes/60 minutes to the hour=1,500 hours.

Nowhere near a master.

But.

That being said.

I’ve spent thousands of hours writing.

And I don’t see it easing up any time soon.

For which, I am grateful.

One of my cohort and I were discussing options in regards to the program as we move forward and she was curious about the come to Jesus moment I had at the intensive week.

I shared my experience and basically outlined some thoughts about wanting to do a dissertation and get my PhD in East/West Psychology and what that might look like.

I really, fyi, have no fucking clue what that would look like except that I would be Dr. Carmen and also that I could do more with the PhD than I can with just a regular MFT license.

Which is not to say that I won’t sit for the MFT boards.

I will.

I want to be able to get my hours and also intern and make money as a therapist while working toward my PhD.

And if I keep with my writing practice.

Well.

“Oh my god, you’ll be great, you’re already a writer, you should totally go for the PhD,” she said with much assurance.

Thanks lady.

That’s nice to hear and I’m so grateful to get to do the work by getting to do this work, this little exercise that has carried me so far, let me work on so many issues, writing things out, letting things go.

Growing all the damn time.

I am so grateful I am a writer.

Even if my audience is small.

Motherfucker!

I have an audience.

How fucking cool is that?

Pretty cool.

Seriously.

Way.

Fucking.

Cool.

 

PS.  I promise my dissertation won’t use profanity.

I think.

Heh.


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