Posts Tagged ‘overwhelm’

Bear Witness To

August 20, 2018

That’s what got me today.

Not the music.

No.

I was careful about my music choices people, I’m learning.

But the wanting to share something with you today.

I wanted so much to pick up the phone and talk and tell you how my day has been, how my week as been, how I feel overwhelmed and that I can’t do it and then you would tell me I could.

I was going through my private practice folder, trying to figure out some things and I touched the leather of the binder and I suddenly lost it.

I remember standing outside the restaurant after brunch when we were on vacation and looking at these soft, supple leather folders and purses and bags, gorgeous hand-made, hand tooled, beautiful pieces.

I bought a bag for files and a folder for my legal pad and I was so happy, over the moon, to be there walking through the city with you, the sun shone down, and yes, there was some sadness that day too, we had some talks, but there was the etherealness to it to.

I remember how you always offered me bites of your food, how you know me so well and in my abstinence you always took care to be kind about my food choices, well, maybe you teased me a little, but you were so sweet.

I was struck by how, later in the day after much walking, you grabbed a hotdog from a street vendor and had a couple of bites, then you ripped off the bun from the un-eaten end, and offered it to me for a bite too.

All the small, sweet, considerate gestures that do me in.

But it was that folder today.

I cried out loud.

I wanted to tell you about what has been going on, how things are moving forward, that I have an office to sub-lease, that I have rent to pay, that I have things happening, that I printed off another syllabus and read from one of my new books, that I had struggled today to not be anxious about all the things unfolding.

When I picked up the folder I realized that you were no longer here to witness me, to tell me how proud you were of me.

I know logically that I don’t need someone to pat me on the back and say, hey you’re doing a great job, I can do that for myself, most of the time, but it just struck me hard, I wanted to tell you and I can’t.

All the things I want to tell you.

I wrote you another letter today.

I told you a little fantasy I had.

I wished for you happiness and joy and kindness, sweetness, and grace.

I pray for you every day and every night and I pray to make it through to the next thing that I have to do.

I have a lot of things to do.

I did get a lot accomplished today and I am proud of myself for doing as much as I did.

I cooked.

I roasted a chicken and I made a turkey and vegetable stew with brown rice.

I cleaned my house.

Aside.

Man oh man, put a syllabus in front of me with homework on it and watch my house suddenly become sparkling clean.

I mean, I cleaned my house.

I have even started tackling some things like cleaning out the freezer, I figure I won’t be here much longer and if I tackle small bits of a big job they will get done eventually and not all pile up on me right as I’m making my move.

Second aside.

I have a place I am going to see on Wednesday.

I know, I said I was waiting.

But have I told you how loud it is here?

It is loud.

And it is uncomfortable.

I saw an ad last night on craigslist and I thought, wow, I should respond to that.

It’s not in a neighborhood I would have ever even thought to look, Sea Cliff, and it’s a unique housing situation, an Au Pear (which means guest cottage), with a drastically reduced (for San Francisco) rent with the caveat that when the family that owns the main house is away the tenant takes care of their dog.

I went to bed thinking, do I want to clean up dog poop and get up early to walk a dog a couple of times a month/year?  I don’t know how often the family travels or what exactly the schedule of care looks like, but yeah, do I want to clean up dog shit for a lowered rent on a cottage in Sea Cliff?

A cottage.

A stand alone, one bedroom with a library!

Oh my God, my little PhD student heart went pitter pat.

In Sea Cliff.

Now if you don’t know San Francisco that means nada to you.

But if you do, you know that Sea Cliff is crazy high-end, big houses, big sprawling yards and gardens, by Baker Beach with all the iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge you could shake a stick at.

The house is literally across the street from the ocean, the cottage has ocean views.

There is also very little traffic in Sea Cliff, no buses or municipal vehicles go through it, no trains, it’s not quite a gated community, but it is super high-end fabulouslity.

A cottage in Sea Cliff would probably rent for $7,000 and upward, I may be lowballing that number too, I think it’s pretty rare that anything in Sea Cliff would actually be rented, and if there are rentals, well, they are freaking expensive.

So a cottage, again, a one bedroom with a library and the biggest freaking windows and wood floors for $1680 a month that includes utilities and parking and laundry?

I’ll pick up some dog poop people.

I have an appointment to see it on Wednesday.

I’ll keep you posted.

And in the meantime.

Love of mine.

I think of you often and wish we could talk and dream of a time I can once again be in your arms.

And yes.

Of course.

I cry.

In cafes with my confidant, at home holding things close you gave me, in the car listening to our music.

I hope you are well, I hope you are muddling through.

I miss you.

I love you.

Always.

Always.

Your baby girl.

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More Books

August 15, 2018

In the mail today.

Two more.

Now I have a total of four books and two electronic books in my possession for my PhD program.

16 days and counting.

I talked with my therapist a bit about that, the PhD program looming, the internship and all that needs to be done, dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” as well as the overwhelm I felt after the orientation on Saturday.

Overwhelm, I am happy to say that is beginning to dissipate.

It was helpful that I heard back from the professor from whom I will be renting an office from and that she gave me the days and times I could use the space.

I will be using it that’s for sure.

It will mean a slight change in my schedule, but I think that it will work nicely.

I also will, fingers crossed, be taking on more clients than I currently run with.

Right now I’m at seven.

I want to go up to ten.

That is possible because the office is available on the weekends.

Both Saturday and Sunday.

But I won’t be using the office to see clients on Sunday–my new internship requires one Sunday a month to do trainings.

And well, from a historical perspective, Sundays are my day to do homework.

I did this Sunday, I foresee doing homework on many a Sunday for the next few years.

It’s my “day off.”

Bwahahahaha.

Sigh.

One day it will actually be a day off, but not for the foreseeable future.

That’s ok.

I’m happy to be getting the groundwork laid for my private practice.

I am really beginning to get excited.

If all goes as hoped I will see clients Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday nights after work from 6:30p.m. to 8:30p.m. and on Saturdays.

I’m thinking either noon to 4p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5p.m.

For a total of ten clients.

Which will be perfect to get me up and running and through the end of this year.

The office is available more than those times as well.

One of the days that it is available is also on Fridays, all day long.

I am hoping that once I finish out my contract with my family I will transition down to part-time with them.

I want to take Fridays off from nannying in January and build up my practice to all day Friday and all day Saturday.

I could also, if it works, which it may, take the office all day on Tuesday too.

Getting situated into this internship is huge for me.

There are a lot of things that I will have to do in the upcoming weeks, but I feel like I can handle them and once all the things are put into place, it will run like a well oiled machine.

I have a feeling that I will get up and running fairly quickly and I hope to be able to transition to being paid by February or March of next year.

I may be able to pull it off by January, but I’m not going to try to force it, I want things to unfold naturally and with ease.

I also will be doing a GoFundMe to get my office off the ground.

The clinical director spoke of a number of interns whom had used that platform to get the necessary start-up funds to begin their practices.

I had a friend who did a GoFundMe for me when I hurt my ankle so horrendously four years ago and was completely layed up and unable to work.

He got me rent and one month of my student loan payment taken care of.

He said it was really easy to do.

I can’t actually do the fundraising myself, nor can I donate to the pool in my own name.

The money has to either come from outside sources or from the fees I will be charging clients, which will eventually add up to enough to get me going and paid.

The GoFundMe helps get the ball rolling and establishes my office rent fund, administrative costs, group supervision, and insurance.

The internship basically is an umbrella under which I establish my own private practice.

They have faith that I will bring in money and clients and that I will serve the community.

I have faith as well.

Which is nice.

I also talked with my therapist, of course, about my ex and how the no contact went down and how that was also a big part of feeling overwhelmed and a bit at odds with the transitions happening.

Fuck.

So many transitions.

I mean, I haven’t even touched base on moving yet as a topic.

But that I was glad for the busy work that I got given on Saturday, it helped ameliorate the grief a little.

Or better.

I should say, it delayed it for a bit until I had the down time on Sunday to really let the sadness come out.

It came out.

It still is coming out, definitely in my therapy today, good hard cry there.

I also am aware that grief has no time line and there isn’t going to be a day sometime in the next week or two where I suddenly am 100%.

But there will be.

And I will make it there.

I will say, though, I was surprised today to remember, out of the blue, I think because tomorrow is Wednesday and we connected for the first time on a Wednesday, our first kiss.

My body shot through with electricity and I gasped in recollection.

Then.

Of course.

Sadness.

I don’t know when the feelings will come.

You would think they would come right now, I’m writing about it, I’m sitting in the spot, or damn near as close to it as I can, where he kissed me in my little tiny kitchen, and blew apart my body with the fire of chemistry that was lit by the kiss.

But no.

Not like it was earlier.

Just noodling along at work, prepping dinner and thinking about tomorrow being Wednesday.

Tomorrow being one week since I last saw him, heard from him, was held by him, kissed by him.

Of course I would get sad thinking of that.

But it was the kiss, the memory of that astonishing first kiss that floored me.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Probably another book in the mail.

And feelings.

I am pretty sure there will be some of those as well.

There usually are.

Inch By Inch

December 3, 2017

I’m getting there.

I got my Psychopharmacology online assignments finished today.

And.

Yes.

I wrote my final paper for Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

I turned it in.

And god damn that felt good.

I didn’t think I was going to be able to kick it out.

I had a serious amount of overwhelm today and I just had to keep telling myself that I was ok and that I just needed to do the next thing in front of me and it would get done.

Really had to break it down into little palatable bites.

I leaked tears when I was checking in with a friend of mine before group supervision today, he well knows what it feels like to be overwhelmed, like I, he did the same school program and worked full-time to support his way through school.

“You got this, you can do this, you can, it’s almost done,” he said and patted me on the arm.

I did some deep breathing and tried to calm down.

I still cried in supervision during my check in.

I’m super grateful I didn’t burst into tears at the baby shower I went to before supervision.

But.

I came close.

It was touch and go.

I was only there for literally twenty minutes, enough to say hello, squeeze my dear friend and soon mom to be and use the bathroom before winging out the door and getting onto the next thing.

I was able to get up and go to yoga this morning.

Although I almost didn’t.

In fact.

I’m not sure I’ll go tomorrow.

I’m feeling a bit off.

I’ve had an upset stomach all day today.

I don’t know if I caught a bug, or if it’s just stress, but I can’t eat dinner.

I have been noodling around, since I got home, looking at this next paper I have to write and poking around social media hoping my tummy would settle down and I would make myself some dinner, but I honestly feel a bit too nauseous.

I’m going to make a cup of tea after I finish blogging and let it go at that.

I don’t want to eat something if I’m feeling sick.

Even though I follow a pretty regulated eating program of recovery, I can’t fathom eating right now.  I’m hoping that this passes and I’ll wake up chipper and fine.

I mean.

I am glad I went to yoga even though I felt like poop most of the class, I did find some relief in the stretching and also a little hiatus from my head and the anxiety of getting all the work finished for next weekends round of classes.

I also can tell you that I wasn’t feeling myself from the fact that I never changed out of my yoga clothes.

I never do that.

I strip, shower, and get dressed in fresh clothes.

I took the yoga class super easy though, I didn’t want to stress out my ankle, so I never really broke a sweat and when I got home, I was like, shit, fuck the shower, save the extra time to work on some homework, eat breakfast, and do some writing.

I don’t have any compunctions about it at all, I did throw on a cute shirt over my leggings and put a tiny bit of makeup on, but really, I was flying pretty low-key today, just staying focused on getting to the next thing in front of me.

I also took my car today, I was going to take my scooter to “save on time” but I wasn’t feeling it, I wanted to be cozy in my car and so, yay, self-care, I drove today.

It was nice.

I listened to Chopin in my car, which I never do on my scooter, listen to music, and I had the heat on and it was super yummy and cozy.

So glad I did that.

I thought I was going to lose some time and that I would regret not having taken the scooter, but I found parking everywhere I went and was able to navigate all the things.

I am really still a bit shocked that I got everything done.

Although I did get teary again this evening checking in with a friend of mine about needing to go home after doing the deal instead of going out and getting dinner.

First, upset tummy did not want eating out, and second, I really wanted to get home and check in on a few things and get prepared for tomorrow.

It’s a big day too.

Final dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.

The show is on Tuesday.

I’ve got the rehearsal from noon to 4p.m.

I may go to yoga, I may not.

I’m not signing up until I see how I feel in the morning.

If I’m still having an upset stomach I’ll let myself off the hook.

After the rehearsal I’m going to treat myself to a mani/pedi and some eyebrow waxing, I want to look good for the show.

Then some grocery shopping and my last CBT webinar at 7p.m.

I’m not sure if I will get to my Drug and Alcohol paper or not.

I’m going to try.

I have all the material prepared and I have a pretty good idea what I will write on.

I would like to get it done before the end of the weekend.

I am so annoyed I still have to sit through a CBT webinar, I finished all the reading and did the take home exam already and sent it in, this last webinar seems like a fucking waste of my time, but I’ll do it and that will be one more class completed.

What I’m hoping is that the dress rehearsal goes by fast, that I won’t have to be there until 4p.m.

Or.

Maybe I bring my stuff with me and when the other speakers are practicing, I do homework.

I don’t know.

I’ll play it by ear.

Just grateful I got through today.

So grateful.

And with that.

I’m out.

I need to get cozy.

Sweet dreams.

I’ll see you on the flip.

Jam Packed

December 1, 2017

And now.

Just chilling in my bunny slippers.

It’s been a busy week and I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday.

I mean.

I’m hella happy it’s Friday, it just seems incredulous to me that the end of the week is almost here.

Of course that speaks to the amount of things that I have been juggling.

Just a few things.

Practicing my lecture for the People Who Usually Don’t Lecture series.

They posted my headshot today and the nicest write-up.

I was really quite taken with what they wrote about me.

It was really flattering.

They took the bio I sent them yesterday and extrapolated it and made it more personal somehow and also a bit more polished.

It was nice to see it and I shared it to my social media.

It’s going to be interesting whatever happens as I will be getting quite a bit of exposure from it, I’ve been dark on my blog for months now, since May, nearly seven months, for the sake of working with my therapy client, so this will be a kind of exposure I haven’t had in months.

I’m reconciled with it.

I doubt, highly doubt that any of my clients will stumble on this, despite social media and it’s far reach, but the video will be posted to YouTube and I do wonder about that.

Then again.

I’m not that fucking special.

Although my supervisor forewarned me that there will come a time that as a therapist I will have a client stalk me.

Great.

Thanks for the cheery news.

I didn’t share with him that I have been stalked before.

I’m not sure how I would take it a second time.

I’m sure, though, that I will respond to it far differently.

Anyway.

I’ll be out in the public eye for a moment and then something else shiny will be in the eye of the public and my ten minutes of fame will dissolve into the ether.

I’m excited to do it and have the experience.

I think that’s the biggest thing, it’s a cool experience to get to have and I’m excited for that.

I like experiences.

I’ve had an idea vaguely growing in the back of my mind that I may have to take a little mini road trip in my new car once I clear the hurdle of the semester.

Maybe go see some lighthouses.

Drive down the coast.

Just a little jaunt.

I think that could be a lot of fun.

I don’t however, have much room in my head for figuring that out.

I’m just trying to make it through the next seven days until I hit my last weekend of classes.

I have plenty to do in that seven days.

I’m going to knock out the rest of the online stuff and get at least one of my papers written this weekend as well as crafting the worksheet I’m going to hand out to my classmates in my Transpersonal Psychology class as part of my final group projects.

Gah.

I hate group projects.

I got a bit overwhelmed with one of the people in my group over the last couple of days and I realized this morning after reading another text that I was just being anxious and that I could respond with kindness and just let her know I was doing my best to manage my overwhelm, that I would contact her regarding the project, but she was going to have to wait until Sunday.

And it all worked out and after some more messaging later today, it feels like it’s coming together and I’m going to be ok.

What with the rehearsal I have resigned myself to not getting all the paper writing done that I was hoping to get done, but I will finish at least one of my papers and hopefully get a good start on the second.

I also, note to self, still have to write-up a dream for Jungian Dreamwork, not a hard thing, but a two pager that still has to be done.

And that needs to be done before class as well.

The final paper for that class is due the 15th of the month.

Fuck.

December.

Tomorrow.

It’s December.

How the hell did that come up so fast?

I have decided one thing though.

I will let myself get my Christmas tree when I finish and turn in my Jungian Dream Work final paper.

That will be incentive.

And it will be a fun thing to reward myself with when I am all done with the semester.

I had briefly entertained the idea of getting the tree this upcoming weekend, but no way, too fucking busy.

Then I thought.

Maybe when I wrap up classes for the semester, next Sunday.

But then.

I realized that it would be the best feeling if I did it when I had absolutely nothing hanging over my head and that won’t be until I hand in every last piece of work that the semester is demanding.

Then.

The tree.

It makes it more special.

It will be a way to mark the end of classes and a sweet way for me to celebrate.

I can almost smell the evergreen now.

Sigh.

Three final papers.

One dream reaction paper.

Finish my online portion for Psychopharmacology.

And.

Do the final project presentation work.

Just a few things standing in between me and that Christmas tree.

But no worries.

I will get it done.

I always do.

Always.

Bubble Wrap

July 4, 2017

And it’s being razor bladed off you.

Sometimes my supervisor has a way with words that astounds me.

I like to consider myself a writer, perhaps having a bit of a way with words, at times, I am definitely wayward, so there is that too.

But.

Man.

He knocked it out of the park today.

“It’s like this, you’re a brand new therapist, you’re still being taken out of the bubble wrap and they are razor blading it off you,” he paused, “you are getting overwhelmed and you need time to acclimated all the things that you are getting from your clients.”

He paused, straightened the hem on his pants, a tic sometimes that I’m not sure he’s aware of when he’s collecting his thoughts, like someone taking off their glasses to polish them when they want to find the right words to tell you you’re about to get fired.

Then he continued, “you are getting a lot from you clients, you are having some extraordinary insights, I’m not going to deny that, but you need some boundaries around it so you can assimilated all the information.”

I know what he is saying.

I was surprised last week when I got tossed as many clients as I did.

“Hey!  I’m new! I don’t have the chops yet!  Wait a minute, please,” I remember thinking and I also called into my person who tagged me out.

“You are overwhelmed and they are giving you too much and you need to push back,” he told me, “I can hear it in every message you are leaving, it’s great you’re a therapist and you’ve got skills, but you are absolutely overwhelmed.”

He was right.

And.

By grace, by God, by luck, what have you, I was granted small reprieves here and there and pockets of time that I was able to fall in, be held in, like the big oversized European chairs in my employers house.

Sometimes when I get a break, when the kids are not around, when the baby is sleeping, when the mom is off at her office or running errands and I am not in class and needing to catch up on my reading, I will sit in one of the chairs and stare out the big plate-glass windows of the back wall–it’s an entire wall, ceiling to floor (and it’s a high ceiling over twelve feet, probably fourteen foot high) of windows, one side of the house to the other.

I can see the entire downtown skyline.

I can see the Bay Bridge.

But most of the time I look at the tops of the trees, the scudding clouds, the blue of the sky.

Sometimes I will listen to music.

Sometimes I will just sit quietly.

But I always look at that sky and it replenishes me, the blue, the depths of it, the calling of calmness that comes over me.

I feel serene and there have been times, rare, but they have happened, when I can sit for a half hour.

Most of the time I get five, ten minutes.

And a lot of the time.

I don’t get any at all, not since the kids have been out of school.

The baby and I hang out more and more, oh my God his smiles when he sees me, melting.

I joked earlier today with the mom that it was the warm smell of baby that was the reason my clients are re-booking with me.

Re-booking.

I have three clients now that all have had more than two sessions and are continuing to schedule with me.

And the one client who has requested me.

I haven’t been assigned to him yet, so I don’t know the outcome, but my peers in group supervision seemed very positive about it.

If I have hours available, which I do, and the client request me, I let the assistant director and the director know and hopefully I will get that client.

It was actually that specific client that led my supervisor to put down his foot.

We had only gotten to discuss two of my cases and when I got into the details of what this new client was going through I thought for a minute he was going to throw down his notepad and call up my internship and scold them.

He collected himself and then talked to me about being a brand new therapist and how I was still opening and learning and how it shouldn’t be forced.

I shouldn’t be getting razor bladed out of my protective wrapping quite so fast.

I felt a mighty respect for the man and his consideration of me and my abilities but also in his protectiveness.

It also means that there was nothing wrong with me feeling overwhelmed last week.

I was.

Simple.

There have been times though when I have been all, “I got this,” and maybe I do and maybe I’m faking it until I make it, but generally I do pull it the fuck off and I do well and I am a good therapist.

I mean.

I am learning like fucking crazy, my instincts are really good and I’m able to track my clients and what they are sharing really well.

I know I surprised my client today with my recall of our session, and also that I was able to build some trust, I’m listening, I’m there, I’m empathetic.

I also don’t want to be overwhelmed and I want to show up and be of service.

I have a routine that works really well for me now that I know how long it takes for me to get from work to my internship.

I get done with work, use the bathroom, refresh my lip gloss, step out of my nanny shoes, literally, put on my therapist shoes, today a pair of Fluevogs, my “Leader” black stacked heel Mary Janes, and collect my bags and my files and hop on my scooter.

I get to the internship, lock down the scooter, take my basket bag out of the basket, key into the building and take the elevator.

I pray on the way up.

I breathe.

I open my office door, depending on what day of the week it is I am in a different office.

I pull my client file, review my notes, look over my supervision notes, tidy the room, hang my jacket, secure my purse and then pray again, to carry the message, not the mess, to be of service, to be helpful to be a good therapist.

I look at my phone and make sure that the volume is turned off.

And I put it away.

I always make sure that I have five minutes to breathe and sit and be settled in my chair.

The phone rings.

I buzz in my client.

I give them a minute to get to my floor, I put the Please Do Not Disturb, Session in Progress, sign on my door and go client my client.

And like that.

I’m a therapist.

Sometimes overwhelmed.

But mostly.

Vastly.

Amazingly grateful.

To be doing this work.

To be of service.

To serve.

I am so grateful.

Even when I am overwhelmed.

It passes and the gratitude washes over me and I know.

I am held and carried.

God didn’t bring me this far to drop me on my ass.

I don’t think so.

I’m just beginning.

There is so much to learn.

Just one foot in front of the other, one moment at a time.

Living in this present.

The gift.

My gift.

This thing that keeps giving.

This love.

This grace.

This life.

It is not mine to command.

But only to serve.

May I do so with continuous grace.

And no small amount of humility.

May it be enough.

As I know.

Know.

That I am enough.

 


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