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Horrible truths of a Masters degree.

CAUTION: I am writing this so late as i have just gotten off of work, am worn out, tired, and overall in poor shape. Ergo, I am writing this because of these exact same reasons.

First of all, I love my Masters program. Seriously, love it. But the next person that tells me the Masters program isn’t hard,  other students have managed the feat with no real issues, or something along that line, I will stare you in the eye and call bulls…let’s go with just bull.

The only way a grad student can take time to breeze through classes and not worry about finances is A: Living solely off of some ridiculous financial aid or B: Have wealthy and generous parents. Let’s put this in perspective, for most of my grad career I have been working 40-50 hours a week for a community mental health agency. What a God sent miracle. I was able to take 9 credit hours of coursework each semester (full time is considered 6 hours or more fyi) and flex my schedule as long as I met client hours.

Yet at this point in time, I am in the final stretches of the program and am trying to complete my practicum/internship hours. Internship 1+2 need a total of 600 hours to pass. In the time span of 6 months, doesn’t sound to bad right? That’s only of your clients actually show up. Any clinician in any field can attest we humans sometimes suck at making appointments. Guilty right here. So if like my case, only half show up on a regular basis, you need 1200 clinic hours to be safe. Aka a full time job.

Where am I going with this? Hell at this time of night I’m not to clear myself except this sucks. Best way to describe it is to lay out my schedule for ya’ll:
Sunday: 9a wake up, 1115a-1p church, 2/3p-11p Valet job.
Monday: 5a wake up, 6a-2p Valet job, drive to CC, 530p-9p Garcia Center clinic (GCC)
Tuesday-Thursday: 9a wake up, 11a-8p Counseling and Training Clinic (CTC), 8p-3a Bar job
Friday: 530p-9p GCC
Saturday: 9a-1p Internship class, drive to SA, 3p-11p Valet job.

See the problem? No rest for the frigging wicked. But wait, what about Friday? That looks slow. Errrrrrr! That’s time to write pending papers, case studies, journal reviews, and other professional development material assigned to us.

With all of this, there’s no way I am making enough money to cover my school and cost of living. The only jobs that will accommodate my weird hours of availability are minimum wage jobs like bars and restaurants. Not a way to make not just a living but just stay afloat. Hell, I just had to stop by a coinstar to cash in my change so I would have enough money to cover my bills. Thank God for tips otherwise I would not have money after tomorrow night for gas to get me home to SA.

So to tie my sleep-deprived, delusional rant up, I’m apparently a suckered for punishment, am slowly dying from no rest, and want to punch something… I guess. I don’t know. I can’t think straight to save my life right now. Time to shower, rinse and repeat for tomorrow. Lord have mercy on this weary soul…

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Burnout, Mental Health, Personal, School

 

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Side Project: Healthy Mind Healthy Body

Ok so I’m blaming my friend Shelia for getting me back into the groove of working out ahaha!  Basically this is gonna be a side project to see if forcing myself to workout will turn into a better feeling about myself which therefore turns into a better mental state.  And here’s some reading material for ya:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression-and-exercise/MH00043

http://exercise.about.com/od/healthinjuries/a/stressrelief.htm

http://www.fitwatch.com/weight-loss/9-ways-exercise-can-make-you-feel-better-605.html

Anyways, my goal is to keep a side log of how I’m feeling and see how my outlook changes.  To keep to a pre-fabricated routine, I’m using the one hundred push-up challenge to see how I do:http://hundredpushups.com/index.html.

So Day 1:

Did the initial test and set myself at a reasonable 15 consecutive push-ups before my arms started to give.  Not bad but I wished for better, guess that’s what I get for being a runner and not a lifter!

Overall Feeling: Slightly Depressed

How am I feeling?  Well currently that’s a majority of a downer but I have some ups.  I want to start with the good and the major one is my amazing girlfriend!  I won’t post her name…mostly because I haven’t asked yet and don’t want to catch flak for it!  (Mongo dumb, Mongo not stupid!)  Anyways, she has been a great pillar of support and happiness in my life.  I think without her, I might have fallen into a pit of despair after the beginning of my summer if it wasn’t for her.  And that introduces the downers…things like my girlfriend leaving for a new job out of town and my car being redone from the ground up taking longer than I thought.  I’m happy for my girlfriend but it sucks that she’s going away.  But oh well, we’ve talked and it’ll turn out for the best.  Now my car…been in the shop since beginning of June for a snapped timing belt and three weeks has turn into two months…getting told “One more week,” “One more day,” or my favorite “Soon.” That’s been wearing down on me pretty heavy since I’m a major gearhead and pretty much attached to my car like something fierce!  That along with I was uncertain if I would have my job for much longer.  Basically each Case Manager needs a decent case load to earn the pay we receive.  My case load was dwindling due to client’s getting better (yay!), client’s avoiding me and being discharged, and not receiving any new client’s to offset the loss.  It’s gotten better and looks like my job is secure but that was scary hearing your boss say “You need to get more client’s or we’re going to have issues.”

Now I know my downs are more then my ups but that’s just saying something for my girlfriend to offset that much negativity.

On to the workout so…brb!

And yikes my arms hurt! I think it’s time to look into buying bananas and the such to offset this burn ahaha. But I guess from the tone of that last sentence shows that it does help to workout, even just once to brighten a mood.  Now lets see how long it lasts and how well it stands up in the long run.  Next workout in two days!

PS: I find working out to Dupstep, Modestep, House, and the like helpful to keep me going.  Fast beats, usually no lyrics, and sometimes you get a string of songs that just glide into each other.

 
 

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Outside my box…into a kaleidoscope of me’s

So it’s been a while, actually a long while really.  I’ve almost been a case manager for a year now come November.  And one thing I’ve realized, it sucks helping people.  Don’t misunderstand me, I love my job and that I hopefully help people.  It’s the people that are the frustrating part.

Ahaha no duh you may say.  But this is something they do not really emphasize in classes.  The resistance to change…what a barrier to skills training and psycho-social rehab.  And this resistance comes in all shapes and forms; kids who don’t even listen to a word you’re saying, kids that listen attentively and can parrot back but immediately forget it, focusing on another person and not yourself, just plain avoiding me…gah these are fun things to deal with on a daily basis.  These among other normal barriers, conflicting schedules, illness, simple forgetfulness, all add a strain on how I can effectively teach and pass on knowledge that will hopefully help a person deal with their illness and be able to handle him-/her- self without me.

But these frustrating barriers have helped/hindered me to become multiple me’s.  What I mean is, while I have a mandated source of teaching material I need to use when teaching various skills, how I go about it is at my discretion.  Some barriers are easy, just be that stable male figure the client needs.  Sadly this is sometimes all I need to be due to fractured homes.  Hold up though, before you go bashing baby daddy for being dead beat and not being around, some family’s father are away on oil rig trips, passed away, or heck could be the mother that’s a dead beat but dad is busy working and needs help on how to raise his children.  Other times, I need to be the stern one that tells the client he/she needs to stop goofing off, be all in, or I’m gone.  Geez, even being annoying and just repeating the same lesson over and over until the client gets the idea I’m not moving on until he/she can remember the current lesson.  Yet I always, always praise and thank the clients, young or old.  Saying thank you and good job can never be said too much.  Problem with all these different tactics…I need to remember with person I am with each person.  I in essence am breaking myself down into compartments, tailored for each client.  Yeah, talk about a headache when you have a rotating set of 20-30 clients.

How do you help the ones that don’t want help?  You don’t sadly.  Each different image of me provides the tools for the client, but they are the ultimate therapist by either accepting my help or shutting me out.  I try to weasel my way in with different versions of me as needed, but sometimes I just hope…

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Mental Health, Texas

 

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Life

Really I think this is just gonna be a short posting today, like a short marker on my own mental health status.  First off I was on another site that asked me to create one of those “about me” postings that I find so annoying.  This time though I drew one up that I’m pretty proud of ;

“Who am I? I am a product of my generation, family, culture, and experiences. The person you see before you is not a perfect work nor will I ever be. I have fallen, been discarded, abandoned, and left alone. Each time, I get back up and move on. You want to know me? I am faulty, broken, and weathered. Does this bother me? I would be lying if I said no but such is life. I live, I learn, and I search. Search for what I believe is right and what is me in this ever expanding and shrinking world. During this process I hope to find someone who I can call my best friend, partner, wife. A person that will be my support, my influence, my passion. To stand beside me as my equal. I search not for that elusive Perfect Love, but the Love that is Perfect for me. Who am I? I.Am.Me.”

Life is going good I think at the moment.  Work is starting to get a grove for me and I am really starting to solidify a social life.  I would be lying if I said work doesn’t drain me but I think I’m beginning to cope.  For example, it seems not only am I, hopefully, affecting my client’s lives towards a more positive outlook, but I am beginning to try and grow my life.  I am still socially responsible for my actions and responsibilities but I have been getting out more and doing more.  Recently I completed my first 10k run in a long time, and I got third place!   I wouldn’t have had the drive if it wasn’t for a recently new friend of mine named Nina.  She knew I liked to run and convinced me to be her running partner.  We trained sporadically but made our goal of doing the 10k in under 70 minutes!  In addition, I’ve been spending more time with my family and letting them know how appreciative I am of everything they do for me or have done for me.  Heck I have even gotten back into dating again…kinda sort of.  What I mean is since starting my new job, I began dating but it ultimately ended on New Years of all days.  But meh it’s done and over with.  On the up and up though, by doing this run, I met someone who has caught my interest.  We’re talking but that’s all I’ll say at the moment since this is still fresh.  All in all, when I take into account my downfalls and positive events, I think life is looking up.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Mental Health, Personal

 

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