Being Kind to Myself

Since starting this MSW program, I’ve been working on re-framing my thoughts. It’s a skill we work into therapy sessions with clients/patients and it’s a life skill that makes huge differences.

This means that I’ve been working on re-wording things like “life is coming at me” to something like “I’m choosing how I react, how I respond, etc”.

And sometimes it goes well. Some days I can say “this is just a bad day. It’s okay to be upset, but it is a bad situation not a bad life.” and it isn’t a lie.

Other days, it comes out more like “I know that I can survive this, but I’m not feeling confident in my abilities right now. I will survive, but this isn’t ideal.”

This week has been the latter.

The hardest part of being in a practicum setting is finding balance. Personal life and professional life are pulled in a lot of weird directions. If I’m not at my best during practicum (internship) time, I’m doing a disservice to my patients and also my supervisor, school and career field.

But I can’t just walk away from my “real” life the minute I walk into the hospital doors.

This is the basic premise of my novel, A Book About Life. How do you deal with your personal life when other people’s lives directly depend on your ability to be “well-adjusted”?

And I want you to know that it’s freaking hard.

But that’s the thing about “real life”. It’s not something you can neatly pack away in a bubble. Real life is something that you experience all the time-in all capacities. Would it be nice to occasionally be able to close off parts of your baggage and trauma? Sure! But in the long run, it’s healthier to work through your “stuff” as it comes.

I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying you should be grateful it’s happening to you (see what I mean-it just needs re-framed). I’m saying that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and like you’re struggling. Because that’s how you learn to keep going.