Friday, April 29, 2011

Another look at counselling.......

 easter sunset, from the Fredericton walking brigde.....
a beautiful place to contemplate

I do love my job.  Everyday is different.  Everyday brings new faces, new stories, new connections into my life.   It's like I have a front and centre seat for the unveiling of life evolving.  It is an intimate place to be when secrets, big dreams, past faux pas, enthusiastic announcements are revealed in my small corner of the world.  Big monumental events may be occuring all around the world.  But let me tell you, big monumental events are simultaneously occuring in my office.  

Change, growth, transitions, grief, health issues, new beginnings, conflict, discomfort merging with comfort, all emotionally charged tales from humans striving to make decisions, letting go of the stuff once considered important...... pairing down what matters.  Big stuff!  Family, relationships, friends, roommates, support vs non support, academic struggles.   It is an endless combination unique to the individual who finds their way into my office.  Stretching beyond comfort while managing life/school/work........... amazing how much one person can juggle and do it well.  Sometimes, though, they need a place to relax........ a place to spill the confusion in order to find clarity.  This is where I come in.  

What I'm finding is that my skin is thinner than it used to be.  Having said that, I don't bring the stories home or the angst.  But, what comes home with me is extreme fatigue.  Its like I run out of gas more quickly than I used to.  This week has shown me this reality again.  I have nothing left in my personal energy reserves when I cross the threshhold into my home.  Ironic that I preach, promote, encourage balance and I've tipped over into the well of overwhelmed.  I can't seem to keep up with everything at home.  AND, I realize that I'm in a point in my life whe I can't rely on the noggin to remember everything............ I have to make a list or I forget to deal with some pulsing task that needs my attention.  The mundance stuff!  But, it still has to get done.

On any given day, I hear about depression, suicide, health issues that are extreme, mental health concerns, family strife, family health problems.  I hear about test anxiety, the inability to study properly, to focus enough, to get in the groove to continue studying.  I hear about conflict between classmates, or disagreements between a student and an instructor.  So, some of what I do is predictable.  What isn't is the personality behind the issues along with the history/baggage that goes along with the individual.  

Counselling is puzzling, challenging, brain work.  It also strums at the heart, and creates shared beautiful moments of vulnerability.  I love it all............ and often find myself in life situations outside of the office when I'm caught in the  middle of counselling which is fine. But, I guess i'm sitting here tonight wondering just how much longer I can continue this gig?  It's probably not the time to be questioning things.  I need a fresh mind, a good night sleep, a chance to catch my breath before I should seriously look at this dilemma.   

It is a calling.  The act of counselling so bred in my bones.   Why then is it leaving me feel exhausted and aimless at night, to a point where i can't seem to stick to a task, accomplish it from beginning to end?  Why has my writing dropped off even though I have time to write, but end up bouncing around doing a variety of things that are not related.  When was the last time I read a novel?  When was the last time I felt organized?  

These are the questions pushing on my brain................ I know I'm not burnt out while I'm in the realm of counselling......... when I'm really in the middle of it.  But, I'm burnt out at night.  

No answers yet......................... just striving to find some linearity.  Perhaps I must succumb to making more thorough lists.  Perhaps I need to hire someone to help me get out of the messes that surround me in this home that is in desperate need of some TLC and spring cleaning.  Perhaps if my sleeping wasn't so wonky, I could find some comfort in the answers.............

The jury is out............ Tired and out.  But, I know its time to find another route.  My journey needs new direction.  Cause change is as good as a rest! 



Selma said...

I am not surprised you are fatigued. You have been through so much, lately. I know that for myself fatigue sets in when all the drama around an event begins to come to a close. It's like when I'm in the thick of things I don't notice I'm not sleeping or how anxious I am and so on; and then suddenly it all comes to a resolution of sorts and WHOOSH - I am exhausted. Sounds like you need
to treat yourself to a new experience. A change definitely is as good as a rest!

On a limb with Claudia said...

Boy, I've been there Dana. I know how you feel. My answer was to double up on self care. I think it's crucial that we find ways to refill our own well because there's no way this work will do that for us.

So what do you love? What do you lose hours doing? I bet you'll find your refill there.

Counseling is also not a life sentence. The majority of counselors only last 10 years - period. Most in fact quit after 7. It's hard work and, in my opinion, just gets harder. You can quit or transition into something that suits you now. Maybe you've done your time.


theMuddledMarketPlace said...

putting it out there means that others will stand on the side lines and cheer you on

it'll come, you'll know,
right people, right time

until then, know that others are there with you, just maybe not in person

JanePoet~deborah said...

The thought of something different is the beginning of something different ...

peace & love to you Dana,