Happy New Year 🙂
However you’re choosing to spend it, I hope it’s a safe and enjoyable one.
I don’t regularly set New Year’s Resolutions, although do see the value they can have to many, and do love setting goals for myself regularly.
I also often don’t choose to go out on New Year’s (to anything more than perhaps a small intimate gathering), but do like to take time to reflect on the year past. This year (like last) I have chosen to do that a bit now before work (the last night shift I’ll work for likely quite a long time from now, at least (yay!!)) and to take some time beforehand to blog a bit.
Before Christmas, I got some really exciting news: I received a contract position as a full-time Day Shift Mental Health Worker in the Eating Disorders Facility I have worked part time and relief shifts (sick coverage, vacation coverage, etc) for ~2 years now. This is a supportive role that works in collaboration with a really diverse and skilled clinical team.
(This is pretty much how I felt after getting the call and accepting movement into a full-time contract role. 🙂 )
Since beginning in the mental health field, I have had the opportunity to work in various facilities with this very broad and diverse organization for about 2 and a half years now. In that time, I have been able to gain experience working in and connecting with treatment facilities/residences and services specializing in some really interesting and important areas (from addictions, HIV/AIDS specialization, long term and short term mental health care, spousal/relationship abuse support, eating disorders treatment, human trafficking education and more).
Some of the things I love about this field (and working with people toward change in general): The enormous growth and training opportunities, being able to connect with some of the most inspiring, brave, caring, dedicated, intelligent people I’ve ever connected with (both clients and colleagues/co-workers), and really seeing the bravery and courage that human beings are capable of.
Thinking of some of the things that have transpired over the past couple of years (and prior) with these new work experiences and others, got me wanting to put together and share some experiences along with some thoughts that may or may not be relevant to new years or general goal setting. (note: some of these paragraphs and/or brief inserts are pulled from random journal entries and writings over the past year. I have tried to allow them to “flow” together, but they may not all read very well “flowed,” lol :)):
Working in this field, in the short time I have, has already been an important experience, both personally and professionally, and I feel many things during this time have changed and challenged me in a lot of different ways, and likely will continue to.
It has most definitely challenged me to take a good look at my own stuff. The good, the bad, and the ugly, as I strongly believe many people working in various specialized fields (and not) will need to do to be able to really help the people they encounter and to avoid having their own stuff “dump” all over important others. I (and other human beings) am not perfect and will never be. I have a lot of work to do, goals to reach, and think I likely always will.
If we want to be whole, healthy, and as helpful as we are capable of being, and if we want to avoid having our “stuff” negatively impact those we encounter, I believe that much of the time, we we will need to do our own work and we definitely need to take care of ourselves.
And admitting we have challenges (as we all do) is so amazing. I think the best people I have ever met have been those who have grappled with (sometimes immense) personal demons and were and/or are willing to do some really incredible and difficult work.
Walking around pretending to be perfect or “better than” others is not inspiring or helpful. People are inspired (and, I think, best helped) by those willing to do very difficult things, who understand we all face difficulties and challenges as human beings, and who are willing to challenge themselves, their beliefs, choices, and their views, on an ongoing basis.
Also, we don’t have to share everything, and we don’t have to (and likely shouldn’t) tell all people everything, boundaries for various reasons are necessary in many cases, but we can be open and willing to be honest with ourselves and with those we feel emotionally safe with and choose to share with.
Sometimes (or often) our very humanness is challenged or perhaps has shifted to a point where we are not living/behaving in line with the values that may be important to us. This can happen and, when we catch it, maybe we’ll also see that we need help. For whatever that may be: an addiction (behavioural, chemical, etc), an eating disorder or disordered eating habits and behaviours, we may want to begin on the path to healthy lifestyle changes for less “intense” reasons; perhaps for weight loss, weight gain, general health changes, to work on self esteem, relationship issues, or any intersection of these things (and any other of the limitless possibilities that can come along with desires for self improvement and the human condition).
It takes bravery to shift toward change, and immense courage to admit when help is needed. Change is both amazing and hard. Whatever that change may be. While human beings may possibly be “wired for struggle” (as stated from a source I cannot recall at this moment), we are also equipped and able to make enormous transformations and improvements, in many areas.
We can make incredible changes in our own lives and, in turn, in the lives of those around us, even just by being. And we all have this incredible ability to connect with and reach out to one another.
We really don’t need to be afraid of challenge. We are all incredibly resilient and challenges offer a really useful (and necessary) opportunity to look at where we can begin making different choices, where we can perhaps choose different “off ramps,” and to live lives in line with our values and true desires.
In short, know you are worth goal setting and goal attainment and that all humans struggle sometimes. And we can all definitely know that there are countless services, professionals, and resources available for help in pretty much any desired area of self (and life) improvement.
I hope to write up something less seemingly rushed in the future, but did want to share a little update on the work front and some thoughts that (hopefully) may be useful in some way to some who read this.
Wishing you great success with the choices you choose to make, and the work you may choose to do in 2016 and beyond. 🙂
I am going to head off and get ready over here. Thank you for reading and Happy New Year to you and those you love and care about!