Tag Archives: social work

You might be a…

Greetings, readers!

This week we’re pretending to be Jeff Foxworthy and making up our own “You might be a ___ if…” lists.  I thought about a handful of different topics to do; Crafter, Knitter, Aunt, Sister, Biracial, etc.  But to be honest, I’m typing this while I’m supposed to be working a on report for work so all I can think of is work. 🙂  Therefore I give you…

You Might Be a Social Worker if…

  • You say things like, “So what I hear you saying is…”
  • You often wish you had a social worker of your own to do the things for you that you do for your clients.
  • You think it’s fun to watch episodes of Hoarders and Intervention.
  • You enjoy reading psychological evaluations.
  • You regularly use words like “intervention,” “substantiation,” “central registry,” and “assessment.”
  • When you enter a room, you have to sit somewhere that you can view all entrances and exits.swvoice
  • Your “flexible schedule” means that you have no life and have to drop everything to deal with client needs.
  • You’re considered a “moblie worker” which means you don’t get a desk and have to work wherever you can find room for your laptop.
  • You often dream of quitting and going to work at Target.
  • When people hear what your job is they say things like, “I couldn’t do what you do.”
  • When you see a former client in public and can’t remember their name you hope they don’t see you.
  • You get excited to go to training because it means you don’t have to do home visits.
  • You’ve called the police on your clients.
  • You can pick up the smell of weed like a hunting dog.
  • You know what the “dirty house” smell is.
  • You dream about your cases.sw
  • The only time you’re up to date on paperwork is when you’re about to go on vacation.
  • The sound of your phone ringing/text message/email alert fills you with dread because it could mean a work crisis.
  • You have no savings, no retirement (because the agency froze it after you were hired), and live paycheck to paycheck.
  • You could use assistance as much as your clients do but you “make too much money.”
  • You eat meals in your car between home visits.
  • You’ve been in homes that could’ve easily been on Hoarders.
  • You’re basically a counselor, teacher, daycare worker, maid, driver, advocate, and personal assistant all rolled into one job that pays less than all of those titles.
  • You get annoyed when other people talk about how hard their jobs are and how broke they are when they’re making double what you make and don’t have to deal with anything close to what you deal with each day.
  • You get home but you’re still not done working and your family doesn’t understand why you can’t just spend time with them.lol
  • You choose family over paperwork even though you know it’ll just put you further behind.
  • You get excited for cases with babies because they can’t talk back to you and generally enjoy a good snuggle.
  • When a client asks you if you have children you want to say, “If you had cancer, would you only take advice from a doctor who’d had cancer themselves?”kitty
  • You know what Compassion Fatigue is and you’ve had it for a long time.
  • You regularly search for a new job.
  • It totally makes your day when a client who you totally didn’t think liked you says something nice.
  • You see the statement, “I didn’t go into social work for the pay” and follow it up in your head with,”But I expected to be able to pay my bills.”IMG_2002
  • You can make just about anything strength based if you have to.  She’s not a liar, she’s a creative thinker!
  • You’ve been told that you’re not a “real” social worker unless you have a MSW.
  • You have stories that would make people laugh, cry, and be totally grossed out.
  • You often find yourself feeling like crap and then realize that you haven’t eaten all day because you’ve been so busy dealing with other peoples lives.
  • Family members and other professionals look down on you for being a social worker but you’re the first person they call in a crisis.
  • You know that despite how absolutely insane your job is, you’ve planted a lot of seeds and hope that you’ve made at least a little bit of a difference in your client’s lives.

And let’s see what the other ladies have come up with this week. 🙂

Bronwyn | Kris | Gwen

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Wednesday Words: Stress

This week our Wednesday topic is stress and what we do to combat it. If there’s one thing you should know about social workers it’s that although we teach self care, most of us also don’t follow our own advice. If you could look into my bedroom right now you’d see all sorts of signs that I’m overwhelmed, over stressed, and I’m not participating in good self care. I know I’m struggling, and I know I should be following the advice I give to clients. Buuuut, it’s easier to not do those things.

So let’s talk about my unhealthy ways of dealing with stress, shall we?

Sleep… Stressed out for me leads to sleep. I may have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep but I will stay in bed and snooze on and off all damn day if I can.

Avoidance… Sleep is one of my favorite tools of avoidance. I’m also good at using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, tv, and online games to avoid the world. Reading is good too, I’ll read for hours if I can. These all lead to laundry that needs to be done, a bedroom that needs to be cleaned, nasty cat litter (and pissed off kitties), and overflowing trash cans. I’m super good at thinking that goes like this, “I should be writing case notes, but I really want to knit… I guess I’ll just go to bed/watch tv/do neither.”

As for the things I should be doing and things that generally work for me to reduce stress…

Creativity… Writing, knitting, crafting, photography, drawing, and basically anything that gets my creative flow going typically helps me feel better. It’s just that the guilt of being behind in work etc. sometimes stops me from doing the fun stuff. (See avoidance above).

Baby steps… I teach this to clients all the time, especially hoarders. Tasks don’t always have to be done in one shot. Even though it would be nice to get it done and over with, sometimes working on small bits and then taking a break works great. In other words, because I did a ton of paperwork earlier plus two home visits and a meeting, I give myself permission to work on my blog and not do any more paperwork til tomorrow. 🙂

Talk… I was just saying to a new client tonight about how important talking is. Whether you’re talking to a counselor, family member, friend, support group, your blog readers, coworker, or yourself you must keep talking! Holding things in is almost never good. Sometimes I’ll talk to myself in the car and just doing that helps me even though I’m the only one listening.

Pampering… No, I’m not talking about diapers. 🙂 I’m talking about fun stuff like manicures, pedicures, hair cuts, hair color, yarn shopping, massage, dinner out, a movie double feature with a bestie, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from the carton in bed, a date with a kid who makes you giggle, and snuggling with your favorite furkid. Basically, do something good for yourself! And put your phone on vibrate or airplane mode if you can!

Plan Ahead… I usually suck at this one but when I do follow though with it, it’s great. I love a good countdown (my countdown app on my iPhone is wonderful!) and having things to look forward to can be a huge motivator. I just had a five day mini vacation and it was great but by the time I returned to work this morning I was already overwhelmed again. What got me through the day was this:

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The Fault in our Stars movie on June 6th, Backstreet Boys on June 17, and my Writers Retreat on June 21! After that, I have my birthday in July and a Matt Nathanson/Gavin Degraw concert to look forward to as well. 🙂

And that’s about all I have for now. As I’ve been writing this I’ve been thinking about my messy bedroom and how perhaps I should go clean… Or you know, just go to bed. LOL

What’s your favorite method of self care?

Don’t forget to see what the other Wednesday girls are doing to de-stress!

JennyBronwynKrisJessica
LeighTess • Gwendolyn


Soul Sucking

It’s been a while. In fact, it’s been so long that I can’t tell you what my last post was about. I need to blog in order to meet my goals for my writer’s group though so… Here I am. 🙂

Things are… odd. I’m still doing the job that sucks at my soul on a daily basis. I haven’t found the balance that I wanted to find which would let me do my job and still do the things I love. I’ve found that once again I’m being sucked into a void that is hard to see out of most days.

When I mention feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, the response I get from most people is either that it’s my own fault (poor boundaries, a bad attitude, etc.) or that I’m just not cut out to be a social worker (aka I’m too weak to do the job). I’ve known for a while now that my current job isn’t for me. The only reason I continue to do it is because I have bills and responsibilities and therefore can’t just quit my job like I did in my twenties because I’m unhappy. If I could walk into my office tomorrow and say, “I quit” it would be a glorious day. But I know that quitting a job in this job market without having another job lined up first is plain stupid. So I keep working. And I keep slipping.

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