Social Work is Not For Wimps

So, it is time to admit that the last role play I participated in has messed with my head. We were simulating a grief group, which I thought I would be fine to do. And I would have been. But we were also supposed to allow the professor to demonstrate handling conflict within a group. One of my fellow role-players said something, and I opened my mouth to retort, and before I realized what I was doing, I spoke my truth. My head has been spinning ever since. I have peeled the scab off a wound I thought was healed and there is pus and blood everywhere.

Now, I am 12 hours from a degree in social work, and 11 from one in psychology. I lack just 8 hours of research and 3 of brain chemistry in psych. I’m telling you that so you can believe me when I say that it is possible to finish a degree in psych and never deal with your shit. You can keep it all packed up in a nice little box with a very tidy bow, and no one will ever make you look at it. You might wonder if you have 98 mental illnesses when you take abnormal psych, but no one will ask you about it, and as long as you can pass the multiple choice final, you are good to go.

Social work is not that way. In order to do the work, to demonstrate that you get the concepts, you have to do YOUR work. I have raised and buried more demons in the past 18 months than I was willing to admit I had when I first started the program. On the whole, I am happier and I am mentally healthier than I have ever been. I am pleased and proud of what I have done and who I have become. But Thursday showed me I am not quite done with myself. Thursday showed me that not only will grief wait, it will come back again and again and GodHelpMe again, until I look at every tiny facet, shine up all the angles, and really get to know them. It will keep coming back until I find a way to grow myself around it, owning that thing and working with it instead of against it.

I know what I have to do, but I do not know how to start. I need to learn to re-parent myself from a male perspective. This is something I must find inside me, and it is not a thing someone else can do for me. I have to do it myself. And I will. As soon as I figure out how to begin. I will find a way to co-exist with this first, last, biggest demon because I know I have no real choice about it.

3 thoughts on “Social Work is Not For Wimps

  1. When I’ve had poor insurance coverage, I’ve toyed with the idea of going back to school for something like social work for the express purpose of working on my own problems. Sound like it might not be a bad idea.

    I told my new counselor yesterday that I want help putting my baggage in the closet so I don’t have to carry it around anymore.

  2. I’m more inclined to think baggage should be unpacked, the good stuff kept and that which no longer serves us disposed of so we can nest the empty luggage and make more room in our head/heart for new and good things. But then, I always do things the hard way.

  3. Your metaphor makes me happy. I do want to do it the hard way so it’s done right and while I don’t expect it to be “done and over” I do expect it to be less draining as time goes on.

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