Thursday, January 08, 2009

Oops...Tripping on Change

This NaBloPoMo thing is not going so well. I missed posting again yesterday. This time is was not so much forgetting as a combination of not having time and really having nothing to say. Apparently writing about change isn't any easier than doing it!

The shower is less random than the posting. I'm not quite sure what happened. If the tech was being more dire than he needed to be and just turning it up did the trick, or if something put the fear of the Almighty into the heater....but we are running at 100% hot showers and (gratefully) counting.

Most of the time being part of people's change process is a really splendid thing. It is, in fact, one of things I love best about my day job. This week though for some reason there has been a fair amount of frustration involved. I am kind of between "gigs" here. With the closing of CH, ten hours of my week freed up, and I am getting a new contract position which will begin in February. Because of that, I can't be assigned a lot of new clients who would then not be able to get back in to see me. But I need to stay productive (translated: produce some revenue for the center) so I am seeing people who need a crisis counselor, or who just need a quick assessment for something. In short, not the most satisfying kinds of situations for someone whose greatest love in therapy is the relational connections! In addition to that, it seems that a fair number of my own folks are in hard or stuck places right now and I'm feeling the pain with them.

There are also some who are bringing some of that pain on themselves. I feel different things for them. While I understand that sometimes we really do stand helpless before ourselves, victims of our still unhealed pasts, or our neurotransmitters run amok, or by being overwhelmed by too much life and not enough coping skills ...sometimes we don't and are making bad choices with some pretty clear sight....and then want pity, solace and rescue when those choices have consequences. "Duh!" I want to say at those points, "And you were expecting exactly what when you did the exact same thing for the fifty-sixth time?" But of course I do not...well not in those exact words anyway....because those folks could not hear me if I did. No. I take a deep breath, and ask God for patience, and say, as gently as I can..."So what were you expecting to happen when....." There has been a fair amount of that this week. The holidays bring it on. January in Minnesota brings it on. It's cold. It's dark. And this year it's been snowing approximately forever. My own fatigue level factors into how I feel, too. Even happy and in love I feel the drag of January. It is never my favorite month and I am always glad to see it pass.

So I can have empathy for those who are not blessed with love and friendship and coping skills. Even the ones who are heading down the same path with their eyes kind of open. I get that they do what they do because they simply have done it for so long they don't remember that there is another way. That when they get scared/stressed/anxious/depressed the system crashes and reboots to all the old defaults and we have to go back and slowly, patiently once again add all the pretty and useful upgrades. I remember how long it took me, and how blessed I was (and still am) with wonderful patient people to reboot and reconfigure my crashed self. So I remember and breathe and pray and say, "It's a process, change is slow, it will come, you will get there....let's just take that first baby step, shall we?' Some days....in the bleak midwinter.....it's just a little harder to get there than others.

5 comments:

Mary Beth said...

Breathing is the key for me!

imngrace said...

ah yes, baby steps. All too familiar with that! Prayers for you in this "in between" and in this "new thing" I wish we lived closer--really, I do. Tea on a cold winter day would be so nice...

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm sorry that part of your professional life isn't more satisfying right now.

mompriest said...

yeah, it's that listening to the 56th time that makes me unable to be a therapist - I just don't have the capacity to be that good of a "listener"...thank God you are and can be for these folks...blessings and prayers...

God_Guurrlll said...

Working with people who are homeless is an exercise in patience. I have a young man in my shelter who does the same thing for the 56th time and then says to me "i'm brain damaged, I can't help it." I remind him that his acknowledgement of his obstacles shows me that he does have choices. And I breath.