Friday, March 25, 2011

Labels, Passion && Calluses

How many times a week do you say to yourself, "I'd rather be anywhere else than here right now..." If you're one of those people that just loves the heck out of everything you do every minute of every day....well congradu-fricken-lations! Haha. There are very few times a week I would say that I have these thoughts, but they do happen....kind of like right now. Currently I'm sitting in one of my grad classes, and since I'm doing a blog post, we can just assume that I am both bored and unengaged. I hate this class. I mean I have kind of checked out of this semester already so every class is miserable, but this class, this class makes me hate the field of social work. Without getting too much on my soapbox I'll say that this class is focused entirely around the DSM-IV and all of the potential disorders that a client can come to you with, and each week we go over one or more of them.

So here I am sitting in class, listening to my prof go on about personality disorder, what it looks like, how it affects the person and what types of interventions we can intill for them. Here's my thing though: I'm a social worker and a person who believes the best of people, so how am I supposed to go about giving someone a diagnosis that is not only socially stigmatized but also a life-altering influence. Being told you have any type of disorder changes the way in which you think about yourself, and unlike the flu or chicken pox, mental disorders don't go away with medicine. So my question is, what gives me, or anyone else the right to tell someone that they have "a problem" based on my assumptions of "symptoms" that I believe are present through a few sessions together in a contained environment? Furthermore, I just can't get passed the idea of why we need to marginalize and suppress rather than helping the individual self explore his or her strengths in their life so as to lead a more successful and happy life?

This is something I feel very strongly about and can get quite passionate about. Maybe that's why I haven't actually soaked up anything this prof has said in the past hour and a half. So instead I think about all of the things I need to accomplish this weekend and what I will do with the rest of my day. My google calendar is updated for next week and all of my email has been checked. All the while I realize this week has been a rough one and the weekend is probably going to be worse. I have a huge portfolio due on Monday and lets just say I am no where near close to starting it....whoooops!

I think part of the reason I have no time these days are because of the amount of time i dedicate to my workouts. If I didn't workout everyday for 2 or 2.5 hours I would have more time. But then I ask myself, what would I really even do with that time? It has become apparent that I have disconnected from my roles as a student and hell, I'm completely burnt out! Yet I need to finish final projects, wrap up hours at my internship, and search for my second year placement before school gets out. But my workouts always find time in all of that. I gapple with it though. Going to the gym after a long day of uncompleted "To-Dos" doesn't really even provoke anxiety in me anymore because I just tell myself "It'll get done"...even if that means pulling an all nighter. I think it bothers me more now at this point that I wouldn't work out and I would fall out of shape, thereby loosing steam and motivation....and when that hits, I feel like all these great feelings and upbeat attitude would disappear. I mean this is all a fear and it's kind of irrational (look at me social working myself haha) but what I do know is that I get more "me time" than more people I know. Even though I have to share the gym with a boat load of other people it's only me on that treadmill or's all me lifting those weights and doing those laps. No phone, no email, no drama...all me! How intoxicating does that sound?

This week Wednesday I got really caught up in this idea when I decided I had had enough of the hour treadmill runs, put on my under-armer and ran outside. I went from the gym to the lake path and back and it was amazing! I think I clocked in around 7 miles, the first mile and a half was rough because my pace was way too fast but after I got a good grip I was able to just go, and probably could have kept going if I didn't have a life to attend to.

For me I get so much out of running and because of that, I enjoy having time to myself. I spend a ridiculous amount of time working with and being around people. Do you ever just stop and think about how many hours a day you spend around others. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it but I can also feel myself getting frustrated by the end of the day, and I lash out by removing myself from situations. And as much as that doesn't always work for others around me, it's what I need. And I think sometimes we forget that. Being someone who strives to make everyone else happy before myself, this new insight is completely foreign to me but I'm adjusting. Much like the forming of calluses on my feet for every mile that I run, my life is forming calluses for me because things are never easy; you live and you learn, you fall down and get back up but you always remember those times that got you down, and that's what keeps me going.

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