Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another day, another poem

Yesterday was agency-wide orientation for all new employees. All day. ALL DAY. My clinic program is part of a major NYC hospital, so we learned about a lot of stuff that's not too relevant to my job (don't use a floor polisher near the MRI, or it will get sucked right in), and some stuff that is relevant: don't even think about back-dating your documentation, because that will get you fired. (At my last job, we back-dated as a matter of course; it was pretty much mandatory.)

On my lunch break I went to DSW and bought a pair of comfortable, closed-toe black shoes I can wear during the summer without feeling like my feet are being suffocated. Which I wore today, going to yet another clinic in the morning and a training session in the afternoon.

My mood was up and down all day. I'm still adjusting to waking up at 5:30 am and heading out by 6:10. The social worker at the clinic I visited, Sad Sarah, has gotten used to not having her own office, but she still doesn't like it. She is unashamed to refuse to facilitate groups, since doing the documentation without her own computer is difficult.

"I do what I can," she said. "I'm at this job because I need the health benefits."

That was a little demoralizing. I was kind of hoping I'd love this job. Also, I'm having trouble not worrying about how this job will enable me to get my LCSW. It has to, somehow. I can't imagine that I would be deceived by two employers in a row. At least I hope I won't be.

So after a morning spent with Sad Sarah, I was feeling very sad. At first I struggled with it. I didn't want to be sad. I was worried what being sad meant -- am I getting depressed? Is my sleep too disorganized? Why was I so sad -- what was really bothering me? I wasn't sure.

When you're experiencing strong emotion, you're not always rational enough to do the CBT work needed to get to the bottom of your feelings. That's when you need to switch to mindfulness. Become aware of the sadness. Try to list your thoughts and feelings without judging them or yourself. Get in touch with physical sensations. Breathe.

So I did that for a while. During the afternoon I went shoe shopping at another DSW and got another pair of comfortable closed-toe black shoes. Went to the training, which was nice because I got to see some of the social workers and counselors I met last week. Walking to the subway station, I decided to check out a street fruit stand. And next to the stand was a woman I haven't seen since 2005. One of the few people I actually liked from the job I had back then. Small world!

"Are you on Facebook?" she asked. Of course! "Friend me when you get home!" Done. And the strawberries were $1/pound. I've eaten two pounds already.

On the subway ride home I started thinking about Malchick 1 and Malchick 2 again. Not sure why.  Sometimes I think about Ivan the Terrible after bad dates or when I'm just feeling lonely, and when I think of him I think of them. But this time I was thinking more of them. And... I wrote a poem. It doesn't have a title yet.

Memories and longings 
of the sons I almost had, 
I miss them, I miss them 
more than I miss their dad. 

Sweet small earnest faces, 
eager bright blue eyes. 
Cooking up a pot roast 
to suit choosy appetites. 

Reading and explaining, 
teaching and learning, 
memories of time with them 
now just leave me yearning. 

The heart stores its own memories, 
small voices call my name. 
Never will I see them more, 
I'll never feel the same.

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry too much about Sad Sarah. No job is totally perfect, just like no man is. "Good enough'' is the mantra. Also her experience may not be yours.

    I am sure the bad date didn't help your mood, but don't underestimate disrupted sleep rhythms. Also you are out and about full time after months of being at home. It's all an adjustment.

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