A New Chapter

Dear loyal and faithful readers,

I’m writing to you from my parents couch in Gladstone as a new Griffith Graduate of a Social Work degree. To be honest I feel the same as always just slightly more proud of myself.

Three days ago I received a phone call from a job I had applied and interviewed for in Townsville offering me the full time position within a highly respected organisation, in a role that any social work graduate would be honoured to obtain. For the past three days I have been tossing and turning trying to decide if saying yes to this job and going through with it is the right decision. I’m scared. It all comes down to my self confidence and my nerves/anxiety. But today, I’m surprised and extremely happy and excited about this opportunity and look forward to moving to Townsville. Today for the first time since being offered the job I am completely happy without a doubt in my mind that I have made the right decision. For three days I had been conflicted on which path to take, so I’m relieved that I have made it to this stage so that when I do move in 18 days  I’m not going to be hesitant.

A brand new chapter awaits me, with lots of fun, adventure and growth. I may not be great at this job and that’ll be okay because I have support around me and I would have learnt new things. I may be good at this job and that will be great and I will have done myself proud and shocked myself once again. Whatever happens I am ready for it and I will give it my all, everything I have. I won’t hold back. I know that I am extremely lucky to be given such an honourable and wonderful opportunity and I will be grateful everyday of 2015.

If I fail, I learn. If I succeed, I am lucky. Either way I can’t lose.

2015, You were always the year that I had no idea what was going to happen. This is going to be exciting.

Changes to my blog – its about collaboration

 

Hey Guys 🙂

So I have been busy and stressed with my placement lately and have put my blog on the back burner to allow me the time i needed to freak out about graduation.

My blog has never been forgotten about though and I have been thinking about what direction I’d like to take with this. After many months of me freaking out I have decided that my blog can be of great use to me and my practice as a social worker.

I’m going to allow my blog to not only be my reflection but also my research and discovery. I also want to make this blog engaging with my friends and family, I honestly want you to provide me with your opinions, experiences and critiques. I want this blog to also provide support and resources to everyone, i want it to be helpful to myself and also you guys.

I wont put a time limit on my posts as that seems to get me nowhere. I will aim for one every 3 months as I want to put a lot of time into these pieces.

At the moment I’ve already started working on my next post which will be around mental health. I’m going to be writing this blog from many different angles and providing helpful information for those experiencing a mental illness or those who know of someone who is living with a mental illness. So basically everyone. I also would like input from anyone and everyone who would like to provide me with their experiences, thoughts, opinions or strategies. I will be contacting some people and asking if they’d like to have anything within the article or what they want in the article so I may be contacting you in regards to my blog posts. if you don’t have anything to say that’s completely fine. If I don’t contact you but you have something you’d like to contribute you are more than welcome to contact me. I will be posting a blog to inform everyone of my next topic so everyone can have the opportunity to have their say. How’s this sounding to everyone?
Also this blog will hopefully help me to write better and articulate my words more goodly.

 

next blog is about mental health – have your say!!

 

Relationship or Single life ?

Lately I’ve been wondering about myself and how I’ve been in my past in a relationship and when I’ve been single. I am a very confusing person when it comes to this and I don’t understand myself.

when I am single, I am usually generally happy and optimistic and I get a lot of things done. I spend a lot of time with friends and make a lot of new friends. I even become pretty ambitious in life and try to aim high and achieve things.

When I’m in a relationship, however, this person seems to disappear and I become sad. I almost but not completely, become dependent on the other person for how my life is going to go. And I have no idea why!!! It’s not that I want to be single, because when I’m single I want a girlfriend and when I have a girlfriend, I am infatuated by her and am happy with being with her.

So, why do I lose the person that I am when I’m single? If you have any theories, please let me know.

My theory is that for some reason I am using my girlfriend for all my life sources. For connectedness, entertainment, validation, happiness, life goals. All of which I generally fill (when single) by a wide range of friends, activities, ambitions. So I substitute that all with a person when I shouldn’t because that’s when depression happens because I just threw away a lot of needs in life thinking my gf has it covered when it impossible for any one person to be that all for someone.

So. In knowing this, how do I change it? Or should I be single for my life? Ultimately I want the person I am when I’m single but plus a girlfriend. How do I do that? Is it possible?

What’s in your control and what’s not

This somewhat links into my last blog about dealing with rude people. This strategy can definitely help within that problem.

So, I’ve been told that as a social worker, I need to learn what’s in my control and what is not within my control and to not stress about the things that I can’t control. Such as, if I have a client who decides to take a certain path that I’m pretty sure won’t end up as great as another path and I have informed them of my thoughts and experiences but they still want to chose that path, this is not within my control and I need to let the worry of that go and just deal with whatever happens from it.

I’ve started trying to apply this within my personal life as well. If I have a friend that does not want to be my friend anymore, that is not within my control. What I can control is my actions, my attitudes and my words. I can’t control what another person feels or does so I need to let it go and decide on my own actions. I CAN NOT change the situation, but I can change my emotions on the situation. I was angry at the situation because I had known this friend for seven years and it upset me. But now I have learnt that I just need to accept it’s something that I can’t change. So now I am really very comfortable with it. If other people are rude to me, that’s also something I can’t change, it’s out of my control. I need to change my attitude (anger) towards this situation. I really like using this method because it helps me eliminate some stress, emotion and anxiety from my life.

Knowing and accepting that there are things out of your control and there’s not point stressing or trying to change that is very liberating. Of course I need to remind myself of this regularly, but it’s helping me 🙂 I love it!

Dealing with rude people

Sorry about my delay with my post this week, but here it is. —  Dealing with rude people–.

I felt the need to post this as I have had my share of rude people and I believe we all come across rude people within our life time. These are people that DO NOT know you at all and feel the need to speak rude to you or treat you rudely because you are not adhering to their rules of life or society. Now, I need to write this post because I do not cope well with people that are rude to me.
When I was 16 I had my first complete experience of rudeness (there would have been other rude things before this, but they were minor in comparison).
When I was 16 I worked in the Deli at Woolworths in Mt Isa and it was Christmas eve during the day. Extremely busy and I was serving a lady her prawns that she had placed on order for Christmas. Unfortunately, another staff member had given this lady’s order to someone else and we had no prawns left. I informed my boss about this but she told me to tell the customer myself, WHICH, to this day, I do not agree with. I went back and calming told the lady about what had happened and was extremely apologetic because, to be honest, it was a massive screw up on our part. This customer went off her cracker at me, full on yelled at me, screamed at me and belittled me in front of everyone in a busy store at the age of 16. Shannon, at this age, was frozen and all I could say was “I’m really sorry, Do you want to speak to the manager?” She just said no and told me that I was representing the manager, which is bullshit, I was a 16 year old girl working a part time job and it really was stupid of her to not talk to the manager as she would have gotten perks or something. ANYWAY, when she left, I could not contain myself, I burst into tears and I was inconsolable for a good 30 minutes. As I walked to the staff room, my eyes red and filled with tears, I walked past the bitch lady and she didn’t even care about how distraught I was. IT WAS CHRISTMAS!!

I’m telling you this story because as I’ve become older, I’ve realised that the way I handle things have changed. I don’t cry anymore, I get angry. I get really really angry. I believe that people should be treated with respect unless proven otherwise. I believe that you should be kind to everyone and considerate to everyone, unless they prove to be an asshole. I understand this in turn is me being rude to a person being rude to me because THEY aren’t adhering to MY rules of life, but … I think my rules are better than theirs, because I treat people nice and for them to be rude to me makes no sense.

I’m writing this as a self reflection task for myself, to be aware of who I am and how I react with certain people and in certain situations. I am well aware that the way I handle things at the present moment is really bad and doesn’t help anyone. I get threatened (by men with metal poles) and I get yelled at and called dumb. I’ve come to the conclusion that no one wants to be wrong and everyone is working from a different frame for life. Getting angry just makes my situation worse and nothing good comes from it, even though I think I’m teaching someone a lesson. Therefore, I need a different way of dealing with rude people in life. (I’m usually good when I’m in a work uniform though, I’m well aware that I need to be professional, this is in my everyday life as just me).

In my lecture the other day, my teacher talked about where depression, anxiety, anger and self pity stem from in regards to a theory by Albert Ellis.

In regards to my anger and resentment (which I can definitely see this) is this:
Other people must always treat me kindly, fairly, lovingly or considerately, or else they are no damned good.
^^^ This is definitely where A LOT of my anger comes from and probably where everyone’s anger comes from. Now, I’m not saying by this statement that you should let people treat you bad and not be angry, some anger is good and you should definitely always stand up for yourself (I’m a firm believer on that) However, in cases such as mine, I need to let it go.

For those interested in the other two theories-

Anxiety, depression, despair:
I must at all times be successful at important performances and relationships or else as a person I am worthless.

Self-pity, rage, low frustration tolerance:
Conditions under which I live must be comfortable, pleasurable, rewarding, otherwise it’s awful, I can’t stand it and the world is no good.

I would like to talk about my new strategies for coping with rude people that I may come across in my future but I shall save that for this coming Sunday, so watch this space!!!  xoxo

What’s a Social Worker?

This is from http://www.aasw.asn.au/information-for-the-community/what-is-social-work:

“The social work profession facilitates social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledges, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.” (March 2013). (AASW, 2014).

Basically social works base line is humans rights and social justice. “Social workers work with individuals, families, groups and communities in the context of their physical, social and cultural environments; their past and current lived experiences, and their cultural and belief systems.” (AASW, 2014). Actually, if you go to the link above, the whole page says it all better than what I could (for a complete, whole definition). But please also read my stuff below.

 

The most common response I get when I tell people I’m studying to become a social worker is something along the lines of counselling. Most people view a social worker as just a counsellor and although in some cases that is correct and in many fields a social worker will draw upon counselling skills. Social work isn’t counselling, that is just one small aspect of social work and one field of which a social worker can work within. I, myself, I do not see myself becoming a counsellor after graduation, I wouldn’t rule it out, but at this point in time it’s not the career path I’m looking for.

The second most common response or view point I hear about peoples perceptions of a social worker is someone who works within the department of child services. Someone who removes children from troubled homes. This is true too, yes, as a social worker this is a field that I am able to work within and in fact is also in high demand for social workers because the work is very strenuous, emotional and tiring. Therefore, there are a lot of burn outs and there’s a high staff turn over. Although I have interest in this field and would like to work within this area in maybe ten years time. It’s actually not on my plans for the near future.

So what am I going to do as a social worker then, you ask?
There are soooooo many options out there for a social worker. Many many different areas and many different aspects and positions within those areas.
I could work with youth. I could work with youth within school, outside of school, with many different organistions, youth within families. youth as individual clients, youth as a group of service users. I’m not planning on it but that was an example of what I mean by different areas and different aspects. At this point in time though (and what I’ll be doing start of July for my field placement) I am interested in working with older people. In what context, I am not sure of at the moment and I will see where I go for field placement, but apparently there are a lot out there and there aren’t in retirement homes. One possibility is that I might be able to work in a legal aid office, providing help and advocating for older people in a legal setting (which sounds really cool, I hope I get that).

Another avenue that I would really like to explore (after working with older people) is working within hospitals. As a social worker (within which ever area of the hospital) I would probably be advocating for the patients desires and also working with the patient with whatever help they may require and also providing people with information. Those three aspects are usually found within any social work job and are actually quite beneficial to clients to have a social worker walk along side them. Anyway, I hope that helps. I’m not very good at articulating myself, so I apologise for that. But if you have any questions feel free to ask me. There are still many areas of social work and social work postions that I’m unaware of, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to have a better grasp of social work myself when I fully get into the field.

What are your wrongs as a tenant?

As of late I feel that this subject needs to be addressed. Recently (as a tenant) I have felt as though I have not been treated fairly and in accordance to the RTA by my landlord/real estate (yes, they are one in the same!)  My landlord comes over freely and knocks on our door and sees no problem in this. Meanwhile it is creating anxiety with me and my housemates. It’s a scary thing to have your landlord at your doorstep. If your house is untidy in any way at all, you feel anxious. Our landlord is a lovely lady and I do like her, however I’m scared that she may even enter the house when we aren’t home, whats to say she won’t if she can freely enter onto the property without so much as a phone call asking if it’s okay.

This happening to me has made me realise that so many people I know do not know their rights as a tenant OR realise their rights but are too afraid to say anything for fear of being homeless. I feel that the system lets down the tenant in many ways. Yes, the tenant has rights and can actively pursue them, but at what cost? Is it worth it? If you submit forms of breaches will the landlord just not offer you a new lease? In my situation, yes, unfortunately that seems to be the hanging threat above my head. My landlord/real estate is unprofessional and has crossed the line too many times without a care. I do not wish this to continue and it creates fear and anger. However, I do not wish to move and I love my location, my house and my family (housemates). Is this the price renters have to pay in Australia? constantly living in fear and angst?  It could always be worse, I know that. But in my opinion it should be better and that’s what I always strive for.

This blog was just food for thought and slight information into my life and brain. I will be adding a blog in the future informing people about rights that people don’t even know and they should! For instance! did you know if your stove is broken or something essential is broken and it doesn’t get fixed, you can apply to pay less rent? No one seems to know this. The system seems set up to see people just go along with whatever treatment is given to them.