I’m finding myself at a turning point, a cross-road, a junction where I’m facing myself, who and how I am.
Years of poor mental health have bought me here and it would be easy to feel sad at the time that’s flown by and been lost, but here I am and things are good and upon all of the self-reflection that I’ve been doing, I’m having to think seriously about what it is that I want to do.
3 days I’ve spent so far filling in an application form for a job working with people who have mental health issues and there’s still a shed load of writing to do. The application form is a job in itself.
The question I’m asking myself is, “am I the right kind of person to be working with people who have mental health issues and would I be happy?” I’m aware of what it feels like to be lost and vulnerable and I care enough through compassion and regard for people, however, my stature can be quite imposing, as I stand at 6’4″ tall, and I’m thinking that that could be a problem. I see it enough in life as it is where people kind of take a step back as I loom over them.
I believe I have all the right qualities, like being a good listener and being able to give good advice (whether I know it or not), and I’m a genuinely helpful guy.
There is training involved and it’s quite in-depth training, along with assignments to be completed at home ready for an end-of-term assessment once the training has been done. Note-taking and writing/typing are right up my street and I really enjoy doing it, so that part of the process comes easily to me but I’m finding the self-reflection, especially linked to the questions that you are asking, quite difficult. It’s not so much what but how you are asking, it really makes me think, and that on its own is draining, and once I’d seen that the training is all day every day plus assignments I’m wondering if I could manage?
It’s been an intense time of thinking, note-taking, questioning, answering, and writing, and throughout that intensity, I’ve come to realise that self-reflection is hard work. I’ve never looked inwards so deeply.
Of course, I’d like to give something back, people have been there for me throughout when I’ve needed them and I’ve had some great supporters, right through the NHS and I’m sure you all are as thankful to them as much as I am. Respect!
I was on the bus earlier today and I started to read a blog post on my phone. What had been going through my mind was the thought of all the hard work and everything about the job which was to come, what with the application form, the well-being plan, and the training along with assignments.
Now, remember, this was just a thought and I hadn’t made up my mind yet. The title of the post is How to Shed a “Dabbler’s Mindset” and Develop an Author’s Mindset. I know, how boring but I’m into writing so it interests me. But what stuck out at me were the words on the image that accompanied the post. The image below…
…which made me ponder and think about how opting for say, volunteering as an Admin Assistant would make things a lot easier against pursuing the Peer Support Worker role which involved all of the hard work that I’d been doing and was still to come. And it came like a bolt of inspiration that the difficult road might take ME to a beautiful destination, and given that I’m not really a true people’s person, of my imposing height, with my own mental attitude, might give difficulties that I’d personally face, that wouldn’t necessarily help someone else in getting to their own beautiful place on their road of recovery. Yes, it does worry me that I’d easily get tired and drained, physically and mentally and that that in itself could lead to problems that I’d have to deal with, but more importantly, it would lead to problems that someone else would have to deal with which, given the circumstances could lead to dire consequences.
I wish I had had this clarity of thought 30 years ago before I got ill and when I think about it 30 years ago there wasn’t all this readily available internet-driven information around and it was impossible then to learn what we can today without sitting constantly in a library, whereas now, sitting on a bus and looking at our phones is the norm.
Who knows? I’ll go for it and we’ll see.
I have my thumb in quite a few pies at the moment which is why I think I need to make up my mind which way to go.