The end of a chapter and the start of the next

The cogs of change are changing again and life as I had known it for the last 9 months , funny how it started as a 4 week gig. When did it change? When did I stop caring, stop striving, and lost my focus?

I think I did bring it upon myself…too scared to let go of what is safe and what is familiar and immerse myself into the unknown. I am not sure if that is partly the reason why I find myself in this predicament. But then ironically, I prove myself right. It didn’t work out, but at least I have a some form of security in knowing that I have the second job while looking for something new.

It’s scary. Not knowing what my future will be like. But hey, this has been happening every few months before a contract ends. I still remember the terror and anxiety I felt when my first contract was almost ending…I was worried did I make a good impression? I’ve always worked hard and did my best to be nice to everyone. But I guess when you so hard and with no recognition, you start feeling under appreciated, tired, stressed, and burdened. Too scared to complain because you want to be chosen to stay there, yet everyday feels harder than the day before.

This good bye was inevitable. There are regrets, but there are also moments where I had a confidence that I did not have before and I am proud that this difficult situation developed that in me. Standing up for my rights and of others is something that I strive to do. I think it has something to do with respecting yourself and speaking up when something things off or wrong. Working in a mental health institution has always been a goal of mine and I have fulfilled that and believe this was be a stepping stone into something greater.

Apparently, with this company there will be an exit interview…this is not something I have done before, despite working in so many places previously. There is so many things I want to say, but I need to be careful of saying anything too bad,  because I need this people to be referees. There is never a way to win is there? Better to leave on good times than bad. I am both scared, yet also looking forward to a change of scenery. Bring on the last 3 weeks of full time work…

Stay Tuned for updates

What’s in a name?

I’ve been thinking lately (what else is new?)- about the power of a name..

There are so many uses for a name! People associate themselves with names, land marks and buildings have names, countries have names, and also illnesses have names.

Flowing on from the last post about introductions, I wonder…can you know someone without knowing their name? Like why does it matter what their name is? Yet, it DOES matter in terms of having an identity that you are who you are. If we didn’t have names, would we just be described by our behaviours or how we physically look like? That blind man over there…That fat old lady sitting there…I guess we may that to an extent if we didn’t know their names…

It’s really amazing the stereotypes that we associate with certain things..be it a gender.. “I am a boy, so I should be strong, I should not cry!”…”I am a girl, so I should know how to cook and clean!”. It could be a race, “I am Chinese, so I should be ashamed about the fact I do not know how to use chopsticks properly!”. Sometimes I feel like, due to all the names and labels that are put on us, we feel like we have to be or act a certain way to fulfil other people’s expectations of us. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. You think you should act a certain way, therefore you act that way…and then you think it is because I thought I had to act that way so I did, or did I naturally want to do it? I hope you understand what I mean.

So, in particular I want to highlight why naming has such a big level of influence on someone ‘diagnosed’ with a mental illness. I will explain shortly why I put diagnosed in quotation marks. If you haven’t heard of the DSM, you can check out this link here basically it is a bible of all the known mental illnesses of mankind at this point of time. It is always changing, things are added and things are taken out. For example, homosexuality used to be in the DSM, until people rallied to have it taken out. I imagine it would be a terrible time to live in if you were homosexual…if you revealed to a doctor you had homosexual tendencies…you would be subject to various, often painful, treatments in order to ‘cure’ you and make you ‘normal’ or heterosexual.  Sadly, often these treatments did not work and caused terrible trauma and pain upon those individuals.

The DSM started off as a small thin book and throughout the years it has been continually added to…there are more entries going in than out..it’s now a huge book. So, it causes us to ask the question, “Are we just putting labels on normal human behaviours?“. So basically everyone has mental illness. If we are all mentally ill, then what right do we have to called others ‘Crazy, Pyscho, and Insane?”

But my point is, are we really helping people on their road to recovery by sticking numerous labels on people?

I remember a time when I went to see a doctor about a problem… she initially diagnosed it as “XX” condition…then later she changed her mind and said it was “YY”. Did any of these labels help me to get back on my feet? The answer is N-O. It did nothing, except perhaps make me even more paranoid. I looked up Dr Google and looked up all the symptoms and things that people diagnosed with “YY” had…I went to forums and read how people’s lives seemed to be affected by having “YY”… I was confused, scared, and my anxiety was through the roof. I felt like I had a life sentence upon me, just because of the subjective, narrow-minded opinions of one individual who was useful for nothing except chucking labels. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, I doubted my self to be normal and got self-conscious of every action that I did, did I do it because I have “YY” condition? Was I going to turn out like everyone else that presumably have “YY” condition..

I am so glad now, I left that doctor after realising how toxic visiting her was… I see a different doctor who does not just throw labels around. She genuinely wants to understand what I am going through and why I am going through those things…It’s not a matter of throwing my labels upon a person…it is trying to understand what they are going through and helping them explore options to why they feel that way. The first doctor had created a large chasm between me and her, she had elevated herself to be the ‘expert’ and I was just a ‘passive clueless’ receiver. Because I listed out a few symptoms that fit into the definition particular condition, she deemed I had it…it didn’t matter  that there were exceptions to the rule, that I had strengths and characteristics not associated with that condition…it was because she used her subjective, stereotypical view and saw me as ‘abnormal’ and I needed to be ‘fixed’. She made it clear something was wrong with me and that I needed to change, she gave the impression she was normal. Now I think back, she was nothing but an evil witch. She didn’t want people to get better, she just wanted herself to feel better about herself by chucking labels on everyone.

I am not saying labelling a condition is not useful for anything…certainly if you want to have mental health sessions subsidised by the government you have to be categorised into having a diagnosis of some sort…the same is needed for insurance company claims etc…but if you are trying to help someone, it is not useful for helping them in their recovery by focussing on their deficits and not their strengths.

I have been meaning to write about this topic for some time now, but put it off.. because I am not sure if I can do it justice..

I would be super interested in hearing your thoughts about this!

 

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Article Recommendation!

What does it mean to get help once you realise you have a mental health illness? This article sums it up pretty well!

Hi,

I just read an article which helped put into words some of the things that I really want to say. Though it is not written by someone in Australia, some of the things the author experienced, I too experienced myself while trying to navigate my way in the mental health sector in Australia. If you have about 10-15 minutes, please read this article! It is quite long, but very detailed, personal and emotionally interesting. She details how (and I am also guilty of it), how mental illness has became somewhat ‘mainstream’ as in people are talking about it, but the thing is the mental health sector isn’t keeping up. There are massive waiting lists for help, the costs involved are great and the medications are expensive. When we tell someone that there is a lot of help available, is there really? I feel like we have come a lonnnng way from a 10 years ago, but there is still A LOT that can be done.

‘It’s nothing like a broken leg’: why I’m done with the mental health conversation –Hannah Jane Parkinson

Here’s so quotes from the article to bait you in!

“It’s never been easier to open up – but hashtag healthcare doesn’t help people like me…”

“Throwing a ball of wool to one another in a circle might be helpful for some people, but it absolutely wasn’t for me…”

“Amy Winehouse, voice of a goddamn goddess. We’ll allow. Kathy, 54, works at Morrisons. Not so much..”

“Enough awareness has been raised. We – the public, health professionals, politicians – need to make our actions count”

Let me know what you thought of the article in the comments! (if you want)..!

Take care,

 

Be- Joy-Filled

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