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Chicken Soup….Tuesday????

04 Nov

Sunday was supposed to be chicken soup day but I missed it. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to reflect however.

Over the last few months I have been having issues with my line manager. I have been told I need to improve my attitude. I have been told that I need to learn to communicate better. Me, I don’t automatically externalize issues. I always look at myself first to see what I am doing that could be misunderstood or misconstrued causing issues. What I found upon reflection is that it wasn’t just me. But what am I to do with someone who, by their own admission, is incapable of handling confrontation? Well, I bottled it all up, literally until I couldn’t breathe and getting out of bed caused tremors.

I am not an overly emotional personal so I freaked out enough to call the doctor. His prognosis? Mild depression. That, was difficult to hear, even if part of me felt it would be something like that. I don’t know if any other clinicians have been through something similar but I almost felt like I let myself and others down. I do think as someone in the helping profession I should take better care of myself, but it was a shock because I am not doing social work at the moment. I am doing quality assurance! Part of me was just incredulous.

I have read so many articles on self-care in social work. I have advised countless clients on the importance of looking after themselves but somehow it managed to slip right by me.

Anyhoo, I felt like I needed to express myself openly and honest about the situation. The response was as I thought, defensive and no self-awareness, but I felt better. I don’t think any relationship – work or otherwise – should be the primary responsibility of one person. It was really cathartic. I was professional but honest. I didn’t even realise how displaced I felt until I did it because after, I felt more like myself than I had in a very long time.

I need a supportive manager. Someone with whom I can talk through issues. Someone who understands that every day won’t be great and that’s fine. I think this may be a hazard in having a non social worker supervising or trying to manage a social worker. The expectations are different and I am not sure it is realistic to expect a non social worker to be able to support me in the way a social work manager would. I am still working through this one.

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2 Comments

Posted by on November 4, 2014 in My Practice

 

2 responses to “Chicken Soup….Tuesday????

  1. Katrina Spears

    November 6, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Hi, I just read this and really hoped by writing I could give you some extra support. My personal view is that you are experiencing very normal feelings in a difficult situation. In the profession there is a culture of “we are all perfect” because so many professionals judge others by a very restrictive yardstick and label what to any other person is a completely normal reaction to external pressures. The problem is that this type of culture us not normal or productive because it creates an us and them mentality. And many professionals bottle in their emotions as a result which if not freely expressed without negative connentations is unhealthy.

    Unfortunately when careers are at stake we quite rightly feel powerless to speak out knowing it will do more harm then good. I read a book once which explained that healthy individuals understand their are ills in the world but proactively look for making a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps a change of jobs is in order but then is the grass any greener on the other side? Remember we can’t change anyone but can change how we deal with others. Xx

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    • TGreen

      November 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you for that. It helps to have that support. And you’re right, it is about how we deal with the behaviour of others.

      Like

       

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