Last time I wrote, I was bemoaning the loss of personal items on a bus. I’m still in the process of replacing things, still need to head to the DMV for my state identification, and I still need to recover my mail keys. I have to wait to get those because they require photo identification.
The past week, I’ve basically stayed home. I went to a tour of Monterey Institute of International Studies and was told to be more certain of my goals before pursuing such an expensive investment of time and dedication. I can agree. I do not want any more false-starts.
In another area of my world, it seems the scope of my world has somehow shrunk. I had been attending Omni Resource Center downtown where I would volunteer and participate in groups, but I took a break. I called and told them I was going to take time to explore the possibility of work or school. Maybe this was a bad idea.
I know I missed one doctor’s appointment (mental health) at the beginning of the month because I overslept. I didn’t mean to do this. I was catching up because I stayed up all night the night before for no particular reason.
I let some professionals know my mood had altered. I also know this time of year, as April approaches, this is a sensitive time.
I have an anniversary effect from my father’s suicide around his birthday which is April 5. It is hard for me even to write this in a public place because it is such a poignant subject despite the fact that it happened ten years ago.
Time doesn’t really erase the effects for me so far. It just results in a new set of life events that I wade through as I move further away from the original date. Maybe I have never truly processed the grief.
I wonder if I felt the need to take some personal time for myself for a variety of reasons, since perhaps I sensed a disturbance in myself and was trying to contain it, since perhaps I’m afraid of another mental breakdown or destabilization due to this anniversary effect. I might feel that the current state of events where my son (who was named after my father) is a potential trigger for some kind of unhealthy state of mind.
I know isolating is not desirable for me, though. It becomes a prison I impose upon myself. I need socialization to stay in touch with the world and to “get out of my head” as I used to tell friends was important for my mental and emotional well being.
I think some of the desire to have employment or school right now is to avoid that insulated lifestyle of isolation. I fell into this back when I started more focused treatment. Also, living alone can breed this in me (maybe for others, too?). I know sometimes when I’m alone too much I start to think that I just want people to leave me alone altogether. I don’t know why this is, but I know it is not a constructive trend.
The prevailing wisdom would be to forego serious commitment and just volunteer some more, be patient with myself until I know I am solid.
I should also tell myself that having most of my time filled with volunteering and self improvement is nothing to be ashamed about. My husband goes through this also. He started volunteering at a local nonprofit that refurbishes and sells computer systems at a very low price. He didn’t stay because he felt the position might not be as meaningful because it is not paid work.
I know volunteer work is not only valuable but vitally necessary. I know because nonprofits cannot function without them and without nonprofit agencies, so many resources we take for granted would not be possible in the same way. I know. I really do.
I volunteered as editor of the newsletter that is distributed throughout the county based in Interim, Inc. (the nonprofit agency that provides community supports, advocacy and other resources in conjunction with the county mental health department). The newsletter is available to anyone who wants to receive it. Many people who are not part of that system read it, including doctors and others. I made a commitment to this, and I intended to stay with it. Maybe I should be happy with this. Maybe right now, this is what I am doing, and it’s fine. I don’t need to be dissatisfied. Sometimes the best employment opportunities are the ones that happen when we least expect it.
I’m also supposed to start volunteering at Our Voices, and I have volunteered sometimes at Omni Resource Center, both of which are peer-driven resources for Interim clients.
Why do I think it’s not good enough? I know it’s a great thing to be able to volunteer, contribute to an organization that I support with all my heart and which helps so many people. I know it is invaluable experience if I ever want to go further in psychology and/or counseling (and I might).
Why am I disillusioned? Or am I?