Tuesday, June 1, 2010

my OWN benefits!

Well, today marks the day I started full time employment 6 months ago. It's still another 2 or so weeks before the actual probabtion is up and benefits start (because I was part time the first 2 weeks I started because I was ending my other jobs). But, I'm still here...

I think back a year ago to where I was health wise and I feel like a miracle has taken place in my life. I am able to work full time (more than actually, due to my little workaholism issue). I feel like I'm 33 again. At 33 I was much healthier, didn't need oxygen every single day and could work full time. That's me today. I know though that it's not "getting any better" only because some days (but not many) I come home feeling like shit, legs all swollen and having a hard time breathing only to find my little designer pill in my compartment: yup they have that much impact - my dr. cardio man knows it.

I'm excited to have my own benefits, to start accupuncture to support my kidneys, my liver etc. I'm excited to have holidays. I'm excited to be looking forward to taking a holiday: a real live trip to Israel, to carry out some of my "bucket list" while I still can.

My workplace doesn't know about my serious health issues. They know I have something akin to asthma, but while still under probation I don't think it was wise to disclose such info. Besides, the more I learn about work environment in other counselling agencies, the more I love mine. Sure mine's more fast-paced, in the trenches kinda work (frontline) but the self-care that's almost indoctrinated is really appreciated. There was an agency whose work I really valued, an agency I held as a sorta sacred golden cow - somewhere I'd picture myself in 2 years (if these meds help me work then). Recently I found out through informational interviewing that agencies' work policies for counselors: there are no clinicals, no debriefing, no CISD (critical incidence stress debriefing), no team building, etc. and even though their rate of pay is of course higher than mine (by only a few dollars) I realized that I would be better off to stay where I am. Not only will my mental health love it (we are also encouraged to practice self-care and take days off to avoid burn out), but my physical health will too.

You know, I gotta tell ya, I really don't feel like I have limited time left. Perhaps practicing mindfulness/awareness has also brought me closer to the 'here and now' that I'm not overly concerned about tomorrow. Either way, it feels very freeing. And exciting (accupuncture here I come!!)