Friday, 4 July 2008

Happy

I was writing up the resume of one of our patients today. In between him complaining of staff treating him badly, nothing being good enough etc. etc., his therapist had challenged him and asked him what he wanted staff to do for him, and how he wanted to be treated. He couldn't answer it.


one with the sea
Originally uploaded by Luis Montemayor
Now completely apart from the fact that I actually feel sorry for this guy despite him having done some completely horrible (and I mean horrible) things in his past, this got me thinking.

Maybe the reason I so often feel down is that I haven't really figured out what it is that makes me happy in life. Last night, I had a lengthy (therapy style) conversation with J about his mother and how she has shaped two of his most important core beliefs: That he is inadequate in personal relationships and that he is a bad person if he does not love his mother. I could write a whole separate post about that conversation, but in essence I asked him whom he wants to decide how he feels about himself, his mother or, well, he himself.

And in the car home today, as I was driving Westwards into the beautiful sunset after the end of my shift, Celine Dion in my lungs (yay Magic) and a cool draft from the Micra's window on my right arm, I thought that maybe the same is true for me.

I went into journalism because I was told from an early age that this would be a good profession for me to go into, because I am extroverted, good with language and fairly creative. But it didn't fulfil me. Then I went into psychology, because I guess I am interested in people's stories. And I am. I was chatting to another patient for quite a period of time this evening, and his life story interests me (sadly, I have to say, more than his outcome in this particular case). But my job does not fulfil me, and sometimes I fear that even if I manage to qualify as a psychologist at some point in the distant future, I will still feel the familiar restlessness.

I have come to the conclusion that for all my left-winged, Guardian-reading, bleeding-hearted socialist leanings, I don't want to work for a large public organisation. Been there, done that, and it simply doesn't suit me.

Partly the attraction of becoming a psychologist is that at some point I will be able to run my own practise, out of my own home, where I get to choose my clients and my hours and how I spend my day. I can schedule time to do morning pages when I feel like it, and although of course I will have a duty of care towards the people I deliver therapy to, this will not involve carrying a ridiculously large bunch of keys, hauling belongings in and out of store, or watching cockroaches scurry across the kitchen floors of entirely inappropriate for their use Victorian buildings.

Maybe I wouldn't be happier, but this is I think the life I would choose for myself.

J is twitching slightly as he does. I have given him a cellular blanket to sleep under, he keeps waking at like 0530 in the morning, and I was thinking it might be because he is too hot. My best friend tells me this really affects her baby boy twins. In case the cellular blanket is slightly cold, I have covered it with a red polkadotted fleece blanket I got for my birthday from his now-former not-quite-sister-in-law. He is so cute it's not even funny, his ear plugs protruding slightly from his ears below the Boots in-flight eye mask he wears cause our landlady is too stingy to put up curtain rails.

He is a manager now, though only acting. If only his team could see him as I see him. But I wouldn't want them to. J when he's asleep is mine and mine alone, I guess it is a sign of our intimacy that he falls asleep every night looking completely ridiculous but not caring. And without fail, about five minutes after settling down, me still playing Neopet games, his hand fumbles across the duvet to find mine, to stroke it quietly goodnight one last time. And this, I am certain, is one thing that definitely does make me just a little happier.

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