Before going to bed last night I had an epiphany of sorts because I realized that I really like to help people and that helping people also helps me out of the worst of the depression. I know I wrote earlier about the possibility of becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) but February, March, and April brought about a significant relapse in my mental health recovery. While I was watching a show on PlutoTV, I restarted looking at schools that offer a master’s in social work online and found some good options. I recall from speaking with other LCSWs that the field is hard up for people and it is more just having the degree than necessarily where you went to school. The only important aspect of the program is that it is accreditted by the Council on Social Work Education. I am also considering a masters in psychology but I do not know which program makes more sense – that is a question to ask the powers that be.
Last night also gave me an opportunity to help my good friend. My friend reached out to me to tell me that he had a hard day mentally and I can definitely relate to the depression symptom of a wave of sadness just inexplicably coming on as this has happened to me. The feeling is miserable and I was glad my friend reached out because it gave me an opening to give him honest positive affirmations. I really and truly think the world of him and that he is unselfish and generous of heart and spirit. As a result of providing him these affirmations, I felt a sense of purpose and a calling. This is what basically re-affirmed for me that I have a calling as a clinician of sorts. Although I see my true calling on the advocacy side of social work, my social worker in the hospital gave me a lot of positive affirmation and thought correction in addition to the advocacy.
I suppose that my own stumbling block is the fear of the financial commitment that it is going to take to go back to school. I do not have any fear or doubt about handling the academic rigors of schooling, it’s the fear of coming out with significant debt and not being able to find work. Some of this fear is unfounded because the field is really desperate for qualified clinicians and starting salaries are going up. I wish I did not have this crippling fear of financial commitment. I wish it were as easy as throwing caution to the wind and simply forging ahead. I believe I need to do some further research to see what some of the starting salaries are so I can feel confident that and it’s just a matter of looking through job postings. I will feel better after looking at 10 or so positings.