I truly believe that we human beings are not meant to be idle, and as much as I detest the saying, Idle hands are the devil’s playground, I think there is some truth to that. When we are idle and when we do not feel productive it can often lead to, or even exacerbate, feelings of depression. Today I spent most of the morning and into the afternoon helping my friend caulk and do some general maintenance on his new-to-him pop-up trailer. It felt so good having the sun shining down on me while scraping off the old and cruddy caulking in preparation for the new stuff.
Not only did it feel good working but it also felt good to not isolate myself as I have the tendency to do. As a result of my tendency to isolate, I have very few friends but the ones that I have, hold a lot of value and actually enrich my life. It was nice to spend time with Jim working on his pop-up trailer and helping him get it ready for a Memorial Day weekend camping escape. Jim was also a really good teacher and good at explaining how he wanted the job to be done so I did it right and well the first time. I was a little leary at first because I am not particularly handy.
I even found my sense of humor as I was working making little creaking noises as I was standing up and sitting down which made for a chuckle or two. It was the simple act of spending time with a friend while being productive that did wonders for my mood. This was truly the first day that I experienced without depression or anxiety since my partial hospitalization in the middle of January. What a welcome feeling! I am the appropriate level of tired and I truly think the sunshine and the work will help me sleep well tonight.
With this in mind, I know that I need to find work in some way, shape, and form. Since I have a mental illness, I would like to see what working in the mental health field is like. I would like to apply for a position and my aim is to do so come the middle of June. There’s no sense in seeking anything sooner as, (a) I am still in the partial hospitalization program and (b) I will be helping my good buddy from college from New Orleans to Tampa. The aim is to apply for a Mental Health Associate or Mental Health Technician position to evaluate the field. If I like the work and find it rewarding, the next step is to enroll in a master’s program in Social Work or Psychology for a clinician’s position where the money is decent. I don’t know which program makes more sense.
If I find I don’t like the mental health field, then I will pick up a driving job for a garbage truck or a dump truck to bide my time for a bit while I brainstorm some other options. I want the mental health field to work out because I feel I have compassion and empathy to contribute. Therefore, when somebody is in the throes of their mental illness, I can use kindness and understanding at first to deescalate a situation. I have watched people that have well managed mental illness care for people who’s mental illness is completely unmanaged and they do, on the whole, a much better job.