Pondering being an occupational therapy role model and 12-steps
I had this elaborate plan to do this beautiful Tips for new OT students and include new/old OTS blogs with their links and a blurb. But I'm really tired, I've been on the go all day yet again, tomorrow will also be long, and I desperately need to just go to sleep. Although first I need to write two journal entries, a reaction report about a 12-step meeting I attended tonight, and a few other things. So today's will just be a two-part ramble since that's so much faster than something composed. I'm doing it as my leisure and to get it off my chest, not because I have to. Hence you don't need to scratch your head and wonder why I'm taking the time to write this when I am so busy. I'll try to make sure I do the OT student post soon though!!
I've been thinking a lot lately about both therapeutic use of self as well as being a role model to future patients. Some recent lectures as well as all our Group sessions have caused this recent contemplation. I sometimes get overwhelmed with the responsibility I feel I will have when I am working with patients. Not the basic insurance/scheduling/normal interactions, but the more psychosocial ones. Like how can I help them learn to value themselves if I don't value myself? So I've made some goals for my self. Pretty big ones though. These are like overarching “one day hope to achieve” goals. The sooner the better though, right?
1. Stop being self deprecating
2. Respect others more, even in my private thoughts (not just poker face or nod and smile)
3. Stop being so judgmental about the life choices of others
4. Be more open-minded
5. Learn to give myself more value and worth
6. Try to stop cursing so that no matter what, the worst you get out of me is a Fudge or Dang or something. A potential pediatric therapist can't run around screaming the real F word every time something goes wrong. Maybe I'll adopt a silly phrase like “Oh Jellybean” as my curse word. One girl in my class always says “oh dear!”. The worst thing I've ever heard out of her mouth is “Oh crap” when she spilled sugar all over the counter while making a cake. That's pretty impressive.
Part II of this ramble
I went to my first 12-step meeting tonight, we have to go to three open meetings for our Group class.
Another girl in my class and I went to Nar-Anon at a local church. I'm not sure if we accidentally crashed a closed meeting (possibly) or if it just like this in general, but it was very awkward. They focused a lot on sharing how the program helped them and how they encourage coming back and things like that. There were only four older women there. They were very kind and seemed very open, except for one woman there who seemed like she was desperate to share things and didn't feel comfortable with us there. That might have just been us projecting, but she was certainly the only one there that didn't seem so thrilled with our presence. I felt so bad about that. I almost felt like she knew we were “imposters”. We didn't share anything about ourselves but our names but we nodded and everything a lot as they told us stuff. It wasn't like we could suddenly say “Oh by the way, we're just students here to observe the four of you, sorry”. We were supposed to be there just to observe and we were ideally supposed to be observing much larger groups than just 4 so that we could be inconspicuous. So it was an awkward situation where we felt there was no way to explain or disentangle ourselves gracefully. I did learn a lot from the session though, because the 12-step programs have some really important lessons to teach, regardless of the specific problem. So I did learn a lot, but I truly feel terrible that we possibly caused at least one woman to be unable to share what she needed to share. I also felt terrible they spent time and energy sharing things with us when they really needed to just share with each other. It was a mistake I don't plan to make again, that is for sure. What I learned doesn't make up for the fact I possibly caused others to not make any gains. The others did actually seem to make some self-insights while talking to us though, so maybe we did help a tiny bit, just by being there and being young and giving them mirrors to look into of how they first started their journey and how much farther along they are now.
There is a children's book called The Healing Power of Lucky that my dad let me borrow when I was last home. It's kind of an odd book that was taken out of libraries recently for including the word “scrotum”. It's a very odd story with weird quirks. The thing I remember most involves 12-steps. The little girl has a job to clean up after 12-step meetings but one of the things that really struck me is how she described having to clean up the donuts from the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in preparation for the Overeaters Anonymous meeting, and then clean up the cigarettes from the OA meeting in preparation for the Nicotine Anonymous, etc. Everyone has their own issues and what one group uses as support while going through their 12-step, may be the exact thing another group is trying to avoid. “One man's poison is another man's cure.” Or to be all erudite…” quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum” – what is food to one person may be bitter poison to others.
I recommend the book, by the way.
Anyways. That's what I've been pondering lately as I go through this occupational therapy student journey!!
OMG, PS: we made no sew blankets today using fleece and knotting and it was so cool! I am so excited! All my family/friends are totally getting blankets for Christmas. AHAHAHHAA. Pictures soon.