While many people were losing their job, I was planning the exit for mine. Job security is always high demand but so is your mental health in the workplace. Taking this leap of faith was the best mental security I could have gained.
Posted April 13, 2021
It has been a long time coming since my last blog. I fell off from writing since last year, but I needed the time to refocus my energy on what I want to share with you now. Being a millennial feels like a completely different beast from all the other generations that exist. We fall between a weird spectrum of the old world and new world. Tradition tells us to go to college and get a great job to afford a quality life. Reality shows us that is not as true as it once was because college is a predatory debt that does not guarantee you a job after graduating. But if it does, you may start off at a 30k-40k salary which in most states is the bare minimum to meet the cost of living. More times than not it can feel like we are being punished for only doing what we were told was the right thing to do. Just like many of my counterparts I was falling into the repetition of working to live which I always vowed to myself I would not do.
It is no secret by now that mental illness and I are no strangers. Bundle that with working in mental health as a case manager/therapist in crisis intervention and you just opened up Pandora’s box. I was great at my job and I showed up with 100% everyday until I just could not anymore. Dealing with crisis after crisis after crisis just to get off work and come home to my own personal struggles began to deteriorate my mental health. On the outside, I made sure to keep up my composure and dependability to my youth and families because they needed me. However, the more I serviced them I was doing a disservice to myself.
Everyone sees the compassion and necessity of being a mental health professional from the outside. However, it is not an easy job and many of us face burnout if self-care is not part of our daily routine. The honest truth for me was that when I graduated from UConn with my Master’s in Social Work, I envisioned my career being in community organizing, research development, and/or policy analyst. It was never my intention to develop a caseload of youth where my role in their life would assist in preventing them from ending up in either the child welfare system or the juvenile system. Regardless of where I thought my degree would take me, I committed myself to almost three years in the District of Columbia touching the lives of over 70 families.