I’m feeling a little frazzled at the moment, so am struggling to compile any one thing in to a post. Just a bit of a stream of consciousness. Sorry…
Work is being stupid again. After trying to lay me off once (and nobody has admitted they were responsible for that monumental cock-up), they now have us working over the bank holiday weekend and through a University holiday (not just a student one, the entire uni, in theory, is shut) while they go off and have a holiday. They’ve left one poor unfortunate soul to try to sort everything out. I’ve tried to help, spotting a couple of things that appeared to be wrong, and in thanks I got ignored, then shouted down (irritating) and finally patronised (infuriating). In the end they listened, but only after someone else joined in with me, and we finally got on.
Next, I’m trying to organise Organisation stuff against a close and inflexible deadline, and I need two people to get in touch with me. I’ve emailed, I’ve called them half a dozen times each and I still haven’t had a reply. If I don’t hear back, it’s very likely that they’ll not be able to go on duty next year. This will not make me popular. Well, it’s that or I try to guess clothing sizes, which probably won’t end well…
Next is my house-mate again. This time he’s brought someone over (without mentioning it to me…) and is continuing to attempt to impose his taste in everything on me. So far he’s tried to change how I cook my food (and what I eat), the sort of TV I watch, the sort of films I want to watch (for the thousandth time, I am NOT interested in that comedy) and he doesn’t seem to get that I’m just not interested. He also complains when I go and hide away in my room to get some peace and quiet, whines when I don’t drop everything and answer my phone when he’s calling and doesn’t seem to get that we don’t have a huge amount in common. Not to mention that continuous complaints when my cooking/eating stuff is dirty and he wants to eat (and can’t be bothered to dig out his own) or to wash it up himself. Sufficed to say, this is going to be an interesting year…
Oh yeah, and all this stuff is starting to get me down again, and I’m getting stressed and losing faith in my ability to cope, and then call myself stupid because I know I can cope, and it all breaks down in to an argument of the level of ‘I know you are, so what am I’ running through my head.
Yeah… I seemed to have developed a comma splice… Never mind…
Time to go buy some ice cream, hide in my room, and hope everything goes away.
And then get very busy tomorrow when it doesn’t…
A little while ago I had a rant about a sticky situation I thought I’d got myself in to. I had a conversation with the county officer dealing with the situation yesterday.
It turns out that what I did was exactly what they would have wanted to happen. This is an immense relief, not least because I now have the legitimate defence that the situation has been taken out of my hands. I have received orders from on-high, so high that I don’t have any choice but to obey.
This is useful. There is now one less thing for me to stress about… Shame the rest of the list is quite long…
I have a member of staff. I’ll be honest from the start, I don’t like him. I don’t think he’s a suitable person for a Youth unit. Some of the time I wonder if he’s a suitable person for the organisation. However, that is not my decision to make.
I have sat in some of his training sessions for our young people. Some of them are very good, particularly the youth led ones. A couple of sessions where he had his group discussing different types of punishment, I’m told were excellent. However, some of them really aren’t. On more than one occasion, when I’ve been in the room while he’s been training first aid, or event while I’ve been training and he’s been sitting in, I’ve encountered areas of his knowledge that are sorely lacking. The last time it happened, I did something about it: I have made it so that he always has another qualified member in the room when he’s training, to support him (or so I put it).
Of cause, he’s not happy, and I’ve heard (gah, the organisation is terrible for gossip and rumour) that he’s been grumbling in the presence of some important people in the county. Not people in my direct line of management, but close enough to cause me problems. And of cause, all the certainty I had about the decision at the time has evaporated. I know that I don’t like him training first aid. I know that there are gaps in his knowledge. But, I can’t be specific enough to justify what I did, or to solve the problem. And now, I’m starting to second guess myself, and I’m not even sure how I separate my gut feelings from the objective things I can actually put on paper.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. Previously I’ve made a decision about someone (well, two someones in this case) doing something that I thought was wrong. I acted on this decision, attempted to get them to stop doing it, and had the whole thing slapped back in my face. So hard, in fact, that I vowed never to be on the committee of that unit again.
I think what I did was the right thing to do. However, I just don’t think I can justify it anymore, or at least not in a way that would convince me, if I was some other person. I don’t know if I can even convince them that it’s not just a personal issue between me and him, or that I’m not just trying to bully him in to leaving the unit.
This has really thrown me in to a spin. I’m not helping myself, as I’m now questioning my ability to make these, and other, decisions. I have a duty coming up where I’m supposed to be in charge, and I can’t shake the feeling that I’ll muck that up as well.
I can’t everything I’m feeling in to words. It’s all going round and round and I’m just getting in to a mess.
That doesn’t help as much as I’d hoped…
So that CBT thing I was supposed to be referring myself to. The one whose leaflet I’ve had sat on my desk for more than a week now.
Yeah… That thing that I keep telling myself ‘I must sort that out.’ ‘Must do that, but tomorrow’.
I promised myself I would keep on top of this. And yet, I keep putting it off.
I think I know why. I’m afraid. It’s scary admitting that I have a mental health problem, and going to seek out help from somone I don’t even know. That’s terrifying. So I put it off, and put it off, until I forget about it. Which is a crap way of dealing with it.
‘Don’t be stupid.’ I tell myself. ‘You’ve faced down threatening patients. You’ve worked in a major incident with no second thoughts.’ Except, of cause, one way or another, I have been in control of those situations. Either by sheer force of will, or by continuous training and work. I can cope with that, because I know what will happen.
With this, I’m all at sea. I have no idea what is going to happen, and I don’t seem to be able to control my situation either. I’m terrified that everything is going to slip away from me, and I have no way of pinning these things down.
‘So’, I tell myself, ‘it’s time to take control. And that means take that first step.’
And it’s easy to tell myself that. Easy to promise myself that I’ll do it. Easy to push it back and push it back. Easy to let the leaflet get buried under everything else on my desk.
This isn’t going to be easy. I have to remember this. It’s probably going to be scary.
I’ve told patients (mainly the very young ones) that it’s okay to be scared, as long as you are brave.
I’m good at handing out advice like this. That’s the easy bit.
No comes the difficult part…
There’s likely to be a few more of these sort of posts in the near future. Sorry about that, but my project (or more specifically, my project group) are seriously annoying me at the moment. Hopefully I’ll get to go on duty soon and have something interesting to write about.)
Our supervisor has said that it would be a good idea for everyone to switch around their parts of the project, so they don’t get stuck in a rut while designing. That’s fine, in principle, though possibly of questionable usefulness. You’ve gone ahead with it, with everyone.
But you’ve not really thought this through. You have forgotten that, for all of the last couple of weeks, people have made a big point of mentioning that they don’t understand half of what I’ve produced. And I have made no secret of the fact that I’ve done no mechanical engineering for two years, and to call me rusty would be an understatement. I am also down on the project cover as a Control Engineer. And you want taking all of the control work away from me.
And then you act surprised when I dig my heels in. I am not going to get very good marks if you hand me a mechanical engineering design to finalise. If you hand my work to someone else, keeping in mind that I’m the only person in the group who had even heard of the technology I want to use before we started the project, and the only person who’s done any serious control theory, they are not going to get good marks. You grumble because I’m being stubborn, and it can’t be that hard. I point out that I’ve done two modules on control now, and I probably won’t find it easy. For someone else, it’s going to be extremely hard. You suggest that I could help. I point out that I don’t really have the time to teach two modules worth of control theory to someone else, as well as writing my report on a subject I don’t really understand.
Thankfully, this is the point where you relent. I have my section of the project back (and with it, my chance of getting a first), and you have to hand my bit to someone else.
Something tells me I’m not going to get rated high on my level of teamwork. However, I have discovered that when I need to be, I can be enough of a pain in the arse to make you change your mind. Excellent.
I still haven’t made that appointment. Every time I’ve thought about doing it, something has come up and I’ve done something else. Mañana, mañana.
This afternoon, I received a massive kick up the backside. It appears that my particular self-harm has started being visible to my friends. To them it looks particularly innocuous. To me it was an unpleasent surprise.
Tomorrow, I have an appointment with the nurse to get my wounds checked on. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to try to get an appointment with my GP to fit in shortly after. Because enough is enough. This isn’t getting better, no matter what lies I tell myself. Today, I got home, sat down in front of my computer, and despite having a reasonably good day (aside from one rant which is going to follow), felt like crying. No real reason, I just felt really upset. And this isn’t right. I deserve better than this. I have to believe that. I do believe that.
So, it’s time to do something. Because at this rate, I’m going to hit rock bottom so hard I’ll never get back up.
It’s easy to make New Years Resolutions. Not so easy to keep them. I could make the usual ones:
- Exercise more
- Eat better
- Keep up with my studies better
The list goes on. Add in my particular circumstances and I could add:
- Come out to my parents
- Blog more regularly
Again, the list could be a mile long.
I’ll say right away, the first item in the second list isn’t likely to happen any time this decade, and the latter really depends on how much inspiration I have.
However, the first list shows some potential.
If I want to get anywhere in my ambulance work without damaging myself, I need to get fit, and I need to get stronger. I noticed that my fitness was going down when I stopped cycling to work. Suddenly, the cycle to uni, which used to be pretty average, is a nightmare. Well, the few times I’ve tried it before the snow got bad. In short, more exercise is needed. I’m at a uni that has amazing sports facilities. Shouldn’t be too hard, as long as I stick with it… That, unfortunately, will be the problem.
As a student, the eating properly think is always a problem. Hopefully that’ll get better as I get a bit more free time. More importantly on the health front, I think I need to see a Doctor.
I should explain more thoroughly… A few months ago, I had a chat with a GP about my mental health. To cut a long story short, I’ve been self-harming for quite a long time, now. In fact, I can’t really remember when I started, it was so long ago. At first I just saw it as a bad habit, but looking back, at my behaviour, my feelings, everything, I got a bit concerned.
Now don’t misunderstand. I have never done myself lasting damage. Never anything that risked my life, and I’ve never considered suicide. I have no visible scars (at least, none that were deliberately self-inflicted), and nothing that you’d see in everyday life.
I had a feeling that something wasn’t right, and when I went to the Doctor, she agreed that something was wrong, possibly depression, or it could be anxiety. She gave me a questionnaire to fill out, and told me to see her in a week.
I missed the appointment. Not intentionally. I honestly thought she had said two weeks, not one. More importantly, though, I didn’t set a new date for the appointment. I could have done. I have thought about doing it, more than once, and have seen a GP about other things since. It’s just never happened. If I’m honest, it’s probably because I’ve never worked up the courage to do it again. It was hard enough having the conversation the first time around, why would I want to do all that again…
Except I need to, because the harm hasn’t stopped, and I’ve not miraculously started feeling better. I would be lying to myself if I said I was. I have trouble sleeping, I am still harming myself (even as I write this post, and that scares me because I know what I’m doing, but still do it), I always feel run down, and am always feeling generally ‘low’.
So my New Years Resolution is simple. Look after myself better. And I can achieve it. I have to believe I can achieve it. Because if I don’t, I’ve already lost the battle.
And I can’t let this get any worse…
I forgot to mention a few months back. I passed my Patient Transport assessments. It was a very weird feeling being on the other side of the deal, treating instead of being treated. I can certainly sympathise with all the people who make the silly mistakes. Nothing is half as obvious when it’s you who is being scrutinised…
My treatments were all fine, as was my dealing with the patient. We had to have two goes at the resus because my partner froze. The second time around I was told to step back, to allow her to demonstrate the competence we all knew she had. I ended up being held outside the assessment room an annoying amount of time ‘getting equipment’, and then spending ages calling for an ambulance.
I understand the reasons, but having to stand outside while I can hear my partner struggling to get going had me climbing up the walls with the AED I had been sent to get. Oh, and doing that in the same room, watching my partner struggle with nerves, and spotting all the little mistakes that I could have solved without a problem, grated. I have never been so keen to do CPR in my life… Fortunately, second time was lucky.
My partner and I, two very slight people, were nearly referred on our lifting, but we got it right on the second go and it was put down to lack of confidence and over-caution.
Needless to say, I’m rather pleased. The second part of the course, the Emergency Transport section, is hopefully going to be mid next year, and I can’t wait.
Now all I have to do is work on my lifting, revise my First Aid Manual, learn my Ambulance Manual. Oh, and pass my Uni exams, get through this years group project work (which I already think is going to be a nightmare), and survive my new job. Could be an interesting year…
I am not a confident person. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I have next to no self-confidence. I’m the sort of person who you’ll find at the back of the room, only really interacting with the people I know, taking ages to get comfortable around people I don’t. Take me to a nightclub (and people have tried…) and you’ll end up sitting outside with me while I try to come down from a claustrophobia induced panic attack. Take me to a pub, and there had better be people I know, otherwise I won’t be around for long.
So yeah, confidence is not something I’m good at.
Except, stick me in my uniform and something changes. Truss me up in my shirt and tie and steel toe-capped boots and I’ll clomp through a hyperventilation inducing dance floor as if I own the place (and the deity of your choice help you if you get in my way when I’m in a hurry…). Add a hi-viz and a kit, chuck me in a room with people in similar clothing that I’ve never met and I’ll have new Facebook friends before the day’s out.
The effect even persists a little when I have to treat. Put me in a group and set an engineering task and I’ll try and avoid making any decisions or directing anything (well, until you irritate me one too many times, and then I won’t lead, I’ll just head off and leave you behind, but that’s a rant for later). Stick me in a similar group and have one of them need treating, and I’ll take charge in a flash. In face, sometimes I have to take a step back and remind myself that I can’t always be in charge.
Shifting from Engineer to First Aider, or Youth Leader, makes me feel like a different person. A person with confidence in what he does. A person who makes decisions, and, most of the time, doesn’t spend ages second guessing them.
I like this person. I wish I was him all the time.
Perhaps this is why I enjoy First Aid so much, and why I’m considering doing a different degree.