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How I’ve Really Been

I’ve been teetering on the edge between “okay” and “exhausted”. This year, I picked the MOST demanding practicum site possible. I love my clients, but balancing the current workload (especially since many of our licensed therapists are on vacation) feels impossible. It happened to coincide with finals week and the burnout that many of us interns were already feeling.

By the time I get home, all I can do is flop onto my bed and stare at the ceiling.

I have no energy to attend to the two jobs that I have, and it is showing. Couple that with my computer, which gave its last hurrah this week, and everything seems too tiring to deal with.

I haven’t been handling it well.
I’d leave to practicum without breakfast to get there 15 mins early. I would push my stomach out to keep it from growling in groups. I used to pride myself on at least taking care of my body when everything else felt too tough to manage.

I’ve been dressing up for the gym to motivate myself.

I’m mentally tired. Today I met a new friend and my brain immediately went into client mode (in “client mode”, you don’t talk about yourself, you just ask the other person about themselves). I adjusted after a bit, but still.
It’s also hard to recharge on your weekends when there’s always something to be done. I was in the middle of keeping the Sabbath for the first time in a long time, but then I remembered that I have one last note due.

Throughout this phase of my life, I realized that I’ve been complaining to the people closest to me. And I love them, so I don’t want to burden them with what feels like an endless bad mood.
My mom (an absolute angel) sent me to practicum with lunches because she knows I won’t eat otherwise.

This made me smile.

My boyfriend often brings me lunch during my lunch breaks and makes me laugh so hard that I forget why I was in a bad mood to begin with.
My grandparents take my calls on the way back during my hour long commute.

I also tell myself that there are things I *need* to do for my sanity. Last week, I had an intake, and apparently when you have an intake, you’re supposed to cancel your evening plans in order to write it up.
Well. I can’t do that. “I won’t be available after 5 pm, so if there are any edits, could you please send them along before then?” I wrote. And then I was able to see my friend. We went to a delicious Thai place.

This week, another friend invited me to see the Lost City on Tuesday. Also this week, I’m going to hang out with one of my closest friends who happens to be at the same practicum site as me. I’ve heard from people that this is supposed to be a phase. This is supposed to be temporary. Someday, I was going to be licensed, have my own office, and choose my own hours. I have rosy dreams of doing neuropsych assessments for cute little kids. “Are we supposed to hate this part of our lives?” I remember an intern saying, as he put his stuff down one morning.

I don’t think so. You cannot just live for the future. You have to find ways to make your present enjoyable, even when it feels exhausting. So I’m going to keep seeing my friends. I’m going to read more. I’m going to start eating again. I can’t just press fast forward on this part of my life, so the alternative is to find ways to manage.

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Published by adventuresofagradgirl.wordpress.com

Hi everyone! I started my doctorate in clinical psychology in fall 2020. A google search revealed that there are no current grad school blogs for psychology students. Anyway, I happen to know a girl who wants to document her journey to getting a doctorate (spoiler: it's me). Welcome. Hope you stay awhile!

5 thoughts on “How I’ve Really Been

  1. Ugh, I am so sorry this time has been hard for you!! I can’t imagine the mental and physical exhaustion during such a busy time all around. Good for you for setting that 5 PM boundary and getting out! It’s so important!! There’s definitely a balance between enjoying the present when it’s hard while also looking forward to the future. Hopefully things will calm down for you soon and in the meantime, keep having fun!

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  2. Ay. This really does sound hard. I really want to say something helpful but I know what a meatgrinder starting out in a field can be (law school and articles of clerkship are the same). Can I give you one piece of advice? John Howard – one of Australia’s better Prime Ministers – had a rule with his own staff: if the Prime Minister can take a lunch break, EVERYONE can take a lunch break (like, he’d actually tell his staff to down tools and go outside and breathe fresh air). Do all you can to take a lunch break. That hour/45mins/30 mins can make a hell of a difference

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