Just Keep Swimming!

Dear Gorgeous Readers,

It has been a long while since I last posted. It has been a crazy, challenging, fun and demanding year so far. Oh, which reminds me, it is June 1 today, so happy half a year! In a way, it feels like time has flown by fast. Before I knew it, I was starting my internship and meeting the lovely team that I am working with for 1 year. And then I was driving a long distance on my own for the very first time. Having a job located in the south of Auckland meant that I had to do a 1-2 hour drive everyday, over the Harbor Bridge. And that was not an easy job for me, especially at the start. The most driving I did before that was probably to and from the grocery which was 10 minutes away our house! Imagine the anxiety and stress that I went through. Luckily my boyfriend was kind enough to sit in the passenger’s seat and take me driving to my destination. We practiced driving 1 month before my internship started, and for the first 2 weeks, he drove with me to work, then he’d take the car and drive it to his work, then he’d drive back to my work, and then we’d drive back to the Shore together… and then he drives back home.

Seriously, how loving is that?

But now I am doing well driving on my own, and it may sound quite shallow, but I never imagined that I’d get used to it. It’s a nice feeling being able to go to work in my own car. Oh yes, I bought my first car! My dad let me loan from him, but it is my car. I didn’t like it at first because I thought it looked too manly, but now we’re friends. I like my car, it’s my baby. Haha.

And how is internship, you might ask? Well, for those of you familiar with my blog, you’ll know that I’d geek out over anything psychology-related. You can say I am living out my dream, I’m finally working as a registered (intern) psychologist. I am seeing patients. I am constantly challenged, affected, motivated, anxious, and thankfully, feeling fulfilled with my work. It is tiring. I went to this seminar lately on self-care, and our speaker was saying that we psychologists do have a hard job. We may not be saving lives in a way that paramedics or doctors do, but it doesn’t make our job any easier. We don’t just stitch people up and go. We allow them to release their feelings, their stresses, their worries. We process their stories (no matter how hard they may be…and let me tell you, I have heard some pretty sh*t stories already), and we stay with their feelings.

We stay with them. We stay in their dark place. We feel their pain, we try to make sense of it. We listen, and we don’t instruct, but we hope to guide them to their own realizations. We hope to take their hands and lead them out of their dark place.

In my first few months as an intern, I have carried my patients’ stories. I cried with them, I held their hand, I worried about them. I felt anger for them, indignation, and even despair. Their battle scars from living inflicted wounds upon my own skin.

And at the same time, their success became my success. Seeing them find the light after being in such a dark place was my relief. I would rejoice when they would come back for a second session and say, “Hey, you know what? This stuff actually works!” I am privileged to know these people in a way that no one else, not even their closest relationships, would know them.

I am only beginning to realize how messy this job is. And part of my professional development also requires that I learn to understand myself more. I must admit, it has been painful, but at least I can understand what my patients go through as well. Clearly, I have a lot to learn as a young Padawan Psychologist. But I do get constant support from my super-human of a supervisor, from my fun and excellent team at work, from my awesome fellow interns, and also from our great program as well.

So don’t worry about me, dear readers. There is no other job that I would rather do (and I pray that my feelings stay that way). I am slowly swimming, and trying to keep my head afloat, and with all my supports in place, I know I’ll be fine.

Until the next update!

TNB (thenecessaryblog)