I had a talk with Bob today and heâ€™s going to help me with WINZ but from what he said it shouldnâ€™t be the big deal I was starting to fear it would be. So I am relieved and less anxious about it all. We also had a big talk about this job and what it means for me. Really positive stuff. This job is bringing me a lot. Not just the possibility of working, not just getting my toe in the door. Those are great things, wonderful things, and yes I am excited about it. It may be low level academic work, but it is still academic work. It is where I want to end up, it is what all this study has been for. Research assistant is the beginning of that path, so yes, I am damn excited. There are other aspects as well, there is the fact that someone saw me not only having the academic potential to do this work, but also that I was someone that they could see themselves working with. I tell myself a lot that somehow I am a fake, that I donâ€™t really have the academic ability to be doing post grad. I remember when I didnâ€™t get another research assistant job that it was a sign I would never be good enough. Now I am re-examining those beliefs. Seeing that lecturers who know me well, who see my work, who see me in class have decided that I am good enough. This says something, and I am allowing it to say something. I am looking at that as â€œreal worldâ€ approval. It is easy for us to discount the positive feedback that comes from friends or therapists because I feel they are being nice, that they are making excuses for my failings because I am â€œunwellâ€. There is no â€œoutâ€ for my lecturer, no way of discounting this. Iâ€™m allowing myself to feel proud, to feel I have done something good, achieved something. At this time there are no bad feelings attached to it, we havenâ€™t got caught up in all the negative messages that usually come.
I got onto talking about how getting this job has enabled me to see the improvements I am making, to see my recovery. Now I donâ€™t expect that this job is just going to make everything ok, getting a job isnâ€™t an instant cure. Hell if it was I would have gotten one years ago, even if it was cleaning toilets like my mother says I should do. There is still going to be hard work, there are still going to be tough times, I am sure of that. But the thing about recovery is how small the changes are. It makes it hard to notice improvements. Bob used an analogy of a dam, with the recovery stuff being the water behind it, that it builds up slowly and then comes bursting out. This is similar to what Sean said about the badness, that changing it is a slow process, but it often looks like it happens all of a sudden, because the changes happen under the surface, a lot of the time outside of your awareness until enough is done that it seems to explode forward. To use that dam analogy, the work of recovery seems to me to be like building streams and ditches that bring the water to the damn, they seem so small, and they seem so insignificant when I am doing the work. But it is the accumulation of them that makes the dam burst. I donâ€™t think I could have handled this job if it happened even a year ago, I think a lot of the work we have done over the course of therapy is enabling me to take this next step. And I am proud of all that.
I am still anxious/nervous about having to deal with WINZ, Bob is coming with us and it would seem it isn’t going to be a disaster, but dealing with WINZ is always nerve wracking. And then there are the usual nervous twinges about starting a new job, but these are all “normal nerves” not last night’s panic