The conscious practice of gratitude sometimes needs a little help. Throughout the dark and rainy weeks of mid- and late Fall, it was the promise of an en-route espresso that motivated me out of bed when nothing else did. If I could make time to stop for that, I would have five minutes, maybe ten, that I knew I could savor. You see, I’ve come to dread my job. I hate typing this here, with such finality, in a space I’d consecrated for inspiration. I care as much as ever about my clients, and feel their faces and voices and stories intertwined with my own. But before, between, and after client visits, I’m in agony to leave and be done. A bureaucratic setting is not for me; I need to work for myself. And, importantly, I need to write. I dream the plots of stories—characters and predicaments that I want to see on the page. I hate typing this, too, in a way, because it gives me such a concrete challenge, one that others might hold me accountable to. What if I don’t have what it takes? To which I answer myself—and you, if you hold similar doubts—joy, heart-throbbing joy, is always worth the risk. I hope to keep reflecting on my tenure in community mental health; there is so much to say. I rely on 2019, however, to be a year of change.


Out of respect for client privacy, names here are always changed or omitted, and details may be altered in fact while relevant in spirit. Text and image copyrights held by me. To subscribe and receive future posts, please look to the upper right on your computer screen, or scroll to the bottom of the page on your mobile device. I’m deeply grateful for my readers, and as always, I’d love to reach more. If you enjoyed this piece, please consider sharing it with anyone you feel might like it, too, by linking to it in whatever way works for you. I typically post once a month, so no barrage! Thank you for your visit—and all good things in 2019!


  1. I think I understand your predicament. My wife was a secondary school teacher. She really loved teaching with a passion, but eventually bureaucracy, red tape, and everything a teacher is expected to do aside from teaching wore her down.

    All the best for 2019 and beyond.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It sounds like you do understand, and I appreciate the comment of support. It hasn’t been an easy thing to contemplate, and it likely won’t be easy to enact, but it’s what’s needed. I wish you in return, Barry, all the best in the New Year(s) to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What you describe is a really common thing in the public sector. While I’m not a therapist, I work in the public sector in a role somewhat involved in the family justice system. The bureaucracy, lack of funding, overwork, lack of staff support… People burn out. It’s not always a healthy environment. Furthermore, community mental health is absolutely a tough field of work. You’re often given the least support with the most complicated cases.

    Whatever you decide to do, may 2019 bring you renewed vitality and zest. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you as ever for your warmth and empathy. Symbolic of how I’ve been feeling, I’ve started having stress dreams about filling out electronic medical records and adding and re-adding my “billable hours” to make sure I’m meeting productivity standards; whereas I used to dream about my clients. I wish you the very best in 2019 – a cup filled to overflowing with health and love.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh maaan, I get those stress dreams about work – that’s not a good sign. Do you reddit? I’ve found that subs for professionals like r/psychotherapy and r/socialwork have good discussions on tough fields like community mental health and Child Protective Services.

        Taking care of yourself is important and I’m sure you’re doing your best. Your empathy and caring surely make a difference to the children you work with. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you for the recommendation; no, I’ve never used Reddit. It seems like it came into being without my being aware, like so many things, especially online, and I’ve never caught up. I took off Christmas week and found a novel to sink into, so that’s been helpful. Sleeping an absurd amount, walking to the cafe. A few episodes of an old favorite show. The little things. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, the little things all add up. Even a few days off work as well, glad you took off for Christmas week! When overloaded, we tend to pour in more hours and drop self care, I’ve definitely done that myself ❤

            Liked by 1 person

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