Okay, safe to say I’ve neglected blogging for a few weeks! Whoops.
As the title states… I got a job 🙂 I’m working as a case manager at a behavioral health agency, working with people who have mental illnesses and/or abuse substances. I’m also planning to go under supervision in a few months to pursue my LCSW (clinical social work license… meaning I can practice therapy). Fun stuff! Moving to this tiny town, I figured I’d be thankful just to find a job in the social services field. So, getting an offer to pursue a really awesome credential is a sweet and surprising find! While pursuing my master’s degree in social work, I chose to study the micro route, rather than the macro route. In other words, I wanted to work more directly with individuals and families, rather than working in larger systems (usually more political). Both are important, and they overlap! I just prefer working directly with clients. I became an LMSW (licensed master of social work) in Kansas and kind of wrote off being able to pursue the next step—an LCSW (licensed clinical social worker). It requires thousands of hours of documented intensive work, plus regular (and sometimes costly) supervision under another LCSW. Why did I write it off? Well, the military lifestyle. You never really know what to expect—where you’ll move, for how long, which job opportunities will be available, etc. I am totally okay with this. I just figured I’d just use my degree as is and maybe, someday, pursue a clinical license. I have to say, though I kicked and screamed moving to small-town Oklahoma, living here has been pleasantly surprising. I never anticipated being able to pursue a clinical license so early in my career, if at all.
But first… training.
Of course, every job comes with training, but the training for this job is a bit more extensive than I had anticipated… mostly because it’s all in Oklahoma City, which is about a 2-hour drive. Makes breastfeeding a 6-month old kinda difficult! Fortunately, Corey and I have a great support system. Can’t express how thankful I am to have family who is so supportive and eager to help us! Corey’s mom met Jack and me in Oklahoma City last week and stayed with us at the hotel. She watched Jack while I was in training and fed him from my frozen milk stash (glad I’ve been stocking up!) when I wasn’t there. I was able to go back to the hotel at lunch to feed him, which was great. I won’t have that option once I’m on the job back in Altus, so I’m soaking in my lunch breaks with him while I can! This week, my mom is here with us in OKC. Jack has been loving every bit of time with his grandmas, and I know they feel the same way.
(The good pictures are from iPhone, and the crappy ones are from Android 😛 jk, but not really)
Leaving my kid is not as hard as I thought it would be.
Don’t get me wrong —I miss my baby! And I absolutely love seeing his smiling face when I walk through the door after work. However, I’m not constantly thinking about how I should be home with him. I love being back in the social work world and talking with adults (other than my husband) every day. In just these couple weeks I have been reminded why I pursued this career field. It’s certainly not for the money; it’s because I actually love it. I have always viewed this as more of a calling than a career, and I hope I always feel that way. Though others might disagree, I think that for me, personally, being a working mom is helping me be a better mom. This is what I consider having my cake and eating it, too.
(SAHMs—I consider you all badasses. Six months at home with a baby has given me an even greater respect for the SAHM community. It is hard work—harder work than I had imagined, yet so wonderful and rewarding. There may very well come a day when at home with my kids is exactly where I’m supposed to be.)
Why I do what I do…
During training, I learned some things about my new state.
- Oklahoma was ranked as the #1 state in the nation in prescription painkiller abuse last year.
- Drug overdoses now kill more Oklahomans than motor vehicle accidents.
- Oklahoma has the 2nd highest rate of mental illness in the country, yet we are 47th in funding.
- 21% of Oklahomans reported having a mental illness last year. That’s approximately 800,000 people.
- 12% of Oklahomans reported having a substance abuse disorder.
- 21% of residents say they had a mental health need during the past year.
- 70% of adults needing services are not receiving it.
- 40% of youth needing services are not receiving it.
- Between 700,000 and 950,000 residents need services for mental health or substance abuse.
Looking at all 50 US states, Oklahoma is ranked…
- 50th in daily fruit and vegetable consumption (% of adult population)
- 48th in physical activity (% of adult population)
- 49th in stroke (% of adult population)
- 45th in high cholesterol (% of adult population)
- 44th in high blood pressure (% of adult population)
- 45th in diabetes (% of adult population)
- 37th in preterm birth (% of adult population)
- 42nd in health status (% of adult population)
Whoa. Someone once told me that you should find out what tugs at your heartstrings and then fix it. Do I think I can fix all of this? Absolutely not. But if I can be any part of the solution, I will do my darndest.