Monday, September 2, 2013

Weel 35: Aug 26th-Sept 1st- closing the chapter on the methadone clinic

This past week marked the end of my practicum at the methadone clinic. I decided to look back to this time last year and see what I had to say when I was just getting started. This entry was just after my 2 weeks of training: August 31st, 2012:

A list of concerns prior to starting my last practicum:
  • It is working with substance abuse issues
  • It is at a methadone clinic
  • There is an element of mandated treatment (which gives you quite a bit of resistance from clients)
  • I'm going from my prior caseload of 2 clients to (currently) 6 but that number will be 10-15 within the next month.
"I'm actually curious to see how I react to this experience of working at a methadone clinic.
I'm sure there are going to be many stressful times ahead, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it impacts me, in what ways I end up growing as a clinician and as a person in general."

Now, after a year's worth of 4am alarm clocks, avoidant patients, endless paperwork, and hour long commutes (one way!) I have completed this chapter and I must say, it's almost like it never happened. I cannot believe I was there for an entire year. Where did the last year even go? Oh, perhaps I was half asleep through all of it!
I learned so much about myself as a clinician, about my limits, and the lengths at which I can push myself. I'm sure these lessons are just the tip of the iceberg for what I will continue to learn throughout this process called graduate school.
I've already started my new practicum at a residential setting for women in recovery who are also mothers and some have their children in the program. It comes with a whole new set of concerns and after being there 2 weeks I can already see how this site is going to stretch me thin and test my limits. Hopefully, I'll be able to come out of it with the same admiration for my clients and my co-workers that I've left the clinic with.

My 5 things:

1. Got a new planner! This is a HUGE thing for me. I could not survive without a planner and I do not think that is an exaggeration. At some point in community college my best friend and I discovered a planner that I have been hooked on ever since.  Here is the link to their site I promise it is  The best planner you'll ever use.
 I have been using these types of planners since... probably around '03 or '04. I've even tracked them down depending on where I was living (they are not sold at most stores). There was a year where I thought I'd try a different type because I was having a hard time locating one. BIG mistake. Thankfully, they're easier to find these days and I even managed to find some sold in Hawaii and California.
They're August to August, which is pretty perfect as a student. Apparently they make January to January now as well, but this one suits my lifestyle pretty perfectly and has for the past...10 years. Wow, I've been in college 10 years now? Oy!

2. I took a few naps, which I rarely ever do anymore but my schedule proved to be just too much for me.

3. I turned in my 3rd draft of my proposal on time! There were actually a few things I could/should have done more to it, but I did what I was able to and that just has to be good enough. Time is running out, I am supposed to defend my dissertation proposal on Sept 27th!! Yikes!

4. Despite this absolutely crazy insane schedule I've had, I managed to turn in some of my internship application material drafts to my Faculty Internship Advisor EARLY!!

5. Yesterday I started on some wedding things for my best friend that I've been put in charge of. I will have to post photos of the process of my crafts when I am finished. It is hard to feel like a maid of honor from 700 miles away when I won't be there until basically the day before the wedding. Thankfully she's put me in charge of some things so that I can feel like I've contributed (plus I think it is a relief for her not to have to worry about).

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