To rec therapy or to not rec therapy…

That is the question. I have my certification and can include CTRS behind my name, but that’s about the extent of it. I haven’t mentioned anything about RT here in this space since January (when I was enthusiastically trying to make an RT blog) because I’m not currently working as a therapist or providing services to anyone, nor have I been actively pursuing any continuing education credit given that I had no income until a little over a month ago.

My membership with the RT group in my state has lapsed, and soon my ATRA membership will as well. I’ve been contemplating about renewing both of these, and putting money into continuing education credits. Or perhaps I need to save that money for student loan payments, or the move-out fund of my current living situation with one of my parents, because I cannot work full-time as an RT (or likely anything else).

This has been such a hard thing for me to accept; trying to decipher if it is true or I’m being lazy – not wanting to do the work. Considering I’ve already been let go from one full-time RT position and almost failed to finish my full-time internship last year, I’m trying to reconcile that I have, in fact, tried. Multiple times now, and it hasn’t turned out well no matter how hard I pushed myself or how desperately I wanted to be successful.

Irrational Fears? Or not?

I can admit that there are certain populations I’m afraid to work with now. Not because I am afraid of those individuals or don’t think I could work with them (although maybe there’s something there as well…), but the baggage of negative feedback and unexpected failures has me worrying. What if I had one too many difficult clients in a day (or just one particularly challenging session), and I slip up and forget to document or cause harm to whoever follows that? Or if I physically burn out within a couple months, trying to keep up, but finding myself stuck. I’ve made progress in my own emotional regulation, but as I learned just last week, trying to suppress emotions (of any kind) for too long can still put me into a cataplexy attack. Apparently thinking I was keeping calm while being berated on the phone by a pushy salesman was an illusion, because soon the familiar feeling of a suppressed emotion permeated throughout and I knew I had overdone it. I ignored this for another hour at work, but eventually relented and asked to go sit for a minute in the back. A minute turned into 25 and some fussing-over from my two co-workers who had not yet seen one of my attacks.

Hell, after my last failed job attempt it would be easy for social anxiety to take hold and convince me I can’t work with anyone and that I’m a liability as a therapist. That I’m more likely to slip-up than anyone else, be reprimanded, let go (which, in itself, doesn’t bother me), but then I become a greater burden on those around me.

More selfish admissions…

I’d like to think that I’m special (don’t we all? Just me?). Or more specifically, that I’m meant for more. I want to contribute to something larger than myself – to even lead or teach others about it – and I move forward with the mindset that I (with copious help) can make that happen. That I have this potential and all these ideas and knowledge and experience that is ever expanding/contracting/refining/failing, just searching for the right resources to start acting on what I’ve learned. “More” doesn’t equal famous; I have little to no desire to be a household name. I just want to walk my talk and be respected in whatever my area is, be a resource for others and sure, create/co-create something that lasts a lot longer than me.

I’ve trying all sorts of things in this odd in-between I’ve found, somewhere between college and… what? Is it recreation therapy? Sociology, psychology, sleep disorders, narcolepsy specifically, or sleep advocacy? Furthering my equestrian skills and expertise? All three? Just two? None of the above?

The latest is dipping into vocational rehab and starting back into riding lessons. Voc rehab is a rather slow process to get going, but after getting the initial bureaucracy taken care of, I met with my first employment coach of several and am open to wherever it takes me. The riding has brought me immense joy and reconnected me with an old friend at, funnily enough, the very stable I first sat on the back of a horse. I am also cautiously optimistic about the opportunities this could lead to, but mainly, I’m just enjoying it for now, which is something I could stand to apply to these other areas I’ve written about as well.

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