One day, I’m feeling overly confident submitting grad school applications left and right. Next day, I’m down and thinking I don’t even deserve to get into any of them. Now….drum roll…I’ve gotten the news that I’m accepted into a program starting in January! Wow, how drastically the world can feel when living life with anxiety.
Yesterday, I started my day with that great news! And then I got to do something I’ve sort of missed out on with sobriety. In giving up alcohol, at first, I was ashamed and embarassed that people would look differently at me. As time went on, I developed this sense of “not everyone deserves my story” because quite frankly, not everyone does. People often aren’t educated about addiction and telling those people my story just opens the door for judgement that this socially anxious girl doesn’t need. So, I’ve spent over 2 years making amazing changes in my life – growing and becoming a completetly different person – but haven’t really shared it with anyone (other than my husband and fellow sober friends). Yesterday, that completely changed! I got to tell the world that I am a new person… with new goals, new interests, and new pursuits!
I didn’t have to tell the world all about my past problems. I now have a reason to just announce my change! This new school adventure… this new career pursuit… gave me the opportunity to finally share this new side of me without having to get too personal with every “friend” on my feed. Guys and gals, it felt AMAZING! I got to say…”Hey world. This is the new me! I care about mental health and addiction, and I’m going to do something about it”!
You know what else I got to do? I got to give notice to my toxic consulting clients! The worst of my clients did exactly what I expected. She was furious and said All. The. Shitty. Things. And guess what? I don’t care. I was able to tell her – “This is how it is. Either take advantage of the time I’m still here to help… or waste it being pissed. Your choice”. Good riddance!
I know that going back to school is going to be HARD. I know that going into a new field in my 40s is going to be CHALLENGING. I know that there will be unexpected downsides to this path. Every path we choose has plusses and minusses. I’m hoping doing something good in the world and helping people… will outweight whatever minusses come along with it.
Last time I posted, I talked about how I made the decision to go back to school and change career paths. I want to become a mental health counselor. I am still very excited about the decision, but today I am feeling a lot of doubt. Do I really have any shot of making this happen?
Last week, I got word that I was turned down by one of the three schools I applied to. It’s funny, because I had actually decided I didn’t want to go to their program after all…but then they gave me the form letter rejection, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I actually wish I hadn’t gotten the notice until after my next school interview – because it really shook my confidence. Logically, I know that I was never guaranteed to get into the program. They get 100s of applicants and were only selecting 6. I’m a great human being, but I’m not necessarily top 6 of 100s.
I just got home from a group interview from a second school. In that interview, every other applicant was already in the field! For every question, they could speak to how they’ve already encountered it professionally or how they’ve been trained to. Then there’s little ol me. I work in a completely different field. Most of my experiences related to therapy are related to my own personal therapy journey. Many of the reasons I think I would be good as a counselor are related to my mentoring within sobriety – which I have no desire to even discuss publicly. The other candidates seem to already know exactly what they want to do, what will be involved, and how to articulate it. Meanwhile, my social anxiety was alive and kicking in a way I haven’t seen in over a decade. I just couldn’t get the words out of my mouth.
I don’t believe I did great on the group interview. Maybe, it’s just a case of me needing to know what a group interview is like. After all, I’ve never been in an interview with other candidates before. Or maybe, I’m not far enough along to really deserve to be there. What gives me the right to decide to go into this new field with little to no experience in it? On the other hand, this is a field where there is a shortage of professionals AND an increase of patients. Why is it so damn hard to get into a program when you’re willing to cast aside a successful career to get involved and help?
I should hear back from this 2nd school at the end of the week. I’m either going to get great news… and then can start planning for how I will tackle social anxiety on a weekly basis while role playing and presenting things in front of groups of people LOL…or I’ll get bad news and then have to reevaluate what I’m going to do differently. Either way, I know it will all work out in the end. It always does.