So tomorrow is the first day of spring, and MSPP is closed for a snow day! Don’t you just love New England weather? Well, since I have a lot of work to catch up on, I definitely appreciate the day off from classes. It’s also really nice to take a day to reflect on your life.
I know I haven’t written in about two weeks, and I apologize. Allow me to fill you in on what has been going on in my life.
I have been really overwhelmed with my part-time job and school work, and was facing a small identity crisis. I was facing some fairly serious mental health issues the last few months, and I had decided to take a leave of absence from MSPP next year. I told my advisor of my decision, withdrew my applications from practicum sites, and had begun making plans for my year off. This decision was in no way a reflection of the school or the program, but rather my own mental and physical health needs at the time. I didn’t want to say anything on the blog, because here I am supposed to be promoting the school, and didn’t want anyone to question why I was leaving.
Well, I have done a lot of soul-searching since January, and reached out to my class deans, my advisor, my professors, my practicum site supervisors, my peers, and my family and friends. They gave me such an overwhelming level of support, and I felt so safe and comforted. Last week, I was sitting in class, and I had an epiphany. I DO NOT WANT TO TAKE A LEAVE OF ABSENCE. I am really loving what I am learning. My classes are fascinating, my professors are passionate and engaging, and I have found a family in my cohort. I realized last week that my mental and physical health problems had gotten the best of me, and were going to cause me to take drastic measures toward a path I did not actually want.
I’m sure you are wondering, dear reader, why I am sharing this with you. I wanted to write about this because I think it is important to share our stories. We expect our clients to be honest about their mental health issues and shortcomings, and therefore, we owe it to them and to us to be honest with ourselves. It is important to know that depression can strike anyone at any time, and to think that we are immune to it because we are on the providing end is foolish. In fact, I think having experienced the intensity of mental illness ourselves makes us better clinicians. We know what our clients are going through, and we can better understand the actions they take as a result.
The MSPP community supported me and my decisions throughout the entire process. Everyone had my health and my best interests at heart, and it is so comforting to know how cared for I am here. I am pleased to say that I no longer intend to take a leave of absence, and am excited to see what my future holds as I continue the next three years toward my PsyD.