Archive for May, 2011

It’s been a while…

Posted in Comedy Genius, Music with tags on 24/05/2011 by Jen Healey

…since we shared a cheery happy blog post, so here, for your viewing pleasure is the song that has been going round and round in my head all flippin day!  Enjoy!   

I would also recommend Flight of the Conchords ‘Mutha Uckers’, ‘What’s Wrong With The World Today’, ‘She’s So Hot – Boom’ and ‘Inner City Pressure’ – all are hilarious! 

In fact pretty much anything from the kiwi duo is likely to raise a smile!


Do you love what you do?

Posted in Journal, Musings, Writing with tags , on 21/05/2011 by Jen Healey

Being a woman who has had a couple of babies, I have been afforded the luxury of having months away from work and returning to the same job with an (almost) fresh set of eyes.  Also, given the challenging nature of my job, I have colleagues who are no strangers to negativity, burn out and a quite remarkable level of cynicism.  Some days I agree with them, others I really don’t, and most of the time I think some of them really need some significant time away from work.  For the benefit of their own sanity and to gain some clarity and perspective, as I have had.  If they really feel the way they say they do, then it really isn’t healthy for them to steep themselves in an environment that makes them feel that way every (working) day.  I am aware that if I had only my work I would quite easily slip into the same downward spiral of thinking that life is shit and would probably go back to my old habits of smoking, drinking wine and eating too much chocolate (okay, so I still eat too much chocolate, but 2 out of 3 ‘ain’t bad!). 

I’ll admit that my old ‘passion’ for the job did not last long past being qualified.  Now that is not to say that I am someone who doesn’t care at all about my job, I do care about doing it well and helping people to cope with their mental health problems.  But it is not what I am passionate about and I don’t love it the way I did a (very) long time ago.  Which does make me a little sad, but, more worryingly, I’m concerned that if I do pursue a career in something I love to do, will that enthusiasm and enjoyment I feel for it now be squashed too?  If so, I wonder, is it a good idea to do what you love for a living?  I don’t want to lose those feelings I have for reading and writing, so am I risking losing something I love to do by recommencing my writing course and planning to do a proof-reading course (a 30th birthday present that is waiting for me to finish the first one)?  I want to do what I love for a living and love what I do.  Also, I really don’t see myself being a psych nurse for the rest of my working days. 

Actually, I think that the saddest thing is that I don’t know anyone who has turned their hobbies into their livelihood, I don’t think.  Unless that is the key to keeping balanced?  Work a job that is ‘just a job’, but have your real interests as a hobby that keeps you sane as you work a job that is… less than enjoyable.  That may sound like unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky idealism, the idea that you can do something you love and get paid for it, but if you don’t aim for it, what is there to look forward to?  Retirement?  (I don’t have that kind of patience!  And, who knows if I’ve even got that kind of time!)  In one respect I feel very fortunate indeed, that I actually have some activity in my life that I am passionate about and enjoy.  I can’t tell you how many people I see, in a professional capacity, that don’t even have the first clue as to what they like to do with their time.  Spending their lives, doing not much more than, looking so hard at the problem that they can’t see any possible solutions, usually with little company. 

Again, I am fortunate that my hubby is a very proactive person who encourages me to pursue my interests, join Meetup and start a group of our own, start an online bookshop, play the piano and get going with my writing practice and study.  With him around, and my lovely babies, I’m too busy to be bothered with getting (too) grumpy about my job, or with those ‘Negative Nellies’ that I work with.  To be fair they probably feel that they are being realistic (which they are a lot of the time), but I think that they could probably do with shifting their focus once in a while.  We are all well aware of the problems facing the service and individual clinicians thankyou, but would prefer it if the day was more than just a gripe-fest.  I don’t see why you can’t hope to enjoy your job, I do, I hope for it everyday.  Again, I want to love what I do and do what I love, which is to write.  Why the hell not?


Posted in Journal, Mental Morsels on 15/05/2011 by Jen Healey

A potentially depressing subject for a blog post, I know, but I’ve been giving it quite a bit of thought lately.  Sorry to anyone who thinks that it would be a constructive use of my time, but I’m not planning on committing the act myself. 

(image source

My job being what it is, I am regularly in contact with people who do contemplate it, attempt it and sometimes succeed in ending their own lives.  Although, it is not just themselves that they destroy in this act, it is obviously the people who love and care for them who have their lives ruined.  Now, I’m not ignorant of the agonising torment endured by people who suffer with mental distress, for one reason or another, nor to the allure of an end to that in the form of oblivion.  But I think there are just too many unpredictable elements to think about for it to be a solution would make it a guaranteed improvement on any situation. 

I found this fab piece which examines this in such a great way, that I figured why re-invent the wheel?  It is definitely worth a click… 

However, for those who feel that their life is their own to take as they wish, there is a wealth of information out there that argues the case for suicide as a choice that is the right of every person.  Which may be all fine and dandy if you are in physical dire straits, but what about if you are in mental distress?  At what point do you say, yes suicide is fine for one but not another?  And who has the right to hold that power over another human being?  And, yes we get to it now, who is to blame when someone takes their life?  Is suicide actually multiple murder?  Murder of the person taking their life, the people in their life, maybe the vehicle-operator, those professionals who were trying to help them improve their life, the person who has to find the corpse; all are affected by the individual and the (very) final choice they make when suicide is successful. 

(image source

In the sunny, sparkly and bubbly world of mental health care, if you are the last clinician to see or speak with a person who kills themselves, or are designated with their mental health care, expect to be off work, questioned, examined and stripped down in coroner’s court – so I’m told eeeeep!  Bad enough that you are already blaming yourself that you didn’t do enough, or could’ve done this, should’ve done that.  Upset, frustrated, angry, sad, scared, confused, betrayed, guilty… however you are feeling, you’d need a pretty thick skin to emerge from that awful situation unscathed.  Of course this sounds very selfish of me, to only be thinking of the impact that a suicide by someone in my care may have on me and my family, but is the person taking their life thinking about the impact that killing themselves is likely to have on anyone else, really?  If they are counting on it affecting someone in particular, then they really should question that rationale. 

Suicide being a permanent, (incredibly) long-term solution to a situation that is likely to be different in time, or with some very hard work, it really should be the absolute last course of action at the end of a very, very long road – I’m talking many, many, many, many, many, many years down the line.  After every single thing has been exhausted and there really is nothing in this world that holds any curiosity for a person.  Life, no matter what your opinion of the quality of it, is generally a pretty fluid thing.  I am more of a philosophical person, preferring intellectual reasoning than the spiritual/religious view (which in this case would be wagging its finger saying that suicide is a cardinal sin bound to send the ‘sinner’ straight to hell) to try to help people reconsider their options. 

“As life is changeable (I reason), there was a time in your life that you did not want to die – correct?”  The answer usually being, “Yes, but I’ll never feel that way again.”  I answer, “Of course you won’t, that was a different time, it would be pointless to expect to feel exactly the same as you did before, but things change and it’s unlikely that you will feel exactly this way again.  Give it time, what else have you got, but time?”  An argument that I would find hard to find fault with – if you do, please do let me know! 

I am yet to agree with someone I have met, that suicide is the only option, that their kids would be better off without them around (regardless of the quality of their parenting, kids generally love their parents and will feel that they weren’t worth their parent sticking around for) or that there is nothing that they haven’t tried as an alternative activity.  It may sound simplistic, but if it isn’t severe depression causing the suicidality (which is likely to respond, if only a little, to some psychiatric/psychological intervention after time), I’m pretty sure that there is some other activity on the planet that might just take your mind off it, if even for a brief respite period of half an hour.  If you have tried every single activity on the planet and disagree with me please comment.  If motivation is an issue, meds or better sleep can be helpful in getting things going.  As can a good friend, partner or professional, if you let them. 

Worse still, what if someone doesn’t really mean to die or changes their mind too late, pseudo-suicide.  Or, ends up physically incapacitated in a worse mental hell than before, because getting it just right isn’t always as easy as it sounds.  As I’ve mentioned above, life and the states of mind that affect everybody, are changeable.  It may sound daft, but given how irreversible death is (unless you make supernatural arrangements), every aspect of a potential suicide really should be meticulously thought out and the plan should sit for a long time at the back of your mind, years even, so that you are sure it’s what you really want.  If you change your mind at a later date, you may well be grateful that you waited.  Also, if you can put that much thought into how to end your life, why not try redirecting that energy to how to improve your life so you no longer feel that life is not worth living. 

Any thoughts?

I’ve failed!

Posted in Journal, Writing on 07/05/2011 by Jen Healey

Last night I was so tired that I fell asleep on the sofa before 9pm and therefore did not post a blog entry yesterday!  Hubby woke me, so I could go up to bed, and he helped me not feel too much like a quitter, as I just could not have dragged myself anywhere other than to bed.  He said that ‘it’s becoming like work, rather than being something you enjoy’, especially now that I’m back at work during the week.  I reluctantly, but honestly, agree.  Last night I slept so deeply that it is pretty obvious I’d bitten off more than I could chew and was wearing myself out.  Today, after not sitting up to the laptop all night, I had a lot more energy and feel better than I have in days, maybe even weeks.  It may be that being at home today with my family has a little something to do with my mood being lifted, but I think a big chunk of it is the relief of having one-less-thing-to-do.  So I am hereby, regretfully, stepping down from the WordPress ‘post a day challenge’.  


However, I am swapping to the ‘post a week’ challenge, and plan to do one post a week as a minimum.  I have enjoyed writing a blog post every day and, if nothing else, I have proven to myself that I still love to write and that I do have the discipline to do it everyday.  Yes – I know I’m not going to be blogging everyday!  But I do write clinical notes everyday and I have picked up my trusty old pen and creative journal again, in which I have made some decent progress on an old short story I started a long time ago.  So I am still writing everyday, just not here.  I can live with that. 

Have a great weekend y’all. 



Posted in Books, Journal with tags , , , on 05/05/2011 by Jen Healey

Today was much better at work, I felt a lot more at ease and competent.  It may have been due to the fact that I got out of the office and did a home visit on my own and have gotten stuck in a bit more.  It is also good to know that I am booked on some training now too, to refresh myself on some clinical skills, which will be another useful exercise to fuel my motivation for my job.  Which always helps. 

Also, I have come home today in a good mood, which is another first this week.  Embarrassingly I have been sulking and feeling a little sad to be back at work, exacerbated by nerves I’m sure, but today I got up feeling more positive and it has stuck all day!  It probably helped to talk things out with my hubby, and the fact that I submitted a form to reduce my hours to 30 a week may also be a contributing factor to my current outlook. 

Another change that I have undergone today was smaller, a bit more trivial and prompted by a comment from my good friend Rachel.  We were chatting about books at my desk this afternoon, briefly, as she had received the latest book in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries series (book 11) yesterday.  I commented that I read much slower than I’d like and I’m struggling to read The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, for the book club I missed last night.  Rachel said, ‘if it’s not grabbed you why bother?  Life’s too short’, not exactly verbatim, but along those lines.  I carried on saying that I’m stubborn and very rarely give up on anything once I’ve started it.  But, on my return home, I pulled out my bookmark and will be relisting it on my little amazon bookstore.  Instead I’m going to read The Passage by Justin Cronin, then Rachel will be lending me Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris, whilst she reads my copy of Mr Darcy Vampyre.  I like reading vampire fiction, that’s that.  I wasn’t feeling The House at Riverton, I was un-gripped, so there it is.  I’ll not bother wasting what little time I have, my to-read pile is too big to spend time trudging through something I’m not in the mood to read.  Maybe I’ll pick it up another time.

We’ve taken the plunge!

Posted in Supe-para-natural with tags , on 04/05/2011 by Jen Healey

Inspired by the lovely ladies at sew make believe and our long-held interest in the paranormal, my hubby and I have started a meetup group!  We’re super excited about this and would love for you lovely people to check it out and even join up if you’re interested too.  It’s here The Warwickshire Ghosthunters.

Well I went

Posted in Journal on 03/05/2011 by Jen Healey

Yes I went back to work today, for the first time in many months.  It was pretty much as I expected it to be, different but the same, blah, blah, blah. 

The morning was reasonably chilled, so I was able to potter about getting passwords reset for the computer, drinking coffee, getting my ID card swiped again, drinking coffee, attended a couple of meetings and generally making myself busy with little, but necessary tasks, while drinking coffee.  I was ‘visited’ by my lovely friend Rachel at my desk at lunch time briefly, which was nice. 

The afternoon was spent at the local inpatient unit, which was a bit unsettled, but ok.  I saw another very good friend, Nicola, there who was on shift and having a bit of a yucky time of it I reckon. 

As anticipated I have been allocated a little caseload already, which is fine, gives me something to do.  I am also to be shadowing another member of staff for a while, who has been praised a lot and identified as someone to ‘model myself on’!  My hubby had a great reaction to that nugget – “how about you be like yourself, you’ve been doing it a long time and you’re good at what you do, you don’t need to model yourself on anyone”, I love him, he’s so sweet.  This lady I’m shadowing seems very nice though, and it will be useful to learn how certain things are now done within the team, as I’d not been working with this particular team all that long prior to my maternity leave.  I’d also not had much of an induction previously, so I’m still on for lots of training – CPR, first aid, kung-fu etc.  Which will be pretty fun, at least the kung-fu bit will be anyway. 

I managed to keep busy at work, although I did call my hubby to see how my little boy was twice… ok three times, but my upper lip was firmly in its place all day.  Tomorrow may be more difficult in a strange way, I know what to expect and I probably won’t be running on adrenaline, but we’ll see.  It will be another day…

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