The Fight – Fighting to hold on and fighting to let go. I’m learning.

saltytearsandshinysmiles

Fighting, always fighting, fighting the addiction, the cravings, that pressing urge to go and do the devils drug (so it’s called).

Fighting the need to be wanted, the wanting to be held, the desire to be loved.

In fighting to find myself in these things, I only lost more of myself; a lot of myself. In fact; in retrospect I was losing pieces of myself before ever finding the ones that I was already missing.

I’m still struggling to fight these demons, they are my own; I can blame them on whoever I want, in fact I used to. I blamed everything and everybody, any excuse that I could find; I used. I’m finally learning that I have nobody to blame but myself.

Through this blog you can follow me on my journey. As much of is as I can remember anyways.

I’m going to start at the beginning and…

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Reflection

I’ve always been nervous about having a stressful home life when I get in to this career. I’m not sure if I will be able to handle the stress of work as well as my home life, obviously it’s something I am going to have to work on. I am also going to struggle with not taking my work home with me because I am going to have so much on my plate and hear something that could really have a large impact on my mind. More or less I am super excited to get into this field and be working with people who really need just someone to listen to them. That’s all they need some times is for some one to just sit and open their ears.

I really wish drugs, alcohol, and these major addictive substances did not exist. I am sure that people would find others things to get their fix but still that’s all I really want in the world. Man I am so cheesy but really happiness and equality for everyone, is that so much to ask for?

Ethics Cartoon

ethics

I find this quite ironic: ethics is all about doing what is morally right but yet these classmates are cheating ff of him. It is reflecting how ethics are no longer important in today’s society like the question on the bored is stating, Peoples ethics are going out the window because it may or may not benefit them;therefore, they do not care because it is all about moving up and making more money to most people and not what could happen to the other people.The world we live in is becoming more selfish, only thinking about themselves and money. Some thing really needs to change about that I don’t want to bring up my kids in a materialistic,selfish, money pig society.

Stress

Stress. Anxiety. What is it?

They are awful feelings that take over your whole body and makes you turn into mush. Your brain stops working not allowing you to work on the items that are making you stressed so you can become less stressed. Does that make sense, I am suffering from the mush syndrome. I don’t have as much as others but I still have one of the biggest things regarding my life next semester still not figured out. What is my life next month going to look like? It’s all that I can think and talk about because it is the only thing on my mind, my future is a complete disaster. For a individual who has an anxiety disorder this is what my nightmares are made of, hopelessness and a undecided future. This isn’t something that I can plan for, I have taken measures into my own hands because that is all that I can think of to help my anxiety, plus this is a way I can make sure stuff is getting done.

I have a ten page paper that I need to write but when ever I go to write it I start to panic and therefore are unable to complete any of it. It’s the most important part of one of my classes. Having this extra stress of being the only person who doesn’t have a practicum place is taking over my life. I have to be able to get through this semester and get good grade in order to get to next semester that is my practicum. Since next semester is pass/fail ,which i think its completely silly, my mark carries onto next semester which puts extra pressure on me as well.

blahblahblah…end of rant

Self Evaluation

Self Evaluation- Kristina Thurston

Self evaluation

In this paper, I evaluate my learning and participation for the Ethics is Addictions Counseling course. I will discuss specific assignments and how those assignments relate to my learning and understanding of ethics, critical thinking and various ethical dilemmas. I will also provide my scaled evaluation about my academic performance for this course which will be substantiated by reflecting upon the required course work completed in and out of class.

When I began the ethics course I was confused about the meaning of ethics and how it is more than just right versus wrong. The idea of ethics however became slightly more confusing when it came time to complete our first course requirement: the “Critical Thinking and Ethical Practice Assignment.”  I was unclear at first how to approach the assignment and struggled with understanding the concepts of ethics and critical thinking. But once I began to read critical thinking literature and spoke with other students, I found completing the assignment an enjoyable experience. The assignment allowed me to question not just what I think and my assumptions but gave me some perspective about how ethics shapes our daily lives. The aspect of thinking critically in the first assignment also assisted to complete the second course requirement: Practice Area Ethical Dilemma Assignment.  More specifically the ethical dilemma assignment gave me the opportunity to begin to think about the various ethical problems and circumstances that may develop while working as a counselor and particularly for individuals and groups that are most often ignored by mainstream society. In thinking about the many different ethical issues within at risk groups I was able to think critically about how ethics as a concept relate to trying to follow the code of ethics as a counselor. Learning about the code of ethics in this format also illustrated to me that many small and major decisions will have to be made when facing ethical dilemmas and particularly when someone’s life and well being is at risk.  As a potential future counsellor and/or social worker I anticipate having to question my belief system against the code of ethics that I am suppose to follow and uphold, however as the assignment helped me to see, I can imagine putting the code of ethics to the side when a person or people’s lives are in danger.

However after completing both assignments, I still see critical thinking and how it relates to ethics as a very complex idea. Thinking about scenarios in and out of class allowed me to work through some of the complexities of ethics which clearly requires going beyond surface level circumstances to figure out the many results of those possible scenarios. While I now know that critical thinking helps individuals to weigh potential outcomes and risks to decisions you can possibly make, the added ethical dimension to various potential problems increases the difficulty of engaging in critical thinking. Nevertheless I enjoyed the second assignment and was at that moment glad the scenarios were hypothetical.

In terms of thinking about ethics as a potential counselor, the course provided many opportunities to engage in class discussions about case studies from the textbook. I enjoyed these activities as it helped me to think more about the ethical perspectives as a potential counselor and allowed me to think about the various scenarios that could develop in the field. The weekly discussions also provided opportunities to consider cases from different perspectives and points of view such as when one is working as a counselor and/or social worker they may be more likely looking at an issue from only one lens.  The discussions were helpful for examining scenarios where as a potential counselor, one brings in a potential co-worker or another outside source to possibly lend a hand and provide you with another point of view. This however at times was a lengthy process and most groups repeated the same perspectives.

The practice area ethical dilemma assignment was my favorite of the course requirements. The assignment was the most valuable learning tool as it allowed me to conduct research that I might not have otherwise completed. As well, the assignment provided the opportunity for me to think about my life and counseling career path. For instance for the assignment I extensively read a firsthand blog by Chris Arnade (2014a; 2014b) who documents and advocates for individuals living on the street and struggling with addiction and trauma. Arnade’s writings and photographs (2014a; 2014b) provide a perspective about street culture that I think is different from how those living on the streets tend to be defined by mainstream media. As well, Arnade’s work (2014a; 2014b) provided a written and visual representation of various potential ethical dilemmas and what counselors may have to experience when trying to help individuals living on the street. His work also demonstrated how the line of counselor and client and/or patient can become blurred and ethically constrained as in some circumstances the clients can become your friends or at least people for who you truly care. In many instances Arnade (2014a; 2014b) was like a counselor to the people he documented and it was that relationship that helped to demonstrate the humanity of those people particularly since most of society had given up on them. If I have the opportunity at some point to work with individuals living on the streets, I know I will encounter difficult ethical situations and dilemmas but I think that kind of work will bring joy to my heart.

I am not comfortable evaluating myself but know that this is an important part of becoming a counselor and/or social worker. My memory is difficult and at times a struggle particularly when I try to think back to the beginning of the term. My work ethic for the course is between very good and excellent although it fluctuates depending on what kind of day and week I am experiencing.  At times I struggled to pay attention in class due to feeling overwhelmed by the high amount of course work that needed to be completed during certain weeks. However I pushed through and completed  assignments and papers on time and managed to learn much course material.  At the same time I struggled to complete my blog postings as I often would develop writer’s block. I also wanted to avoid posting similar comments as other classmates or complain about particular aspects of the course material. Instead I posted comics as a way to uplift people’s mood and in the hope that the comic related to my feelings or how others were feeling about the coursework. In reality I found completing my entries to be a tedious task but at the same time I see the value of writing as it helps to get one to think about one’s thoughts about an issue or subject.

I rationalize giving myself between very good and excellent based upon the quality of my written work and overall my class attendance and participation. My written work outweighs my participation at times but I know neither are not terrible. My class participation would have been qualitatively higher if my energy was not taken from my previous class, as I attended an emotionally intensive course prior to our ethics course. My grades and my writings in the blog act as evidence of my evaluation of being between very good and excellent. I made a conscious effort this term to improve my work ethic which required completing more outside class time to understand course material and improve my writing. Again I see this in my written assignments, the blog and at times in class participation. Throughout the term I helped my learning by thinking about the material and planning and organizing for each assignment. I tend to struggle with understanding certain concepts and aspects of the course work but took this as a challenge and sought help when I needed it. In the end I became a much better student and learned better study and work habits.

References

Arnade, C. (2014a). The Three Quarks of Life. Retrieved from

Guest Post: The Three Quarks of Life

Arnade, C. (2014b). On Men. Retrieved from           https://www.flickr.com/photos/arnade/12163605223/in/set-72157627894114489/