Anyone else a social worker?

Old 05-03-2015, 07:58 AM
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Anyone else a social worker?

I'm a community in-home social worker. Meaning, I travel to my clients' homes to help the entire family system. I see and deal with A LOT of tremendously heart breaking issues. I put so much energy into helping each family, and it was alcohol that numbed the vicarious trauma that I experienced every day. I'm newly sober, I see an amazing therapist weekly to help me through my own issues, and I'm seeking more supervision on the job. However, I find myself avoiding visits as much as possible because I'm afraid I'll drink at the end of the work day. Luckily I can hide behind paperwork deadlines for now (and I'm not totally avoiding the families. I'm just not getting as involved as I normally do). How have other people in this type of field dealt with this particular stress while staying sober? ...I know I can do it in the long run, it's just that I'm doing my best to avoid triggers right now until I get my own self together (I feel like Humpty Dumpty).
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:05 AM
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I live a spiritual life through the 12 steps. I'm a teacher, not a social worker, but stress is stress when it comes to working with people.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:18 AM
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I'm a social worker. I'm currently applying for jobs in the field. As you know: Self care, self care, self care. You're taking great steps with therapy and supervision. Could you see about a change in position, even temporarily, while you take care of yourself. It's actually quite common and recommended since we deal with so much trauma and can suffer secondary trauma as a result.

Remember, you can't care for others until you care for yourself.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:23 AM
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I am not a social worker, but I have the utmost respect for what you do, thank you for your efforts.

Regarding the stress and drinking, I think relying on your therapist to help is a great start. Changing up your routine at the end of the day and planning health alternatives to relax ( yoga ,meditation, exercise, reading, etc ) can also help .
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:29 AM
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I'm a teacher as well - also see a lot of damaged children and families as I'm in a Special School. Like Sugarbear1 I follow a 12-step program, and I'm finding the tools that I have learned through this in the last year to be far more effective than alcohol EVER was, or anything else I ever learned. I also had the benefit of some 1:1 counselling which the Head of my school signed me up for through our Well Being Scheme when I really started struggling after being about 6 months sober, and attending AA, but without a sponsor or working through the steps. I was under the illusion that the MEETINGS were the AA programme, and that I could sit and soak up the sobriety in the rooms. Since I started working the 12-steps programme my counsellor has been "Amazed" by the change in me and how I have learned to deal with life differently in a short space of time. (She's not the only one - I'm pretty amazed at times as well - and I know I couldn't have done it without those steps).

It sounds like you are doing really well in identifying and avoiding triggers. It might be worth getting some more strategies for this particular trigger in place (unless you're going to change jobs), as it doesn't sound like you can keep avoiding visits.Good luck
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:06 AM
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Stress and work was my biggest challenge when I got Sober, because the deadlines still existed, the stressful days would still come.

But we have to create new tools to deal with life, rather than the quick fix of alcohol, otherwise Sobriety will never happen, I would go for a while without drinking, have a bad day, drink again and end up on a month long binge, and the cycle repeated for a long time!!

You can do this!!
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