Behind the next cut, work.
Work is both amazing and terrifying. I am extremely happy and proud of myself to be doing something as difficult and good for people (hopefully) as I am. I've been working in the hostel for over three months now, so I feel like I'm properly settled in, and man this job is crazy. My highlight so far has been being alone in a room with a resident I had never met before, and him telling me about how he's a vampire and he's really hungry. I'm going to start keeping a personal journal of things that happen at work. I'm afraid I can't make it public because I can change the names but it's going to be obvious that I work in a big project in my city which narrows it down to like a couple of buildings, and then talking about people's case histories etc., it just wouldn't be protecting confidentiality enough. But I want to document all the failings in the system when it comes to mental health support.
The thing we come up against most often where I work is that if someone has chaotic alcohol or drug use, we can't get them mental health support until they address that. Often them addressing their substance use is nearly impossible when their mental health is in such a bad way, or it puts a massive delay on people getting help that they need anyway. Two vague examples I feel I can give are a man who attempted suicide in the time I've been working there, but can't get mental health support because he drinks so much, and a man who has such extreme paranoia that he is barely in touch with reality but we had to battle for over a month to get him (temporary) crisis intervention support because assessments all came back saying his psychosis was inflamed by his drug use. I mean, that's probably true, but that means very little to the people he will be potentially violent towards because of his paranoia, y'know? I can't go into detail but he was a massive safety risk to other residents and to staff and it's like, maybe if he saw a professional as often as we had to call the police for our and his safety that would resolve things faster.
But I love it. I am often exhausted, and stressed, and occasionally scared, but it is always exciting and brilliant and I am doing good things for people.
So, Sam and I have now been involved for over a year! He is the nicest, smartest, funniest person I have ever met. He is always kind. I never appreciated what a good quality that was, because I kinda assumed no one would always be kind to me, but he is. Our relationship is so exciting without needing any drama of fighting and emotional problems and disasters, because I am just excited to be around someone so fantastic. Didn't know that could happen. He is...I could gush forever, which on its own is surprising me, to still feel like this after a year.
I have not once in the past year felt any pressure to do or be anything for him. That feels amazing. I have been healing from a very unhealthy relationship which left me with a lot of trauma, and his compassion and support has been the most genuinely loving and respectful thing I have ever experienced. There are lots of wonderful things about him and our relationship, and I could write paragraph after paragraph about sex and fun and playing board games and listening to music and talking politics, but the most amazing thing to me is that he is a good person beyond levels I conceived of being possible. Not a doormat, not just doing anything I want and trying to please me, mind you, but level and honest and logical and kind.
Needless to say, I have never felt like this about anyone before, and it is better than I actually imagined relationships could be. I am too young to say he is the one. We will both change massively from how we are now, so I can't say this will be forever. But, I know if we do make it I will feel incredibly lucky to have him in my life, and I would be so happy.
So, that's where I'm at. I turned 23 last week and I'm feeling damn good about where my life is right now. I'm excited for the future and I have a cool hair cut.