I realize it has been a long while, and I apologize. School, internship, and work have been in the way. Hopefully I can get into the swing of this.

Today was my final day at my internship at the VA. I wrapped up my clinical work, and I’ve said my goodbyes to the veterans on the long-term care ward. This has not been an easy process.

When I talked with the veterans, I said to them: “Thank you for letting me be a part of your life for this school year. I am honored to be able to help you, and thank you for your service.” For the Vietnam vets, I also make sure to tell them “Welcome home.”

One Vietnam veteran who could be the dictionary definition of stoic, looked at me for several seconds and then shook my hand. “It has been a pleasure” he said. The gesture and words from this man was quite an emotional moment.

I will also miss the work itself. Not only talking with the residents of the Long Term Care ward twice a week, but also working in other buildings as well. Completing psychosocials has been an amazing source of growth for my clinical skills. The conversations at times were highly emotionally charged. While keeping confidentiality means I have to leave out details, I can say that discharge planning can be a tricky, messy business.

My supervisor told me that I have been doing Masters level clinical work for a while now. She laid out the original plan for me, and told me how she altered it based on what I showed in my work. The feedback was great to hear. The time spent in discussion with my supervisor each week was invaluable in helping me process what happened and learn what I did well and what I can improve.

At the end of all this is a Bachelors degree in Social Work. My family has always valued education, and I must admit I’ve felt myself lacking at times over the years since I had the opportunity to get my degree out of high school but…umm…didn’t. Yes: this was self-judgment. My family never made me feel bad for not following through. I’ve lived a life of harsh self-judgment however, and I’ve worked hard to change that. This is a huge step in that direction.

I chose social work because I want to make a difference. It sounds hokey and stereotypical, however true it is. As a psychologist I could sit in an office and talk with people, one on one, and gradually help clients. As a social worker though I can be in the community, out where the people are, providing direct help.

That’s all for now.