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Be Someone’s Sunshine

20 Jul

Thursday, July 19, 2012

“Don’t let the world change your smile, let your smile change the world.”

                I’m all packed up and definitely not ready to go. It’s amazing how much harder packing is when you’re not quite ready to say goodbye. But all good things must come to an end and it is on to the next step. It’s weird to think that 2 months have passed; I feel like I just arrived last week. But, as I sit here writing at 1:15 am and am looking outside, all I see is darkness. The days and nights of sunlight has slowly but surely faded into darkness-literally. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting darker, maybe it will help me adjust to having an actual nighttime. Either way, I leave for Anchorage tomorrow and board a flight early Saturday morning. My time has come to an end.

I am very proud of how I spent my last full day at work though. I worked directly with a client who is going through a difficult time. I took them to get signed up for services at a local agency because their case manager is out for the week. We went in and started filling out paperwork, and the lady at the front desk asked for my relation and if I had been to this agency before. I answered that I was the intern and no I hadn’t so she had me sign a confidentiality statement (notice the vague references) and helped us through the process. At the end of the paperwork, once we had the appointment set for the next week, we thanked the receptionist for fitting us in on such short notice and working with us so diligently. She then turned to me and said “I have a piece of mind to call over to Daybreak and tell them what a wonderful job their intern did”. I was flattered and very appreciative, and really proud actually. I talked with Polly later about this (I don’t know if the woman ever called) and I told Polly that the biggest change that occurred during these 2 months has been my approach to the population.

I remember when I started I was so nervous that I was going to screw up the services, anger or insult a client, or have to deal with a crisis I was not qualified to deal with. Now, I was dealing with a very upset client and I didn’t even blink when Polly asked me to take them to the appointment. I grew in my understanding of the population of people and myself. I am starting to understand the idea of the individual care that Daybreak focuses on. It’s the idea that working with people at the human level allows them the best treatment and success rate. I saw that today-the client was distraught when I picked them up, but as we talked in the car and worked through the paperwork, they became calmer and even started joking and smiling. There is something to be said about someone listening to you. Most people are just craving companionship and hope. That’s what this client got today. I am there to listen (I avoid offering advice since I don’t really know what I’m doing) so the client was able to talk to someone and receive responses that wasn’t a therapy session. They also were able to take the first serious steps to working on their treatment plan and this offers hope. It is empowering to make those first steps (more like leaps if you ask me) and by the end of the appointment there was a noticeable difference in the client-definitely more hope filled.

So yes, the compliment was nice and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the best part was dropping off my client in a better state then when I picked them up. That was very rewarding and I am so glad I was able to finish off my internship on that note. I have been reminded many times that all people crave is recognition of their humanity and today, because of the pure joy in another human being’s face, I was reminded that we each can make a difference simply by being present and authentic.

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