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Category: Social Work

Secrets of a Social Worker


Having to constantly remind yourself that you have done your best
Even though that suicidal client made you second guess
Blaming you for their problems and the reason they will die
But then the next day they stop by your office just to say hi
Trying to convince that client that she has many strengths
But she tells you the tan line from her watch is the best she can name
Then opening up Facebook and seeing that she’s passed
Depression got the best of her and was the reason she’s laid to rest

It’s the letters and calls of the clients who you never thought cared
Telling you you’re the best thing that’s happened to them and the reason they’re still here

Having to stay strong when sitting across from the person talking about their rape
That they’ve been trafficked for years but people call her a whore and point the blame
She is crying to you saying she had no other way
Because her parents weren’t there and she had nowhere to stay
But that charming man offered her a bed and some love and affection
Then she wakes up to realize she was assaulted and he gave her an infection

It’s the little boys you just met who call you mom
So you break down afterwards debating if you can adopt

The four-year-old girl who says she hates cops
and you try to convince her they are safe and that’s part of their job
But to her they were evil as they constantly came to her home
Because her mother used drugs and sold dope
So now she shutters under the blankets each time someone comes to the door
She screams bloody murder and immediately hits the floor
No amount of therapy or comfort makes it stop
She will never feel safe and will forever hate cops

It’s the cutter you found on the floor covered in her own blood
Then calling her dad who says he won’t pick her up
he’s burnt out and he’s done
Trying to convince her life is worth it
But she’s been beaten down too many times and told she’s worthless
Then leaving that day with a trauma-filled brain
But it’s your birthday that night so you fake a smile and choke down your cake

The hyper-vigilance constantly haunting you
Looking around wondering who plans to buy a 14 year old girl to bring back to their hotel room

Being scared to walk alone in the parking lot at night
Knowing that you upset a client who may have a knife

Having to kick that guy out of treatment for his failed urine test
Even though you know he needs you more than the rest
But you have to follow rules as that is what’s ‘best’
but that night you are restless
He won’t ever know how much you cared
and that you really wanted to be there

The dreadful news that another one has died
Lost their precious life to suicide
And asking yourself what you could have done to change their mind

It’s watching foster children suffer through night terrors and missing their mom
You advocate and fight but can’t send them home
So you hug them tight and hope they make it
To not be the majority who drop out of school and never feel like they fit

The boy who tells his mom to fuck off in group therapy
that he hates her and she doesn’t amount to anything
She breaks down because she can’t take the pain
And you’re supposed to know the right thing to say

People reminding you to practice self care
But what does that even mean
When you break down in tears and wake up from those awful dreams
No amount of bubble baths, gym sessions, or journaling will make that better than it seems

But through the turmoil and struggle
You can’t help but be thankful
For the lives you have ‘saved’ and the people who know you care
For the ones that make you smile and realize life isn’t fair

That’s why we help one another
And pick each other up
Because fairness doesn’t exist but through love we know we have done enough

Knowing that you have given some lives just a little glimmer of hope
Becoming so resilient and being able to cope

Sometimes it’s hard but it’s worth it when you meet that little girl
Who reminds you that you’ve been helpful and made a huge difference in her world

That is why we do it each and every day
We smile through the tears and tell ourselves that we will be okay
To be strong and empathetic because they have it worse than you
With patience and acceptance, you make a difference
through and through


-keep shining

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My Christmas List…

Michigan. Farmington Hills. Christmas wreath in a snowy fence. Wintertime scenics and holiday spirit.

Not just giving presents, but being present.
Not only grocery shopping for holiday meals, but also donating to families who do not have holiday meals.
Not just traveling for the holidays, but thinking of those who do not have family to travel to.
Not only watching the beautiful snow fall, but thinking of those who have never seen snow.
Not only giving thanks for all that we have, but giving our time to others who are not as fortunate.
Not just decorating our home for the holidays, but remembering those who do not have a home to decorate.
Not only having the Christmas spirit, but spreading the Christmas spirit and love to others.
Not just being excited to celebrate Christmas and receive gifts from Santa, but remember those who have never celebrated Christmas or ever received a gift.
Not just praying for good weather so our travels are easy, but praying for those who have nowhere warm to go when the weather is cold.
Not only listening to Christmas music, but spreading Christmas cheer.
Not only searching for great holiday deals, but being thankful for everything we already have.
Not only opening gifts from others, but opening our hearts to those who need love the most.
-keep shining


You Know You’re A Social Worker When…


  • You often hear people say “I do not know how you do your job”.
  • You do not hesitate to discuss child abuse during supper time.
  • You spend more than half your days doing paperwork.
  • Daily you use the words ‘assessment’, ‘appropriate’, and ‘intervention’.
  • You have to explain  over and over again that social workers do not just take kids from their home.
  • You have had more than 1 job to pay the bills.
  • You often use the statement “so what I hear you saying is…”
  • You know the latest jargon for drugs, how to get them, and their cost.
  • You rarely work with men.
  • You know many social workers who change career paths.
  • Staying at a job for 2 years is a long time.
  • Your phone number may be unlisted for legitimate reasons.
  • Having lunch uninterrupted is practically a miracle.
  • The term ‘budget cut’ is familiar to you.
  • You cannot imagine working with numbers.
  • You have had clients that like you a little too much.
  • You’ve been cursed at and/or threatened on many occasions and it doesn’t scare you.
  • Your job orientation includes self defense.
  • You have the most interesting stories to tell your friends.
  • Your parents do not know half of what you have dealt with at work each day.
  • You know all the excuses clients use for a failed drug test.
  • You are familiar with the term ‘positive reinforcement’.
  • You are on edge and busiest around the holidays because of the increase in client behaviors.
  • You focus on relationships in every aspect of your life.
  • You are on high alert when you hear parents yelling at their kids in the grocery store.
  • You can’t imagine leaving your career because of the rewards that come with helping others.
  • You love what you do because of the relationships you form with people.
  • You are more self aware and have become a better person.
  • You have formed many great memories and know that what you do makes a difference in people’s lives.



There’s Always A Beginning


Me…. Write a blog?! Who ever would of guessed that? I can assure you I never would have. But that is the beauty of life, isn’t it? The unpredictability of it all.
Unpredictable doesn’t even begin to explain my life. Well, more so my career. I am a social worker after all, and I would argue it is one of the most unpredictable fields today. That is why I fell in love with the idea of social work; the idea that every day is different. I definitely got what I was asking for and I wouldn’t change it for anything! How I got around to the idea of starting a blog is a story I’ll tell another day. For right now I want to explain to you what my goal in all of this is….
I want to help. I want to change lives and feel I can make a difference. But most importantly, I want to help all of you realize that you too are capable of these things- whether for yourself or others. My goal is to share with you my experiences and stories, my opinions, my advice, my positive and uplifting thoughts, and my encouragement. So much of these things sit and swirl in my brain all day long, so why not put them to good use and help motivate others?! How wonderful that I can do that 🙂
When attempting to decide what to write about first my mind would not turn off. Ever have those nights when you’re exhausted and keep dreaming about the moment when you can lay your head on your pillow and glide effortlessly into your sleep? But the second the opportunity presents itself every possible thought and memory goes through your mind like a hurricane? I know you have, we all do. And that is what happened when I began to start this blog.
So, I’ll leave you with this first thought….
You are the only you in this world. Sounds simple, but really think about that. Whenever you have a moment of self doubt, lack of confidence, or lack of respect for yourself, please remember that you are the only you in this world. That is really incredible! Not one other person is exactly like you, which makes you very important to society. Own it! Use that to your advantage and know that the people you interact with, work for, spend time with, etc. are so lucky to have you present in their lives because you are unique. You are special.

Some of you are probably thinking “well duh, I obviously know I’m the only me”. Yes, true, it does feel like common sense. However, in moments where a boost of confidence is needed try telling yourself this thought. It really helps me in times of self doubt (interviews, important meetings, times in the past when I’ve been dumped).

I challenge you to see if it makes a difference for you as it has for me. You are the only you, and you bring something special to this world.

So, here it is. My beginning as a “blogger”. Beginnings are fun! And I’m excited to spend this journey with you.

-keep shining