Good Wednesday morning. I know I've told you all that I do social work (although in PA I cannot say I'm a social worker because my degree is not in social work) but I don't know if I've ever told you exactly what I do. So here goes.

I work in a Community Mental Health Center (cmhc). This is a place for people who cannot afford private psychiatrists, are homeless, are chronically, severely mentally ill or who have no other place to go. It's in Philadelphia, right in the heart of the city. The immediate neighborhood is historic (birthplace of our nation and all that), Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are our neighbors. If you wander more than a few blocks in some directions, that changes fast. Like any large city, there are less-than-nice spots almost next door to high rent areas.

My job is two fold (which is why I have two supervisors). I am a Case Manager by title and I work with two different psychiatrists. I am the bridge between the client and the system. I help them get benefits, sometimes find housing and sort out medication issues. I sit in on medication appointments and listen. Sometimes listening is the most important part of my job. I love my job.

The other half of my job is in our psychosocial rehabilitation day program. I run two groups a week, sometimes 3. I like the groups. The people who attend are looking for connection and it's our job to help reintegrate them into society. Individuals with severe and persistent mental illness tend to isolate themselves.

All of this is a long way around to today's group and my take on things today. Today, I was going to talk about how we are responsible for our own happiness. And I am having a hard time with this. Not the topic in general. I tend to agree with Abraham Lincoln who said "most people are just about as happy as they want to be".

But my heart is heavy and my eyes keep overflowing onto my face. My lovely daughter is facing some possibly serious medical issues. I wasn't going to mention it but she did on her blog so I don't feel disloyal discussing it. Actually, I don't want to discuss the medical issue except to say that I'm worried and scared and I can't do anything but sit and wait. She is an adult and she has built a good support system and has them to lean on. I am learning to back off and just offer help if needed and to just be there. But I'm not there, I'm here. Sitting on pins and needles and trying to pay attention to the world around me when a large part of my heart is there with her. It was hard when my girls were small and they got hurt but this is worse. I'm trying to straddle the line between letting her handle her life/health issues herself because she is an adult and jumping in and telling her what I think she should do.

It's tough being the parent of an adult.

So, it's ironic. Bezzie gave me an award for being optimistic and upbeat but I can't find it today. I know we shouldn't borrow trouble and Em is very young and healthy and this whole thing is probably something that can be fixed but our family health history is a tough one to ignore. I do tend to try to find the bright side and to be optimistic but I'm having a hard time today.

So, think good thoughts, pray if that's your way, for Em. She is such a bright spot in the world.


Roxie said…
Oh Sweetie, big strong hugs to you! Remember when you were pregnant and more than ready to deliver and you just had to wait till the baby was ready? This is another case when you just have to wait. I am waiting with you and praying very hard, Blessings on Em and thank God for modern medicine! I don't know how you'll get through your presentation, but I know that you will. With sincerity and vulnerability and success. Please keep us updated, dear.
amy said…
Thinking of you all.
Dianne said…
I'm sending healing vibes Em's way, and some extra-strength-support vibes for you. You're a great mom, and will know when to jump in and when to hold back.
Galad said…
You all have been much in my thoughts and prayers since Em posted on her blog. That balance of being supportive, worrying and letting our adult children handle their own issues is tough.

Hugs and healing thoughts to all.
teabird said…
Oh, I'm so sorry - I'm thinking about you both and hoping you can get some strength knowing that your friends care.
Alwen said…
It's hard being a mom sometimes. I am often grateful to live in modern times!
Taphophile said…
I hold you all in my prayers.
Amy Lane said…
I read ahead, so I know that it's probably all good... but I will give you that it's tough to be a parent as your child grows up. T is 16--and it scares me a little more every day, because soon, he won't be mine any more, and the world can hurt him. (((hugs))) they're all I've got....

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