Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fearing Your Dreams

Today I just got overwhelmed with grad school fears. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t weigh so my mind was freed up to wander. Or if it was because b-fast got delayed and so my blood sugar was low and anxiety was high, but I went into a full blown panic. I started wondering if this whole grad school thing was really what I was supposed to do. I mean I am seeing my passion as more on the dietitian than therapy side…mostly because my dietitian was the most influential in my recovery. And so I started getting scared. What if I go to grad school, spend this money, and don’t even want to be a therapist? I mean the plan is to go get my RD right after, but what if by putting it off two years I somehow risk getting into the RD program and the 10-year cut-off for the pre-req credits runs out and I never get in and am stuck doing only therapy? That’s where my mind went. I started to panic.

Luckily, I have amazing friends and family and had an amazing talk with stepmom and prayer with God and talk with my dad (well you know…kind of..a heavenly talk I guess…just thought about what he would say). I realized these are similar fears to the ones I had at start of every semester. That I would fail my classes or lose my job or so on and so forth. I am just scared to fail or to find out my plan won’t work out. I want control, and some things I just can’t control. I just have to do them.

Yes…there is a risk I go to the MSW program and don’t like it, but I can just leave. And yes..there is a risk that with the 8 remaining years after I graduate from the MSW program I wouldn’t get into the RD program..but if that’s the case then I probably shouldn’t be an RD. But in my heart, I know this is my passion, my dream. To be licensed for both therapy and nutrition counseling. To be able to provide proper support to people with EDs in the same place I am now. The ones who have been told they will never recover, are too sick, or just need to go back to treatment, but who are determined to fight. And I think the best path for that is by providing both dietitian and therapeutic services.

My last dietitian was the best one I have ever had and better than any therapist because she combined both things into our sessions. Luckily we had the time for this, but it was amazing. It wasn’t just about food, but also how I would cope with changes, my emotions, and my motivations. They were amazing sessions and looking back I see it’s because we drew on my years in therapy and my nutritionist therapeutic training. It was therapy and nutrition in one…and I want to be able to provide that.
I just get scared, because I don’t get much out of therapy anymore, but I also realize that’s because I have been in therapy for years…my clients may not have that luxury. I’m just scared, because I want to make a difference. I want to change the way people with chronic eating disorders are treated…and to me this is the solution…or part of it. But I’m scared. An MSW and RD isn’t something you see. And throw into it that I want to bring animals into it too…and I don’t know..I wonder if I am crazy. But I am also proof the way things are done now isn’t working. I just…I want this dream so bad and I think that is why I am so scared.

But I don’t have another option. I mean I do. I could tell UTK I am not coming, deny the assistantship, live at home and finish the two pre-req classes spending the same amt of money as I would going to UTK and then apply to the dietetics program and hope I get in. That is a possibility. I would only lose one year of the ten then. And I could go to MSW school after I finish the dietitian program…if I ever get in. But in doing that…well I am not very excited. Because I lose the amazing opportunities I have in front of me with an assistantship and getting a graduate degree. Also, staying out of school a year when I have these offers doesn’t make me as marketable, especially with a Bachelor’s in a non-nutrition field, to the program. But an MSW, experience as a graduate assistant, and experience in a people-helping field does. So I am going to go with my dream. Take my fears with me and trust. God has opened so many doors….now it’s up to me to step through.  

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