Whew, what a first couple of days……I am up to my hairline in information and my brain is swimming! I’ve met so many people and learned so many new things in the past 48 hours that I’m amazed I can remember my own name.
Which is now emblazoned on my key card, my government-issued ThinkPad and iPhone, and my new business cards. I haven’t gotten to be out in the field yet—there’s a whole month’s worth of training ahead before I ever set foot in a nursing facility as a surveyor—but I’m officially “official”. Yesterday when I walked into the enormous building, I felt like a kindergartener on the first day of school: I didn’t know where anything was, didn’t know any of the people I saw walking around, didn’t even know how to find the bathroom. I was very, very lost, and very, very nervous, but I followed the big kids around for awhile and then sat down with my fellow newbie, an older gentleman named Samuel, for our first lessons.
Today, I feel like I skipped all the grades and went straight into my senior year of high school, because not only do I know how to use my secret decoder badge, but the big kids actually let me play with them. The teacher also gave me homework……before I started on this blog entry, I had to go into the ThinkPad and reset passwords (I have four different ones for four different programs, and of course I’ve already forgotten three of them) and do a short online course in Privacy 101.
Speaking of privacy: I had no idea until yesterday how liberating it can be to spend eight hours a day in a building where not one single person knows my psych history. Not one. To the people I’ve met thus far, I’m a brand-new employee with a great deal of enthusiasm (and a kickass sense of humor). They don’t know that I was only recently a washed-up nurse with a very diminished role in life. They don’t know how sick I was for much of last year. They don’t know that I have to take a fistful of medications twice a day to be functional.
And I like it that way.
Somewhere along the road these past few weeks, I decided that I’m NOT ready to give up after all, even though I’d almost been resigned to living out the rest of my days mired in the cesspool of poverty and despair from whence Will and I came. Then this opportunity came along, and I was almost too afraid to take it because I was so fearful of the risks—what if Will got sick? What if something happened to him while I was at work? And heaven forbid, what if I lost my shit in the middle of a survey 300 miles from home?
But once in awhile, one just has to say NO to the “what-ifs” and take a chance. Maybe this job will be everything I want it to be, and I’ll thrive on it with a minimum of interference from my bipolar. Maybe not. But I am done with thinking of myself as a loser, and I’m not going to allow my illness to make my decisions for me if I can help it.
After all……I’m official! 🙂