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Balance, Honesty & Stepping Away with Sarah LPC
Episode 42nd January 2024 • Being the Work • Ben Wire and Blakely Adams
00:00:00 00:48:17

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Today we talk with our Being-the-Work teammate, Sarah. We discuss professional challenges, growth, and the necessity of finding harmony in work and personal life. Sarah shares her journey from stepping away from counseling, how her counseling skills have helped her be a parent she’s is proud of, and her commitment to help others. 

Just a Note: this is an uncensored show full of our personal opinions. So you will hear us cuss sometimes.

We keep our community and show ad free and open to helpers, your investment will help to directly build the brave space we all need. Support Being the Work by

And remember, we're not YOUR helpers. Everything here is our opinion and is intended to support you, not give professional advice. Get the help you need, when you need it, where you need it. Here are a few resources for mental health support for you and those you love: 

National Alliance on Mental Illness

US Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Transcripts

Ben:

today's episode is an interview with our Being the work teammate

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Sarah She is a old friend from years ago

went to our master's degree together we

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just wanted to bring you her story and let

you know who all is behind the production

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of this We absolutely love to hear stories

about how you got into this work and what

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brought you how it's meaningful to you

and also how it's difficult for you to

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be a helper and what you think you might

need to be able to sustain that career.

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We would love to gather more

stories and be able to share the

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things that we can connect over.

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Hello.

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Hi.

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Hi.

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Blakely: How are you?

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I'm alright, I guess.

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How are you guys?

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Ben: Good.

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Good.

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Sarah, how are you?

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Good.

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Can never tell on text what your tone

is, so I infer, oh, she's freaking out.

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Sarah: Yesterday I was a little bit.

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Yeah.

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Okay.

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You were inferring that correctly.

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This morning I just stayed busy

then I was like, okay, now I can

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like stop and let my brain think.

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I just didn't let myself think about it.

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Oh,

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Blakely: yeah.

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Keep it in a

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/

cage.

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Yeah.

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Smart.

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Ben: Smart.

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Yeah.

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My

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Sarah: house is looking great right now.

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Ben: That's good.

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That's good.

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God,

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Blakely: I wish I operated that way.

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Okay.

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I channel it into destruction.

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Ben: Anybody, when they realized

they had these symptoms of ADHD, like

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when you noticed it, did you just

let it run rampant for a little while

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just to see if you really had it?

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Blakely: I don't know if I can.

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I think I've gotten very

used to the habits I have.

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Ben: Like my thoughts, I've, I'm

still feel like I'm in this middle

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ground of like, do I really have it?

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And then there are times where I'm

like, you're just letting it go to

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see if you really have it, don't you?

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like

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Sarah: encouraging it.

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Seriously, it starts to feel like this

like self-fulfilling thing, right?

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Ben: And then I'm like,

I'm leaning into it.

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I'm like, yeah, but are

you just creating it?

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And then I'll find myself waking up

from like a big zone out period where

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my mind is really not productive.

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And I'm like, yep.

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Not making that up.

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Yeah.

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Not making that up.

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Blakely: Yep.

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I just opened up the ADHD hashtag on

Instagram for five minutes and I'm

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like, Oh, I recognize all of you.

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I didn't know that I did.

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Sarah: Yes.

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I think it's interesting that you

have thought about thinking about

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it . Like how thought about thinking

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Ben: about ADD.

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Yeah.

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Yes.

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That you were think, I

mean, that's thinking's.

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That seems like that.

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Weird if I didn't,

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Blakely: yeah.

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Well that's what was sort of chuckling

about when you were talking about

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like you're hyper focusing on.

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Hyper focusing.

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Hyper focusing as a

symptom of hyper focusing.

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Like it's become such a It's just,

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Ben: yeah.

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It's like hiding in plain sight.

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Sarah, when did you realize that you

were dealing with some of these symptoms?

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Hmm,

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Sarah: probably about a year ago.

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Ben: Okay.

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Maybe less than that.

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What brought it up for you?

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Social media.

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Okay.

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Sarah: Actually, I have a, I have a

good friend who is neurodivergent and.

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Posts a lot of stuff about that

and she started posting some things

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about ADHD and I was like, wait, wait

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Which just got me hyper focused on going

down that path and I had already suspected

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that for my daughter and My mom had

just got a diagnosis like not too long

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ago, and I was like, Oh, yeah, this is

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Ben: probably true,

because I heard a number

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Blakely: just this week that was

like, once one person in a family

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is diagnosed, like there's a 40%

chance that a parent or child.

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Mm hmm.

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Will also be diagnosed, which I just,

which also seems small at this point.

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Ben: Yeah.

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Yeah.

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I was thinking about that the other day

or actually this morning I was thinking

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I, and I heard some, some statistic

that it's like 7% don't quote me on

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this, 7% of the, of adults in the U.

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S.

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Have it.

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And then I was thinking, I was like

thinking all week, that's probably,

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you can't have it because there's only

7% like the likelihood is really low.

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And then today I'm like, wait, what

if, what's the likelihood if your

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parent has it and your brother has

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Blakely: it?

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What's the likelihood

in our field of work?

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It's higher than 7%.

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Like there are concentric circles here and

you are overlapping several, I believe.

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Have I told you about

my grandparents house?

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No.

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Oh my God.

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So my paternal grandfather

and I have the same birthday.

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He's literally, he's exactly

when he's dead, but he was

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exactly 50 years older than me.

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And so I think a lot of things were

attributed to more of a Zodiac arrangement

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than a genetic arrangement with the two of

us being very similar people because, they

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lived in a house that was not finished.

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Like plywood shit all over the

place because they had built

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it, but not finished rooms.

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Like just walled off,

like, don't go over there.

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Wow.

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Crazy shit like that.

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When I was a kid and I, whatever,

I didn't think a lot about it.

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Right.

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It's just my grandparents house.

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They live in the country.

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They're weird.

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And, he had a recliner and behind it was

space and in that space, there were just

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cardboard boxes full of paperback books.

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Ben: As you touch cardboard boxes.

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Yeah.

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Which are there, are there

paperback books in there?

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Blakely: No, but there

are some within reach.

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Okay.

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And he had like a monstrous book

collection and a huge movie collection.

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And those were just like his

channeled energy all the time.

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Yeah.

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And it all makes so much more sense

now because I watched my dad and

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Yeah, it just all adds up because I

think my dad has always thought that

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he's a stupid person and he's not.

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I think it's this constant

chasing your tail feeling.

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Ben: Yeah.

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Sarah, you said that you

are an Enneagram one.

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What does that, what's that mean?

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Blakely: Speaking of a

paperback book within reach.

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Ben: Yeah.

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Hey, look at you, the essential Enneagram.

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Sarah: I think the Enneagram one.

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Coupled with this conversation is really

interesting because Enneagram 1 is so not

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Blakely: ADHD.

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Exactly what I was thinking.

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And

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Sarah: so I'm, I'm really

intrigued about that.

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And like, what, does that mean?

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Like I could spend forever,

I think trying to unravel.

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What that looks like, what that has

looked like for me in the past and

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like what it looks like now, because

that's a very different but any of

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them ones are very rule followers doing

organized and being the most correct.

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Ben: Sure.

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Sarah: Yeah, I would say what

sums me up as being the most

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correct and following the rules.

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Blakely: The description in the book

has it's easy for me to see what's

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wrong with things as they are and

to see how they could be improved,

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which sounds so much like that.

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Like the network of coming together,

disparate parts that we can kind of weave.

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Yeah.

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Sarah: Understand.

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Right.

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Like a theme, even still now of my

existence, I feel like is just asking

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almost every day about anything.

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How can this be more efficient?

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Like let's make this more

streamlined and more effective.

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There's a better way.

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That's, that's like my tagline.

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There has to be a better way.

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That's like with the StrengthsFinder,

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Blakely: My number six is Maximizer.

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So taking things as they are

and like, let's level it up.

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Let's make it better.

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Let's keep going.

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And I think that's some

of that energy, right?

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If this is good, then let's see

how we can even make it better.

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And that energy, I think is some

of that, a little bit of that

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motor, that push that, what if I

dig into this, what could it be?

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Sarah: And also very dissatisfying

because nothing is ever good enough.

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I just wonder how

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Blakely: that affects your,

even just your sense of self.

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If that achiever thing is such

a drive and then you have this.

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Seemingly disjointed attention

regulation that has to get

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hard in like your self place.

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Mm hmm.

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Sarah: I'm really curious if when I was younger, my oneness was developed

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out of an attempt to not have

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Blakely: ADHD.

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Yeah.

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Sure.

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Be that diligent person.

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Sarah: How can I right?

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How can I not be that?

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Yeah, because that was very.

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Parented at us like that.

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We shouldn't be that way,

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Ben: How has that impacted you

in adulthood and parenthood the

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Sarah: way I operate hasn't changed.

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Because I'm so used to myself, right.

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The realization doesn't

change the lived experience.

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Yeah.

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But it has helped me , just, I don't know,

affirm, I guess that this is what I need.

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Like, it's okay that this is

just, this is what I need.

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And I do that clearing of the desk so many

times, like, okay, everyone stop talking.

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We need to get out of the house.

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I need X, Y, and Z and my

kids know that about me, too.

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Like, when I say everybody

stop, they're like, okay,

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yeah.

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Ben: You break.

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Hang on, hang on, gotta think.

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I'm

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Sarah: definitely, I'm definitely the,

um, turn the radio off to find somewhere.

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You know, driving and

needing to focus, like,

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Ben: yeah, you can't not hear

it or listen or pay attention.

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It's like, yeah, yeah,

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Sarah: yeah, that question on the

attitude site that we were looking

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at about being overwhelmed by.

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Stores and parties.

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I don't remember what else it said.

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Staying home with children is like

always being in that environment

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Ben: because you have

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Sarah: said

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Blakely: I'm here for and

now the AC guy is coming.

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So, oh my God, we're

talking about is happening.

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What time?

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Within 20 minutes, apparently.

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Which wasn't supposed to happen

until like 3 hours from now.

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So I had already put

it in a later category.

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Ah, ah,

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Sarah: ah,

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Ben: ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.

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Quick adjust!

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It's not going the way it should go.

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But

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Blakely: I cleared the thing and I've

laid the path and it's supposed to go this

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Ben: way.

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Yeah, right.

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I cleared the table.

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A tree fell in my path.

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Damn it.

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/

Your bachelor's was psychology, and then went straight into

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the masters of counseling.

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And that's where we met.

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We were both in the mental health track

, we were in every single class together,

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Sarah: I think.

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Yeah.

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We both did daytime.

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So we had every class,

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Ben: I'm curious, , how did

you want to be a helper?

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Like, how did you get there?

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,

Sarah: so possibly the hyper fixation , on, uh, my childhood

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was tumultuous, traumatic.

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, and my mom did a really great job at a.

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I mean, I was like seeing this

public school counselor in elementary

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school and then intermittently

throughout like different periods

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of life had gone to many counselors.

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, and by the time you're in high school,

you know, everybody's pushing like,

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you need to know what you should

want to do for the rest of your life

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sure.

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And so as a natural like helper

personality and like a very, I

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would use the word empathetic, but

I think especially then I was just

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hypervigilant because of trauma,

like, so I could read people well.

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I leaned pretty easily to counseling

like I had had good experiences

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attributed a lot of my like, , ability

to be a good functioning human despite

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my childhood to going to counseling.

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, so it kind of felt like

a natural fit for me and.

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Potentially hyper focused.

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I don't know.

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But like once I decided that at 14

or 15 years old, I was doing that.

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I found a college that had a master's

program so I could go straight through

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like everything was very strategic

and I just like did the thing, which

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is why I went straight from the

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Blakely: do you have you noticed

that that's sort of just a hallmark

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of, of you like you, you set the

current so that you can just.

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Float it, right?

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Like as long as I set the path

as clear and smooth as possible.

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Ben: Yeah, this is it, right?

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Yes, you you

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.

Were nervous to come on the podcast.

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There's a, a few things that we

wanted to have you talk about , just

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have everybody that listens, get

to know who all's on our team.

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, and also , you're a helper, and God

knows, uh, you haven't actually said this

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to me, but I think I know, uh, cause I am

so smart, , that, that you have used what

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you have learned and your experience with

helping people in counseling as a parent.

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When you contacted me to be

your, your supervisor, I was

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like, well, yeah, of course.

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. And so that was like super interesting

to me, like still after all this time.

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You wanted to be a part of the field.

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Mm hmm.

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So, why?

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Sarah: So the initial why was I really

wanted something outside of my family

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and my kids for myself to have space

away from them for my own fulfillment

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to get back to something that I love.

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It was kind of always the goal

to stay home and raise them when

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they were small and eventually get

back in the game at some capacity.

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My youngest started kindergarten this

year, so it felt like a decent time,

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like, okay, some time is freeing up.

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I could go do this.

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I still kept up my license the

whole time because I like it.

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I do.

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I like learning about it.

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I like staying relevant.

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, and I like people.

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So, I wanted to come back to that.

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I enjoy hearing people's stories

and helping them make sense of

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their experience in a way that

they can't do for themselves.

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Ben: Do you remember a time that you

did that, that you felt really proud of?

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, Sarah: there's a few times.

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Some 10 years ago, and some that

were in this, like, current set

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of seeing clients, there was one

in particular right after school.

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, I worked briefly before having kids and.

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Ben: While you were pregnant?

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Yes.

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Very briefly.

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Because that was the next step.

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Yeah.

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Right.

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That was the plan.

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That was the plan.

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Yes.

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Sarah: Um, yeah, I had a mom and

daughter client that I worked with.

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Not even really for that long.

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I couldn't, I couldn't tell you now

how long it was, but like in the scheme

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of things, not that long of a time,

, yeah, and their ability to communicate

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with each other drastically changed.

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, I mean, I think a huge part of me feeling.

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Good and confident about the experience

was that they were profusely thankful,

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like multiple times of like, this has

dramatically changed our relationship.

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This has made things so much better.

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Of course, like, that's the goal and

it's not something you hear very often.

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Like.

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No.

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Even, even if there has been change, you

don't always get met with that feedback.

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That's usually when they leave.

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Um, you just get, you just get ghosted.

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Yes.

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Ben: I'm good now.

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Yeah.

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Okay.

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Yeah.

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Sarah: It felt fulfilling.

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It felt like it, it helped

me feel like I had purpose.

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I think like it, it fulfilled that,

like, this is why I'm in this.

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You know, refreshed, because in the, in

the work of seeing, you know, clients back

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to back to back, refreshed is not often a

word that you would probably describe as.

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How you're feeling.

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Um, but that interaction

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Ben: The things that, when, when

something like that happens, you

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can see that they are more calm with

one another, that they are more.

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Wise with one another and able to

communicate their experiences and ask

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for what they need and point out problems

to one another in a respectful way

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that's like, you can just see they've

got a different vibe with one another.

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And you know, inherently that you are, a

part of that, and be that bridge that

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connects people to insights and to love

and joy and excitement and contentment

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and like it that the word fulfilling

. You know, it's just feels transcendent.

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Sarah: I didn't sit in that like

pause long enough because I also feel

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like it was like Oh, that's great.

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Next client.

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. No, we

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Blakely: don't sit with a good feeling.

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We're just glad we had it.

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Yeah.

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Great.

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Cool.

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Move on.

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Yeah.

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Ben: Good.

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You're welcome.

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Goodbye.

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Blakely: Yeah.

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Now I have to go worry about someone else.

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I don't have to worry about you.

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Ben: Therapy robot.

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Yeah.

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I am a therapy robot.

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But you felt refreshed.

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Blakely: Well, even to use that

refreshed word, that's under, we're

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actually looking at an emotion chart.

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It's under that category of contentment,

safety, security, feeling at ease, feeling

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like that relief of some sort of pressure.

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And I think we all feel that

sense of like the pressure in

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the room of being the fixer.

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And when you watch them fix

their own stuff with you as

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kind of a conduit to that, it's

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Ben: powerful.

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Good point.

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It's, it's in that teamwork that it

feels energetic and lovely and awesome.

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But then when it's all on you.

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To find the answer to fix people and

that's easy to like fall into that

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responsibility easy to fall into

and it also is like such a burden.

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Like it's so taxing to do that.

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Yeah.

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So How did you make the choice, so

like, we got reconnected , you

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were also sort of on a personal

journey of like, what do I find?

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In my life , that is fulfilling.

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That's not being a mom that is

also, fulfilling some purpose

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and meaning yeah, yeah, yeah.

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Um, so how did you make the decision?

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Like, okay, this isn't really for

me, this, this role in itself.

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Yeah, that

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Sarah: was so hard.

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especially to make that choice.

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When you're regularly meeting with

clients like that pressure and

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responsibility feels very intense

of like Now I am responsible for

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these people and what I'm just gonna

leave Like, that doesn't feel fair.

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Blakely: There's no stop point

with the way that we flow.

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You're always at the beginning

with someone, in the middle with

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someone, toward the end with someone.

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But regardless, you're

throwing it all down at once.

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Right.

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Yeah.

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:

I feel that.

428

:

Yeah.

429

:

I think that's what keeps us

from changing and progressing in

430

:

our careers anyway, a lot of the

431

:

Sarah: time.

432

:

A hundred percent.

433

:

I could, I could totally see that because.

434

:

I think, and maybe my oneness played

into that too of like, I don't know,

435

:

I feel like maybe I take on more

responsibility than the average person.

436

:

Maybe that's not true in our profession.

437

:

Like that doing what's right

and justice and like none of me

438

:

leaving doesn't feel fair to you.

439

:

Ben: Right.

440

:

So I think that's.

441

:

Quite normal for us.

442

:

Yeah, I think

443

:

Blakely: it's normal in our field.

444

:

I think it's normal if we're talking

about the ADHD thing, that justice

445

:

orientation, I think it's normal for your

personality, the way that you've described

446

:

it, it's all being carried with you.

447

:

So you have to feel it.

448

:

Yeah.

449

:

Ben: Yeah.

450

:

, Sarah: really it kind of came

down to like seeing clients.

451

:

I was, I had very few, honestly,

like I was extremely part time

452

:

and still seeing clients and then

coming home and being the primary

453

:

caregiver for my children every day.

454

:

Um, I couldn't show up at home the

way that I wanted to and see clients.

455

:

It felt like a lose lose, in many

ways because there was no good choice.

456

:

There was not a choice that

felt good to me in the moment.

457

:

Ben: Right.

458

:

Yep.

459

:

Right.

460

:

Yeah.

461

:

Yeah.

462

:

I think, I think

463

:

when it comes to the.

464

:

Easily triggering conversations about

self care, the, these are the dilemmas

465

:

that we experience that can be extremely

reduced down to simplistic discussions

466

:

around either, well, so what, stick

it out, be better, or, you know,

467

:

conversations about kale and bubble baths.

468

:

And I haven't actually had

anyone sit me down and go, you

469

:

need to take care of yourself.

470

:

You need to have, you know, bubble baths

or kale, but I have been to several

471

:

trainings and read several articles and

books and things like that that are just

472

:

like reductive and it's not actually the

difficult discussion of the actual dilemma

473

:

that's pulling me in different directions.

474

:

To take care of myself and to take care

of my family or devote to my clients and

475

:

that's a really difficult place to sit.

476

:

It's a really hard place to

sit, especially if you're alone.

477

:

And that's the point of this.

478

:

Doing the work and having support

for us to be in the middle of that

479

:

dilemma, feeling like our heart

is being pulled in two directions.

480

:

Yeah.

481

:

Mm hmm.

482

:

I mean, Allison's, , episode where,

where she was talking about this, like,

483

:

she was either having to, to choose.

484

:

Uh, being able to have Children, which

was a passion in her life forever

485

:

and to help people and meet needs.

486

:

Like, the system she was working

in could not make both a reality.

487

:

And so, like, she talked about

being in her car and crying

488

:

and, like, desperate, right?

489

:

And she chose a brave choice, a

brave choice to give up on a passion.

490

:

For another passion.

491

:

Mm hmm.

492

:

Like this is our lives.

493

:

This is like how a Triggered How

494

:

Whoo fire in my stomach, how am

I supposed to choose that right?

495

:

How am I supposed to like find a hobby?

496

:

That will make that

choice clear, Because a

497

:

Blakely: is also adding something

else to do when half of what we're

498

:

talking about is there's too much

to do, it's the wrong solution.

499

:

We all need hobbies.

500

:

Sure.

501

:

It's just not applicable here.

502

:

Yeah.

503

:

Right.

504

:

And it starts to feel like the

system just takes it from us.

505

:

The circumstances are so

506

:

Ben: tough, right?

507

:

Right.

508

:

Anyways, that whole rant, um, to basically

ask you, how did you make the choice

509

:

to choose yourself, your family, , over

like getting back into this career?

510

:

Yeah.

511

:

Sarah: think there's two things

that made that easier for me.

512

:

one is that I had the experience before

coming back to work of what it was like

513

:

to be home full time and not working.

514

:

And so, I think, had I had kids

and worked simultaneously the whole

515

:

time, that choice would feel harder.

516

:

like, I knew very clearly what was

on the other side of my choice.

517

:

and the other thing is that over the

last two to three years, probably three

518

:

years, I've done a lot of my own work

and, dealt with a lot of my own stuff

519

:

about being everything for everyone.

520

:

And so it was easy when faced with

this to see, like, this doesn't feel

521

:

like an easy choice, but I, I can

clearly see what's happening here.

522

:

And I know for myself.

523

:

The right choice.

524

:

I just don't want to say it out

loud because it doesn't feel good.

525

:

Yeah.

526

:

Right.

527

:

To say it out loud, but like, I knew.

528

:

Right.

529

:

and so I think having done that work

prior to being faced with a hard choice.

530

:

Made it easier to follow through

instead of staying in that stuckness

531

:

for a longer period of time

532

:

/ Ben: Our normal next question is what do

you need to be able to stay in the work?

533

:

And you have stayed In the work.

534

:

I mean, it's adjacent

535

:

Blakely: well, I think this is also

a great opportunity to point out half

536

:

of the, the appeal in our field of

work is the diversity of options.

537

:

Doesn't mean we're always going to

get paid well, but we can always

538

:

apply our skills and our education in

countless different spaces and methods.

539

:

And we forget that.

540

:

We forget the opportunities that it gives

us to kind of diversify our experience.

541

:

For sure.

542

:

Mm hmm.

543

:

Ben: I don't know.

544

:

Are you doing any other things

that are,, like helper adjacent?

545

:

, of course being a part of the podcast is.

546

:

. Sarah: This feels silly to say out loud,

but honestly, , I feel like the biggest

547

:

thing that I do is work with my daughter

who has sensory processing disorder, who

548

:

has dyslexia, who,, really takes a lot of.

549

:

Attention and effort and that's not a

traditional way to be using my skills,

550

:

but has helped immensely to understand

and be able to be compassionate

551

:

instead of just like an angry mom.

552

:

Like, why aren't you doing what you're

supposed to be doing without my knowledge?

553

:

Like, it would be very easy to just

overlook that and feel like she's.

554

:

you know, a bad kid.

555

:

And so I've used that, daily

556

:

Blakely: I don't know that I

agree with you that it's not a

557

:

traditional way to use our skillset.

558

:

And this may be me becoming a

social worker again, um, because

559

:

I go back to social work origin.

560

:

with like Jane Addams and Friendly

Visitors and just the whole community

561

:

organization of being in the place

where you live, where, where things

562

:

happen, taking care of your village.

563

:

Like that's all, it's all like

the most traditional, I think.

564

:

Sarah: Yeah.

565

:

Yeah.

566

:

Ben: Which is a social

worker thing to do, right?

567

:

. Well, like.

568

:

Yeah.

569

:

My brand.

570

:

Yeah.

571

:

Yeah.

572

:

I like your brand, too.

573

:

I just like you having it and

me getting the benefits from it.

574

:

Yes.

575

:

Blakely: It suits me better.

576

:

It's okay.

577

:

Ben: I'm curious, Sarah, what

your experience, uh, being a

578

:

part of the podcast has been.

579

:

And, Why be a part of this?

580

:

Um,

581

:

Sarah: I'm trying to decide

which way I want to go with this.

582

:

Blakely: Red pill, blue pill.

583

:

Sarah: Yeah.

584

:

I always really admired you,

Ben, in school, and Pfft.

585

:

Ben: What?

586

:

Let

587

:

Blakely: me just say before you go too

far, Ben has a way of pulling compliments

588

:

out of our interviewees you know, I've

589

:

Sarah: noticed this.

590

:

You know I've noticed this.

591

:

Ben: That's why you keep me around.

592

:

Blakely: I'll tell you, it's fine.

593

:

Ben: I just want, It's okay, it's all

594

:

Blakely: true.

595

:

It's all true.

596

:

.

Ben: You're so great.

597

:

Stop it.

598

:

So, anyways, back to the question.

599

:

Yeah.

600

:

I saw the opportunity to

invite you into this mm-hmm.

601

:

because I was privileged to be there

to help you sort of figure out it, to

602

:

be a counselor, not to, and um, I saw

an opportunity to invite you into this.

603

:

And so I'm just curious why you decided

to do that and why you've stayed.

604

:

Yeah.

605

:

Sarah: When you asked me about or even

you didn't even really ask you just kind

606

:

of like floated the idea out there at

first and it felt like an immediate.

607

:

Yes for me partly that goes back to

my interactions with you in school

608

:

and I just

609

:

Ben: cuz you had all these

610

:

Sarah: Yes,

611

:

because I admired you

612

:

Ben: because I,

613

:

Sarah: I don't know, you were always

so kind and so approachable and uh,

614

:

there's a word that I can't

come up with, but I always.

615

:

Was intrigued by your compassion,

probably like you presented in a

616

:

different way than what I could at that

time in a way that I was like jealous of

617

:

like

618

:

in a good way, like you were able to

sit with people and and listen and

619

:

be compassionate and and I always

just really admired that about you.

620

:

Ben: Thank you.

621

:

Sarah: You're welcome.

622

:

And coming into supervision,

especially after like a big, almost

623

:

10 year break from being in this

type of setting at all was really,

624

:

I realized how much I missed it.

625

:

I missed learning.

626

:

I missed.

627

:

applying my brain in a different way, like

for 10 years, I just was raising kids.

628

:

I mean, I say just, but

629

:

Ben: The

630

:

Blakely: cerebral part

you're talking about feels

631

:

Sarah: limiting, right?

632

:

Yes.

633

:

I went from my master's program very

quickly to staying home with an infant.

634

:

24 7 by myself while my husband

was at work, singing the

635

:

freaking ABCs 87 times a day.

636

:

And all of the learner in me died.

637

:

Like, I just

638

:

I adore staying home.

639

:

It's a both and right?

640

:

Like, yeah, so many

great things about that.

641

:

But like that part of me, but you're

642

:

Ben: also a full human being, right?

643

:

You're not just a mom, right?

644

:

Sarah: So coming back into the work and

supervision and especially like seeing

645

:

where you are now, I know we had this

conversation at one point that like,

646

:

I see where you are and I want to be

there, but I don't want to do the work

647

:

that you had to do to be where you are.

648

:

Like, I don't want to have to sit

with the amount of clients you Had

649

:

to sit with to know what you know,

but also like, I do want to sit at

650

:

your feet and like soak it all up.

651

:

Hey,

652

:

Ben: yo, fuck that.

653

:

Get out.

654

:

That's gross.

655

:

Okay.

656

:

Sit beside you.

657

:

Okay.

658

:

Thank you.

659

:

Geez.

660

:

Blakely: Oh, now we're taking

the admiration too far.

661

:

It's a soofery Prince

662

:

Ben: Ben.

663

:

I don't like it.

664

:

Well, like that's too close.

665

:

That's too close.

666

:

Don't critique

667

:

Blakely: me too much,

but don't worship me.

668

:

Ben: Hold on.

669

:

Okay, it doesn't help that

I've got like a fan on my feet

670

:

right now, and they're bare.

671

:

And so I'm like, I'm having this

like sensory experience while

672

:

hearing that and I'm like, ugh!

673

:

Yuck!

674

:

All I was trying to say, I'm having

this like, I'm having this like

675

:

gut reaction anyways, go ahead.

676

:

I know that's not what

you're trying to say.

677

:

Sarah: Yes, I'm saying, I think

you're really smart and have a

678

:

lot of wisdom that I don't have

because I wasn't in the field.

679

:

And I think that's super cool.

680

:

And I want to know it all like that

learner part of me is like, I want to

681

:

know the things that you know, and.

682

:

So being invited into these conversations,

honestly, like after listening to

683

:

your first season, kind of before

we had really done much, I was just

684

:

listening through and a lot of my

hesitancy coming on, so I hear you

685

:

and Blakely talk and you're so smart.

686

:

And I used to feel smart, but now I feel

like I don't have anything relevant to

687

:

say and so, like, I love listening to

both of you, but I felt very inadequate,

688

:

like, coming on and feeling like I had

anything worth saying because you guys.

689

:

Are so smart and I love that.

690

:

Ben: How do you feel Blakely?

691

:

Um, How do you feel about that?

692

:

Blakely: It's interesting because

the smart button has been like

693

:

my dopamine button my whole life.

694

:

So, yay,

695

:

again.

696

:

Yay!

697

:

Ben: You got another

meaningless gold star?

698

:

Is that what

699

:

you mean?

700

:

Blakely: Yeah, I mean, I collect

those always, that's fine.

701

:

Add it to my chart.

702

:

I'll

703

:

Sarah: give you two.

704

:

Ben: Here's, here's two gold stars.

705

:

Blakely: but the thing while you're

talking, that's so interesting to me is A.

706

:

, my path has been, it's almost like we're

ships passing in the night, if you will.

707

:

Like I've gone the opposite direction

that you have, like I hadn't,

708

:

I had very minimal life plan.

709

:

I kind of crashed through it.

710

:

I knew that this like social work

path was the one I was going to

711

:

walk and everything else around me

was just going to happen, I guess.

712

:

And so I dove into the trenches

and did all the wild, crazy crisis

713

:

work and the child welfare work and

the HIV work and all this stuff.

714

:

And then my family showed up and

I couldn't balance everything.

715

:

It just gradually started getting

heavier and heavier and heavier and

716

:

heavier on the family side of things.

717

:

And I had prided myself on this

compartmentalization that I could be

718

:

two different people all the time.

719

:

And not parenting my children because I

was devoting my entire life to mentally

720

:

ill people because they needed me

and I already had relationships with

721

:

them before my children were born.

722

:

I had this relationship

before you showed up.

723

:

And so that conflict of not knowing

what it was going to be to rip the

724

:

plug from my social working and

throw everything at family life.

725

:

Like even when, you know, it's.

726

:

It's my legacy.

727

:

It's worth it.

728

:

It's, it's my children.

729

:

I have to raise them to be people.

730

:

It's still feels weird and bad and scary

and like you're betraying someone and , I

731

:

don't know to hear the validation of

that process that you've had and finding

732

:

your way back to wanting the knowledge

that you didn't acquire during that time.

733

:

It makes me Remember that it's not

all a loss to have pulled the plug.

734

:

I still have all of that stuff that

I experienced and I did, and I've

735

:

still chosen what I need to choose.

736

:

And I'm still sad that I didn't

have the first years of investing

737

:

more in my family that I did.

738

:

So I don't know.

739

:

It just gives me this strange,

like, validation and conflict.

740

:

Ben: Well, yeah, I mean, it's like

you're, you're ironically still seeing

741

:

it as either or yeah, and not both and

742

:

Blakely: Yeah, I'm

still working to push it

743

:

Ben: all into together, right?

744

:

I feel like both of you have talked a

little bit about I don't know the way that

745

:

I've understood it is There's some atrophy

That occurs when you don't exercise

746

:

that thing, you use it or lose it.

747

:

Right?

748

:

and so it doesn't mean

that it's not there.

749

:

It doesn't mean that it's not a passion.

750

:

It doesn't mean anything like that.

751

:

It just means that you

are, you have devoted.

752

:

To help someone else, Blakely, I got to

be there, you know when you started to

753

:

pull the plug, which was a very slow pull

754

:

Blakely: And it's not like that's fair.

755

:

It felt like a yank I thought

like there I'm there but I'm

756

:

Ben: sitting here going like

thing just Do it already.

757

:

I can't.

758

:

Blakely: I can't.

759

:

I can't.

760

:

Ben: It's the middle of the pandemic.

761

:

like, really the intense part.

762

:

And I'm like, thank God I am not there.

763

:

Mm hmm.

764

:

And you're like...

765

:

Doing telehealth from your bed,

all of the, all the drama from

766

:

our workplace was in your house.

767

:

You were having to do

mandatory overnights.

768

:

Oh yeah.

769

:

And triggering man, you

are managing all of this.

770

:

But what was I don't remember if it

was like during that period or if

771

:

After you finally pulled the plug.

772

:

And I'm like, yeah, I, I helped that.

773

:

I helped pull the plug.

774

:

Anyways.

775

:

Blakely: My wife loved you.

776

:

That's for sure.

777

:

Ben: Oh, I didn't know that.

778

:

That's good to know.

779

:

I mean, it wasn't that deep.

780

:

Um, I don't know if it was like,

I don't know if it was after you

781

:

pulled the plug and after you quit

that I, I got to see and witness.

782

:

You beginning to embrace your

children in a way that I had

783

:

never seen that part of you.

784

:

And that was, that was incredible to see.

785

:

Like, it was so cool to watch you

And like, I had never seen you

786

:

orient to another person that way.

787

:

And, I mean, it was a, it was caring

and loving and patient and, I mean,

788

:

it was just like, I don't know.

789

:

It was another part of you that I was

like, damn, I get to see another layer of

790

:

my friend that I had never seen before.

791

:

Well, I mean,

792

:

Blakely: just the way you say that,

like, of course it was there in the time

793

:

that I had, but I was parenting for like

two hours a day, Between six and eight.

794

:

That's all I had.

795

:

And so to bring it back to the

conversation we're actually having

796

:

have to see ourselves where we are

and that's just who I need to be now.

797

:

And I think that's some of what it

sounds like Sarah's talking about is

798

:

you're pulling in that other part of

you that you need to be to without

799

:

giving too much of yourself away.

800

:

You don't have to sacrifice.

801

:

the bubble that you've created

that's really joyful and fulfilling

802

:

to you while also acknowledging

that there's a piece of you that

803

:

has been neglected because of that.

804

:

And I don't know, I feel like I'm just

doing it in the opposite direction.

805

:

And it's, it's a beautiful

806

:

thing.

807

:

Ben: Having both things of, of taking

care of yourself and taking care of other

808

:

people, that feels like a losing battle if

you look at it just on the surface, right?

809

:

And so that's where it's like the,

the real discussions about caring for

810

:

ourselves and caring for one another.

811

:

Is much more nuanced literally

the biggest thing that I've done

812

:

for self care lately is practicing

loving kindness in sessions where

813

:

I, instead of getting wrapped up

in people's , Traumatic content.

814

:

I begin to say things to myself of, may

you find relief, may you find peace.

815

:

it, it just is something that sets my

intention a little bit differently.

816

:

It sets my orientation just

a little bit differently.

817

:

That has done more for me than

any kale smoothie or hobby.

818

:

I don't know, like, that, it's just as,

this is more surgical than it is like, I

819

:

don't know, taking a hammer to everything.

820

:

And I feel like that's the message

that we get from most self care stuff.

821

:

And it's, isolating.

822

:

Blakely: It's black and white.

823

:

It's.

824

:

not actually attending to who you are.

825

:

it becomes mechanical, that black

and white divided, isolated.

826

:

It's not about who I am or who I'm

becoming or acknowledging the ways

827

:

that I actually need to change.

828

:

The things around us don't want us to

change because we need to keep the flow.

829

:

We've been really mechanized.

830

:

Even our education system is created

to make good factory workers.

831

:

We know this.

832

:

So self care in what it actually is in our

existential experience of a human being is

833

:

not anything that the world of society, i.

834

:

e.

835

:

American culture that

we're talking about, wants.

836

:

Nobody wants that.

837

:

I

838

:

Ben: remember, it just reminded, like,

when you said that, uh, oh my god,

839

:

okay, so like, you are absolutely right.

840

:

It's like hitting so many, so

many things for me, but like,

841

:

I remember Felicity's episode.

842

:

And she talked about that professor

that said we are going to mold you into

843

:

the counselors that we need you to be.

844

:

And when you said, our education system

is like creating all these good factory

845

:

workers, I'm just sitting here going like,

I have felt like the thing that really got

846

:

me burnt out from the, both the systemic

side and my personal side, Feeling like

847

:

I was the Bentronic 1000 therapy robot.

848

:

And all I was supposed to do

was say the words and document.

849

:

Oh, that sounds like it was hard.

850

:

Have you tried?

851

:

Oh.

852

:

That's terrible.

853

:

we should start.

854

:

A deep breathing exercise.

855

:

How did that feel?

856

:

How did they have a button

pop up, reject this exercise.

857

:

Reject.

858

:

Let's try a thought log.

859

:

Uh huh.

860

:

How about we find disputing thoughts?

861

:

Blakely: Like a choose

your own adventure book.

862

:

Like, would you like to proceed to

cognitive distortions, or would you like

863

:

to take the cave path through mindfulness?

864

:

I'm glad your perspective is, is here

anyway, but especially so knowing more

865

:

of that background, because I think

there are a lot of us that are just

866

:

questioning how we're doing this and

where it fits and who we actually are

867

:

and what to do with our need to pursue.

868

:

I mean, I don't know that I mentioned

it in a recording space, but I

869

:

just saw on one of the, uh, social

work blogs, it's kind of old.

870

:

It was a like six month old article,

but basically the polling of social

871

:

workers was that two thirds of them

were considering leaving the field.

872

:

Ben: Wow, two thirds,

873

:

Blakely: 60

874

:

plus percent.

875

:

Yeah.

876

:

Wow.

877

:

And so we're thinking, we've thought

it, unless you're one of the magical

878

:

30% that just has chosen this and

committed to it and has some sort

879

:

of energy I don't have and can

880

:

Ben: love it forever.

881

:

Those folks are neurotypical.

882

:

I think they

883

:

Blakely: are, and I think they're also 25.

884

:

Ben: I'm sure.

885

:

Right.

886

:

Yeah, that probably.

887

:

Yeah, this is pre burnout.

888

:

Yeah.

889

:

Yeah.

890

:

Blakely: But putting value to the process

of engaging and taking a break and going

891

:

back and rethinking things and just.

892

:

Going through what you actually

need to do with who you are and

893

:

where you are and what you're doing.

894

:

Ben: It's a super, like,

just that choice to say no.

895

:

Like, that's a hard place to be.

896

:

Even

897

:

Blakely: after you say yes.

898

:

Yeah.

899

:

Mm hmm.

900

:

For sure.

901

:

Reserving the right to change your mind.

902

:

I don't know how many spaces of therapy.

903

:

I have said it out loud to other people,

but this is another one of those things

904

:

that we don't like to bring home.

905

:

Mm hmm.

906

:

You reserve the right to change your mind.

907

:

Ben: Well, we are, incredibly.

908

:

Grateful that you're here.

909

:

you've helped so much with the

social media stuff, , That's

910

:

Blakely: what I was gonna say,

anybody that, uh, follows our

911

:

Instagram is grateful you're here.

912

:

I

913

:

Ben: would have never, ever, Oh, God.

914

:

Because Blakely, Blakely was,

was a part of that, like, she

915

:

was like, she had to do it.

916

:

I didn't want to do it.

917

:

Blakely: And that's not better.

918

:

That's a

919

:

trudge.

920

:

So yes, that has helped immensely.

921

:

Your influence is here.

922

:

So I just want to let you know that.

923

:

Sarah: Thanks.

924

:

It's been fun to be here.

925

:

Blakely: Who's your favorite

pop culture therapist?

926

:

Ben: Oh, right, right.

927

:

I never remember that

928

:

Blakely: question.

929

:

I love this.

930

:

It may only be for me.

931

:

Someone would like to

outvote this question.

932

:

It's okay, but I can't seem to let it go.

933

:

Sarah: It's a good one.

934

:

If someone has a good answer.

935

:

I don't feel like I'm

very pop culture relevant.

936

:

I don't feel like I know, I don't

feel like I know books, movies, TV.

937

:

There's a current show that I'm

watching that has a therapist on it.

938

:

That's like the only thing I can think

of, but it wouldn't be like my favorites.

939

:

Just the one that comes to my mind.

940

:

Blakely: how do you feel about that one?

941

:

Sarah: I feel annoyed every

single time because what is it

942

:

Blakely: from

943

:

Sarah: new Amsterdam?

944

:

It's like a hospital show psychiatrist

in a hospital type setting.

945

:

just the whole point of the show, you

know, they're going to make it like

946

:

crisis solution in two sentences.

947

:

And every time I'm like,

it doesn't work like that.

948

:

And I think it's also frustrating

that like people see that

949

:

perception of what therapy is like.

950

:

I don't know, I'd be scared to be a

therapist right now because then it feels

951

:

like I should come and you're going to

tell me this really profound thing and

952

:

then I'm, things are going to be better.

953

:

Right.

954

:

And it just doesn't work like that.

955

:

Yeah.

956

:

Blakely: Sometimes it's almost

like the seemingly osmosis process.

957

:

If you're just in my

presence, you'll be better.

958

:

Mm hmm.

959

:

And I think that's one of

the least toxic, crappy

960

:

Sarah: iterations.

961

:

Yeah.

962

:

Oh, for sure.

963

:

Right.

964

:

Yeah.

965

:

Yeah.

966

:

Right.

967

:

They, they tell one story.

968

:

The therapist connects all the dots.

969

:

Immediately.

970

:

Cue the music.

971

:

comes up with a solution that the

client identifies with immediately.

972

:

That's it!

973

:

Ben: Aha!

974

:

Blakely: Thank you for

entertaining my question.

975

:

Yes.

976

:

Although

977

:

Sarah: my, my actual favorite might be

the one that you guys showed me last

978

:

week that I don't remember the name of.

979

:

Oh my

980

:

Ben: gosh.

981

:

Oh, Rick and Morty.

982

:

Yes.

983

:

Yes.

984

:

Blakely: I think that is the branded

podcast fave is the old Pickle Rick.

985

:

Ben: Pickle Rick in therapy.

986

:

what did he call her?

987

:

agent of average.

988

:

Yeah, agent of average.

989

:

You are literally driven with rat guts.

990

:

If you have any family members that eat

poop and want to stop, that's funny.

991

:

It's a good one.

992

:

Well, everybody, thank

you so much for listening.

993

:

We're so happy to have you.

994

:

There's a lot of us out here that

Don't get to, like, participate in

995

:

this podcast and, and understand

what we do and really have support.

996

:

we want to get this out

as much as possible.

997

:

So if you could please go to Apple

Podcasts and give us a review,

998

:

tell us what your favorite episode

was or your favorite part of the

999

:

conversation would be, that'd be.

:

00:47:33,112 --> 00:47:34,072

Amazing.

:

00:47:34,402 --> 00:47:38,882

Um, if you have some feedback for us that

we could do some things better, uh, rather

:

00:47:38,882 --> 00:47:41,192

than put that on iTunes, please email us.

:

00:47:41,192 --> 00:47:42,892

We would love to hear your feedback.

:

00:47:42,892 --> 00:47:44,462

We want to make this the best we can.

:

00:47:44,822 --> 00:47:47,202

It is, being the work at gmail.

:

00:47:47,292 --> 00:47:51,192

com or you can find us on

Instagram at being the work.

:

00:47:51,422 --> 00:47:56,582

We do this out of the passion we

have for us, for this work, for

:

00:47:56,582 --> 00:48:01,362

you, wanting to support you, wanting

to help you understand that self

:

00:48:01,362 --> 00:48:03,842

care is not just isolated work.

:

00:48:04,179 --> 00:48:07,689

This is something we need to do

with one another, for one another.

:

00:48:07,906 --> 00:48:13,266

That is why we do this and So

any, any feedback you can give us,

:

00:48:13,506 --> 00:48:16,926

five star reviews you could give

us would be wonderful, wonderful.

:

00:48:19,036 --> 00:48:19,876

Cool, cool.

:

00:48:20,106 --> 00:48:20,416

All right.

:

00:48:20,426 --> 00:48:20,906

Alrighty.

:

00:48:21,146 --> 00:48:21,446

All right.

:

00:48:21,446 --> 00:48:21,886

See ya.

:

00:48:22,086 --> 00:48:22,106

Bye.

:

00:48:22,316 --> 00:48:22,566

Bye.

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