Tag Archives: stress

2012 Project365 (Day 114)

Bel CantoMonday night is choir night. Even though I am knackered going and singing generally makes me feel better. Maybe it is that I am forced to breathe better and it is very de-stressing, or maybe it is that I get to spend time with an awesome bunch of girls! They are going to kill me when they see this photo though… they don’t look too excited do they?!

This month marks the 10 year anniversary of the formation of Bel Canto, so we are all going out for dinner. Should be a fun night out. Guernsey… here we come!

Here but not here

Well, as the title suggests I am kind of here but not here.

Things are pretty manic at the moment. I am getting home from work, eating and then doing more packing. This Friday is my work leaving do and then the whole weekend is going to be spent manically packing as a week on Monday the lorry arrives to take all our stuff to Guernsey.

I am really looking forward to going, in many ways my head is already out of the door at work and saying all the goodbyes is a mere technicality. From here we go to Guernsey for a few days to celebrate my parents’ ruby wedding and then we come back to the UK to spend the rest of August camping before ending up with Greenbelt. If course the problem then is that we are packing stuff to go into storage, stuff to go to my parents’ house and stuff for camping. It is time-consuming and more than a little bit tedious.

I think I am more stressed than I realise. I am sleep-talking a lot – something I only really do when I am very tired and pretty stressed! Fortunately the end is in sight. Just!


At the moment life is very busy and tiring and there is almost too much going on. Mainly we are starting to pack up the house and get things ready to move. Packing is even more complicated by the fact that we are having to pack for three different things; stuff to go into storage, stuff to go to Mum and Dad’s and stuff for camping. It seems to make things even more complicated.

We haven’t even really thought about jobs yet. However, I did have a very interesting conversation though with a guy who might be able to help somewhat with the job thing. It’s quite a strange story as my aunt and uncle who live in Argentina met this guys elderly parents out there and they told my aunt and uncle that their son lived on The Rock… so when they were there they met up with him, talked to him about me and gave me his phone number. So, I texted him and he phoned me and it turns out he is a consultant psych working in mental health and his good mate is the drug and alcohol consultant. How weird is that (if you follwed the story!)… maybe there is something in this planning that isn’t just of us and maybe God is involved just a little bit too.

Busy, busy

Well things have been pretty busy in Doris-land. I have been up in Leeds because I had an interview in Northallerton. I didn’t get the job because, of all things, I messed up a Child Protection question. I guess in some ways it made things a little easier for me because I wasn’t sure I wanted the job anyway, and I wasn’t sure what I would have said if they offered it to me. However, the team manager gave me some very helpful feedback about the interview, and said that she would shortlist me again if I applied for another job.

I have also been looking around Harrogate and Leeds for places for us to live. We were considering buying up here, but trying to sell my flat and buy another place was all becoming a bit much, so I think we are going to try and rent in Leeds for a few months. At least it will give me a chance to move up here and get my head straight, as well as giving us a chance to decide where we want to live.

So, I am feeling a little better. A little more in control, and I guess we just have to take one thing at a time. So, we need to find somewhere to rent and I need to get my CV done so that I can put my application out to a few agencies. I think I might do temp work for a little while. The money is reasonable, and there would be no responsibilities other than turning up and getting on with my work.

Life is busy, but it is also good.

Slight stress

I have had a bit of a meltdown today. I think everything has just moved up a gear or two and I am feeling a bit stressed.

I applied for a job on Saturday, was informed yesterday that I have been shortlisted and have been offered an interview next Wednesday. This is all well and good but I am suddenly feeling a bit panicked that their timescales are going to be totally different to mine. There is absolutely no way that I can pack up my life and put my flat on the market and move to Yorkshire in one month. The enormity of the next few months kind of struck me today and I started feeling a bit sick.

I am convinced that I am making the right decision in moving north, but I am starting to think that this job might not be the right one for me if it puts pressure on me to move very soon. I think I need to have a bit more time to get my head around things. Not to mention the fact that they point blank told me that they wouldn’t consider offering me travel expenses for interview, let alone relocation expenses.

Maybe I just have an attack of the nerves. I know everything will be ok in the end, but it all seems to be happening very quickly!!! I am not that good with change, and there are a lot of changes in the offing!!!!


I have had a really difficult week. It seems that it has just been a load of little things piling up on me all at once and I am not coping terribly, terribly well.

Work has been really difficult. I know I have moaned in the past about the amount of paperwork that I am having to do, but it is now getting to ludicrous proportions. I had supervision with my boss on Monday and pretty much he went on and on about all the things I hadn’t done. Not to mention that I have a caseload of 35, half of which are child protection or pregnant, about another third of them are on drug treatment orders and I seem to spend most of my time at meetings. Not to mention that I have to produce prescriptions for all of them every week, keep my notes up to date and ensure that they get seen once a fortnight. Oh no. He only mentioned all the pissy statistics that I haven’t been doing. So, that was Monday morning and it set my week up badly.

I think I might be hormonal but I am not sure and when I get angry and frustrated I just cry. I have cried every day this week at work and last night I had a really vivid nightmare about my Mum dying and when I woke up I was literally sobbing. It was awful because in the half-wake-half-sleep-like-state I couldn’t work out what was real and what was the nightmare. So, today I has been horrid. I have cried numerous times and I am just feeling a bit wrung out.

Fortunately I am off to see The Mister tomorrow. I need hugs and I need lots of them.


I only have one day left at work. I am asbolutely knackered and I still have masses of work to do before I can clean my house, pack, go to London on Friday night for a carol service, drive to the airport on Saturday, catch a flight and go to sleep on the plane.

I wish I could click my fingers and have everything done. Either that or I need staff.


I hate the last couple of weeks before Christmas with an absolute passion. I have a serious amount of work to get through and I am feeling the pressure of not making much headway into it. Every time I look at my desk I keep wondering how I am going to get through it all.

Admittedly I have added pressure to myself by making a load of presents this year, but I have enjoyed it so much and it has given me a creative outlet. Also, I haven’t been to the gym in over a week and only managed to go swimming once in that time. I feel like I have put on weight and I feel like a gigantic blob. Not good in so many ways.

I know the end is in sight because I fly home a week on Saturday, but that feels like a long, long way off.

Baby P

The news is full of the tragic story of Baby P who was killed after sustained abuse. Once again Haringay Council is under investigation after the child was seen over 60 times by social workers, health visitors and a paediatrician who failed to diagnose a broken back and ribs just two days before he died.

The story is absolutely tragic, but sadly not unique. In fact one of the most significant child deaths, that of Victoria Climbie, was also in Haringay. The investigation into the death and Lord Laming’s recommendations led to the Every Child Matters report which has been one of the most significant initiatives around child protection and child welfare.

I have listened to a few different radio shows today, and one earlier in the day was asking the question “What is it like to be a child protection social worker?” The discussion was interesting with many people providing horror stories of massive caseloads, lack of resources, support etc. It was a well balanced discussion. However, this afternoon on the same radio station I have just listened to the presenter slating social workers and holding them fully responsible for the death of this child. Not mention of the vile people who actually battered this small child… oh no! It is the social workers’ fault that they did not prevent it.

I have no doubts that there were massive failings, both on the part of the local authority, but also on the part of all other professionals involved. What some of these people don’t seem to realise though is that being a child protection social worker is a scary profession. In fact, being a social worker in general is a scary job, but CP social workers have it especially bad in my opinion.

CP social workers have to death with aggressive people who don’t want social services input into their lives. They have to deal with traumatised, neglected children who have poor attachments and are needy and difficult. They have to deal with vast quantities of paperwork and bureaucracy. Even when they identify risks to children the process of being able to remove them is complicated and contentious and very often they do not have the resources to do it. Money is a big issue and it seems to me that most departments are more concerned about saving cash than saving lives.

Social workers have to cope with a severe lack of staff, and those who are recruited are often newly qualified and inexperienced in dealing with front-line CP work. Stress-levels are high and people are regularly off sick. On top of all this they have to live with the knowledge that a failure or bad decision on their part could mean that a child could die. And the icing on the cake is the possibility that that information could end up in the public domain and their name could be spread across the paper, along with questions asked about their competency to do their job.

Don’t’ get me wrong. I am not justifying what happened. I am just saying that being a social worker is a difficult job at the best of times. Being vilified in the press does not help and it certainly doesn’t promote social work as a positive profession. Child protection social workers deserve better.


I have had a lovely weekend. Took a trip up to Leeds to see a certain mister and meet some of his friends, which was pretty entertaining (for me anyway!). The drive up there was absolutely vile though, the weather was grim and made it a bit of a stressful trip, but I got there in one piece which was a relief. As for Leeds, well I didn’t see too much of it to be honest, and hopefully I will get to see a bit more next time I go, but I had a fab weekend.

However, I am back to work today, well technically anyway. I have come up with some sort of allergic reaction, don’t know what has caused it (or who as my Mum suggested!!! *grin*) so I am hoping to see my GP later today. It’s all a bit stressful to be honest as I have been summoned to give evidence at coroner’s court tomorrow and I was feeling anxious about it anyway. This allergic reaction isn’t helping to decrease that anxiety at all! After that I have to drive to Salisbury on Wednesday, Bournemouth on Thursday and then I am off on Courage retreat somewhere near Oxford at the weekend. Prayers would be appreciated for what seems to be like a load of un-needed stress today.