Not doing national runaway safeline because of severe anxiety about evening trainings

You know, I’ve had so many mixed feelings about national runaway safeline. But things have finally come to a head where at least for the foreseeable future I’ve decided I can’t do it.

I’ve been both extremely excited and extremely anxious. when I was in MA looking ino Chicago I was looking into possible volunteer oppurtunities. I’ve always done well with hotline work. It’

Even the kind of thing where the barrier of disability isn’t as big. You don’t need to see to provide a listening ear. It’s become my nitch.

I saw the videos on youtube at the time. I was very curious about this organization that’s around since the 700s has done to help youth at a very low chaotic point in their lives. Those in the process of running away from home, considering it or actually on the streets. I wondered what techneques would be used to help them sort out their thoughts and feelings at such a confusing emotional time. As well as provide peace of mind to the families that call in.

When I got here to Chicago it took awhile to settle into Friedman Place. Then I got busy with different activities to help out the organization. In august 2013 I went to an internship fair at addler school where NRS had a presentation/ was there. the volunteer coordinator seemed very nice and e-mailed me information. As I said I was very busy and it just wasn’t the right time.

And then november hit and I had my breakdown. Up until I got the confidence through talking with Jonathan Edith and Jess to pursue CTL, I never thought I’d get back into hotline work again. I was delighted to be able to do CTL from home. However NRS was still on my radar.

When Jess was doing goals with her caseworker for the new year I felt kind of left out so she and I did goals as well. Of course top of the list was NRS. I just had to get going on it.

ButI had concerns from the beginning. The former volunteer coordinator who I met at the college was no longer there. I was worried about how they’d see my disability/ react to any accomidations I’d need. Granted they would be small. Having training materials e-mailed to me. Being able to use my screen reader on their computer. I was anxious from the start about the training schedule. I guess they want to get new volunteers in as soon as posible. Because they pack the forty hour training into two weeks. Two week nights would be from six thirty to ten. Two weekend days from nine to five.

I’m used to my relaxed routine of naps during the day, and a quiet nighttime routine. With going out there would be getting food to deal with and meds to have ready by the nurse. It’s a process.

I was worried about getting anxious during the long trainings and it all throwing me off for the next day.

However everyone was like you can do it no problem and everything. I think that pumped me up to do it though it wasn’t really realistic.

Though I used to go out all the time, to support groups, a therapy group, and when doing the domestic violence hotline to their similarly structured forty hour training, that was before my breakdown.

Then I’d probably get home at ten thirty and then stay up til midnight then sleep half the day the next day. I wasn’t so anxious and my mood so dependent on a structured routine. I’d gone back and forth for awhile in other ways. Wednesday was a hard night. I just got frustrated with computer stuff I was doing plus having had waited too long before eating a snack so getting an upset stomach. I just fell into this depression about how my anxiety seemed to just follow me. That if I was having anxiety of something small at home how would I cope in the real world outside Albany in similar situations. I just wanted to quit everything. Not suicidal at all just quit my activities that were giving me confidence and purpose but I felt would always be held back.

But Jess and I talked towards the end of Thursday. And I felt a bit better. I got the excitement back of doing NRS.

Then yesterday we were going over when paratransit would pick us up. The orientation is from six to nine thirty. I said with interviews and everything we could probably get away with leaving at nine. Though with training if it ended at ten we’d be leaving at ten. It brought home the huge stress of those night trainings and I just knew I couldn’t handle it. I just couldn’t. I’d embarrass myself by getting super anxious. I just couldn’t.

Jess and I both were tired of my back and forth. She said to decide once and for all at least relative to the next months. I said no. That if the training were during the day I could but not now.

I wrote the coordinator telling her vaguely that I had health issues that affected me at night. And that I had tried to work around those but couldn’t. And if the trainings were offered during the day I’d be sure to apply again. But I know it’s unlikely they’ll do trainings during the day. They do them on nights and weekends because people are at work or in school the rest of the time.

I felt horrible just horrible. Like I said this was huge for me this hotline. To continue my hotline work and to have it on my resume that I worked a year on a national hotline would put me in a very good place for other hotlines.

Jess says we all have limets. And that it can still be a goal for me to do NRS that I could somehow get comfortable with going out at night. I don’t see how.

I don’t know what’s worse all that anxiety I had about doing it or being depressed because I can’t do it.

Jess sent me some hotline links. You’d think in a major city like Chicago there would be a ton of choices as there are in Boston. Probably a lot has gotten cut over the years. Even the suicide lifeline for the area is staffed by professionals, at a really bad mental health center in fact. Other crisis hotlines come out of hospitals. We found a rape crisis hotline out of a YWCA. I sent an an application form. But I’m sure it will be the same evening trainings. And I really don’t want to work with rape survivors. At least nit right now. I really wanted to work with tenes and to see how NRS managed to help teens in such a difficult place.

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