Personal Inventory

Personal Inventory

What is personal inventory? Everyone has their own definition but, for me, it means is to take responsibility for my actions, check my bias’s, promote self-awareness, identify what I would like to change, and ACCEPTING who I am……

Sounds simple but, believe me, its not. Its not easy to truly look introspectively and basically, “check yourself.”

How do you perceive yourself? How do you perceive others? How do you treat others? How do you treat yourself? How do you deal with your emotions, anger, fears, anxiety, grief, spirituality, relationships, work, finances, etc…… There are a lot of questions to ask when we want to know who we are and where we fit in this world.

Personal inventory might be a clinical or a ” therapeutic” term but its not a foreign concept to the general population. Here are some examples of promoting Personal inventory:

Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror,

“I’m starting with the Man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.”

The Serenity Prayer,

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Ultimately, they are all asking the same thing, we must look inward to help us understand our own strengths and weaknesses. With an open mind, learning from them, accepting them, changing what we can fix, and coming to peace with what we cannot.

But like I said, its quite hard.

It’s April 2021, I got my Social Work license in July of 2017. After two years, at the end of every social workers birthday month, you must renew your license in order to practice. In order to renew, depending on what kind of license you have, you need a certain amount of dedicated hours in Continued Education Units (CEU’s). It’s extremely important, the world is constantly changing. There is always new evidence based research to enhance your skill set to be the best you can be for your clients. I renewed at the end of April 2019, and I have to renew again at the end of this month. I have to admit, I am playing catch up to make sure I have everything I need in order to do so. Its been weird with Covid, its all online.

Earlier this week, I was drawn to a training called “PTG” which stands for Post Traumatic Growth. PTG is a type of therapy or intervention to help clients who suffer from PTSD. I had never heard of it before. I definitely have PTSD, self diagnosed and therapeutically diagnosed. So, personally and professionally, I was drawn to this training. The woman who taught it is a 9/11 survivor. She was working as a financial analyst at the World Trade Center when the planes hit. She first handedly experienced something we all were effected by. I gathered she was pretty young when this happened, early 20’s. She stated that after therapy, she decided to change careers to be a social worker. Working primarily with people who suffer from trauma.

At first, I was quite annoyed with her. She would say things like “I experienced terrible trauma, I’m alive, I should be happy that I am. I need to love and appreciate that I survived. I can have a more fulfilling and meaningful life after this experience.”

I felt like PTG and what she experienced didn’t apply to me. I can’t and I won’t be happier after the experience of losing my child to suicide, lady. What the HELL are you talking about? I’d choose experiencing 9/11 firsthand over losing my baby ANYDAY.

I thought, awww hell, I haven’t grown at all. I won’t ever know what its like to achieve “Post Traumatic Growth.” I started to zone out, until she started talking about the 5 Tenets of Change,

  1. Education- I resonated with this. I believe actually this was my first “coping mechanism” after Aria passed. I I learned as much as I possibly could and still am learning about suicide prevention and how to implement better than the current model.
  2. Emotional Regulation- This is one of the core DBT skills that I teach in group and individual therapy. I have brought up how important emotional regulation is in suicide prevention.
  3. Disclosure- Is the idea of talking about what happened to me. Whether it be with my therapist or friends. Addressing how I am struggling? Or how grief looks like for me.
  4. Narrative Development- This has been crucial to my grieving process. I write constantly. Whether, I am blogging or working on something else. It has been imperative for me to tell Aria’s story. She matters, her story matters. Her life and her story needs to be told. How she died does not negate how she lived.
  5. Service- Anything I can do to create awareness. I have dedicated my life to Suicide awareness.

So why did the first part of the lecture feel so foreign to me ? The idea of being happy that I am here and using my experience to lead a more fulfilling life? Yet, the second part rang so true……….

I HAVE to tell Aria’s story. I have to do suicide prevention. I have to work towards change EVERYDAY. The idea of living a life where I don’t do that, is useless to me. I can’t just be happy with getting married, or buying a new home, having more kids, or growing old with my partner. That is not enough for me. I can’t live in a world where people stop talking about Aria. I can’t…….

If I have to live in world without her, people at least have to know about her. I have to try and help other young children and parents and mental health professionals. There has to be some reason or something that comes out of this tragic loss. I cannot just join a support group and sit still.

The problem with that is, I have a hard time recognizing that not all people feel as inclined to work as hard as I do. Its not a flaw on their part. Its just who they are.

Not everyone has to fight as hard. It doesn’t mean they care any less. I have to stop expecting the people in my life to honor Aria exactly the way I do. My way doesn’t work for everyone.

Duh, it seems so simple?

But it’s hard.

I’ve found myself becoming resentful to the people I love the most for living their lives.

It is extremely unfair of me. I am hurt, I resent happy people. I am angry that people can be genuinely happy, because I can’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of happy moments. I have many things to be grateful for. I am happy with Nick. I am happy with my job.

But if I’m truly honest, every time I smile there is apart of me that feels guilty. I just don’t think that will ever go away.

I want everyone who loved and knew Aria to honor her. But, I have to let go of my expectation of how they do it. I really do honestly want each and every person in my life to find happiness and joy. In whatever or with whoever brings that peace…….I’m sorry if I’ve resented you for that.

That is my Personal Inventory that I need to work on, not you!

As Forrest Gump would say, ” That’s about all I got to say bout that.”

Next post
Written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Widget Area

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.