Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have

Feeling Blah


Have desk, will write

Have desk, will write (Photo credit: Bright Meadow)*Not my photo.

Today was my portfolio workshop where we talked about our homework assignment (answer the questions). We got our first ‘assignment’ back too we’d done for our second session. I didn’t get the feedback I hoped for; instead I felt like the comment was unsatisfying. Maybe I had expected too much. The facilitator who commented on it has not done the workshop before. She’s still getting certified so the other certified facilitator leads the workshop. They split the assignments between them and I had the inexperienced facilitator comment on mine. Now that I reflect more on it I can see I had placed too much of my hope into the feedback. The facilitators aren’t psychotherapists or psychological counsellors after all, they’re employment/career counsellors. Unfortunately, I let my disappointment affect me for the rest of the day. I wasn’t depressed but it took my mood down a notch. I’m feeling better now that I have thought about the rational explanations for why I didn’t get the comment/feedback I had anticipated.

This week’s assignment is to choose an aspect of our life and write a brief narrative (several pages). I am not sure what part of my life to hone in on. We’re also supposed to name our narrative based on the theme we go with. How to condense a segment of my life into a few pages? *Sigh* Fortunately we don’t have to have it finished for next week but it needs to be done the first copy anyway-we can revise it if we want to before the end of the workshop.

I must admit all this reflecting on our past is slightly depressing when you’ve lead a rather unhappy life like I have. But maybe I just need to refocus my attention on more of the positive aspects of my life. The trauma and negative stuff is easy to write about but it might be better to be more ‘upbeat’. So far I have written only about things I would never share in a job interview! Not a great start to a portfolio if I end up leaving most things out because they’re too personal. On the other hand I don’t like denying who I am and what sort of events have taken place in my life either. It’s not my intention to sugar coat my experiences so I can show them to prospective employers. I’d rather do the portfolio for my own development than as a prop to bring along if appropriate (for an interview). The parts where we are identifying our skills will help and I’ll use them but not the personal stuff.

ยฉNatalya, 2013.


Author: Natalya

Blogging my thoughts and feelings about mostly mental health, meditation and spirituality(non religious). Hoping to connect with other interesting people in the blogosphere. *The name is Russian and is my pseudonym.

14 thoughts on “Feeling Blah

  1. i hope you feel better tomorrow, sending hugs your way xo

  2. Do you find it easy to write about the bad things? I still find it very difficult and often it’s a trigger. I have to be very careful when I write about my past and the bad things. And even so, it is very painful to write.

    Best of luck writing your portfolio

    • Hi Summer,

      I guess by easy I mean easier than writing about pleasant things. It’s easier to recall the sad and traumatic rather than the happy times. I suppose it triggers me but not as much as it used to. I felt a lot of shame and self recrimination after I got the assignment back because I had never written down everything & shared it. So my inner ‘protector’ went on alert and gave me anxiety but I coped reasonably well. Sharing my experiences outside of therapy does send me into a bit of a panic but nothing extreme. It helps that my mom’s dead so I just remind myself of that.

      • Oh, I see. Yeah, as much I am as vocal about my mental issues as I can, it is still unnerving. Blogging is different in a way even it is still public.

        Little steps, I guess ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You are braver than me! I mean I don’t use my real name or picture. Blogging is great for me though because I can ‘unload’ my emotional baggage without worrying a great deal about family finding it. Sharing with the facilitators on paper was a little scary but I left the details out so it was mostly factual and void of my feelings.

  3. Hi Natalya,

    I’m sorry that you didn’t get a response from the experienced teacher. No they aren’t mental health professionals, but in my experience they are incredibly good at taking people and helping them to accurately value themselves in the market place. That involves a healthy does of psychology and self-esteem. Though of course, each teacher is different.

    I think there is a way of taking credit for all the qualities you show and have from the difficult and even abusive experiences without mentioning them specifically. Survivors of childhood trauma exhibit so many great qualities and usually are not even aware of that. Understanding that and owning our qualities we have shown in work experiences are great ways of improving how you value yourself and how you value yourself in the workplace. Looking for work means we have to put a value onto ourselves and that affects how we interact with others while looking for a job.

    It’s good to own your good qualities in the context of work experiences. Prospective employers love to hear that kind of stuff.

    Good luck to you. Good and healing thoughts to you.


    • Hi Kate,

      Thanks for your encouragement. The facilitator did comment it just wasn’t what I had hoped for! I wanted a comment that validated my experiences more than I felt the one I got did. Not the facilitator’s fault she didn’t know my preferred feedback! LOL She’s not a mind reader. Her comment was fine-it just wasn’t all that empathetic.

      Those qualities you mention coming from surviving childhood abuse-how does one highlight those with appropriate evidence? I don’t feel comfortable mentioning I’m resilient for example because I can’t think of a “normal” situation to connect it to. I managed to check off lots of skills though when given a sheet of skills/words describing stuff we’ve done. Part of my problem has been thinking about skills in a limited context. We’re being told we can incorporate our volunteer and home life skill sets (where appropriate). So I have found that helpful as before I was focused only on the paid work I’d done.

      • Hi Natalya,

        From the workshops that I’ve been in they do tell a story, they call it a prove it story, because you are showing your qualities from the past, not just saying it, you are proving it. How that works is you pick out a good work quality, say it is one that shows from your survivorhood, and then think of a time in your work life when your resilience showed through, your ability to stick with something, to follow through and complete a day or a project or to help someone else who was hard to understand and why. I would look up the word in the dictionary and/or thesaurus to get me some other ideas on how to approach the concept and to try to find a story from my work life that shows it the best. I would totally relate it to my work life when describing it. This is the kind of stuff employers want to hear, what you have done in previous work that shows what you can do for them.

        Good and healing thoughts to you.


    • Thanks Kate, I will give your suggestion a try! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m sorry you’re not feeling great, I get why you’re feeling disappointed though. I hope the next one will turn out better for you, and that you’re taking care of yourself. It’s definitely hard to look at the positive when you are feeling low! Hugs xxx

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