Working in the NICU has been a rollercoaster ride for me, for sure. The last few months my self-doubt has been at an all time high. I question every decision I make, every compliment I get, every reaction or action given by my coworkers, family, and those around me. My sleep has been frequently disturbed. I’ve texted old friends to try and reconnect, I’ve ventured back to getting readings from a spiritually gifted friend.
Prior to joining the NICU, I went from reaching a level of almost complete confidence in the work I do and who I am, so much so that 2-3 shifts was enough for me to feel comfortable working almost anywhere with the adult population (minus ICU). Working in the NICU cut me down to size and made me feel like a new graduate nurse all over again. Needless to say that took a lot of energy out of me, especially because there was a part of me that didn’t want to return to the basics of life and learning again. It’s funny because my goal for this year was stress reduction/management, yet I found myself not only transitioning to a new specialty and patient population entirely, but also taking on the task of attending graduate school. In addition to this, I’ve added frequent workouts to my routine (spin class and body pump). In all honesty, I feel even less stressed than I did last year or in the years prior. While my difficult time on orientation and the frequent uncertainty of the NICU experience has caused me the most stress so far this year, I do feel as though my stress levels are becoming better managed and consequently reduced. I’m having fun in my life.
The thing I miss the most right now is good sex and an attentive partner. While I’d like my third eye chakra to open up in addition to all the other good that’s happened in my life so far, I want to make love. I actually miss it.
Sometimes, when we reach a point where we don’t know where we are going, it’s best to just stop.
I’ve been using the suggestions in Dina Glouberman’s book “The Joy of Burnout” and one of the suggestions included visualizing yourself having a conversation with Life. I invited Life to join me for a cup of tea. We sat across from each other and I asked Life, “Why do you always feel like a constant uphill battle? Why, over the last several years have I had to work so hard?” And Life said, “Because you believed that you had to prove your strength, you constantly sought out challenges and obstacles to overcome. You ignored everything that came easily for you, calling it undeserved, and opted instead to go after what required struggle.”
Life is right. My Ego has been addicted to struggle.In addition to that, I’ve been stubborn. I could feel in my heart and soul when something wasn’t right for me and yet I continued to fight for it because of the investments I had made. Long after my soul withdrew it’s energy, leaving me to my own devices, I’d continue to trudge on. And that’s Burnout: When your will alone can no longer continue down a road you already knew was the wrong one.
Last night, after returning to the present, committing myself to the truth, and agreeing to listen to my heart and soul regardless of the cost, I had another “anxiety-like attack”. It usually feels like my core is shaken. I wanted to know why this happened. Why the anxiety-like attacks. What is the fear? The answer I got was: I‘ve committed yourself to living the truth and listening to your heart and soul. I’m scared of being wrong, but I can’t and don’t want to go back to the girl I use to be. That said, I go back to work on Thursday and most of all, I’m afraid of regressing. I’m scared of regressing and going back to listening to my fears, doubts, and the opinions of others. I want to continue living from my core, living from my heart and soul because there is no joy in the way I use to live anymore. Nevertheless, my core is still shaken.
I wish I could guarantee that the choices I have made for myself would yield better results but I can’t say that anymore. I don’t know where I’m going. So I’ve stopped and have been waiting with myself. Thursday will get here when it gets here. All I’ve done is all I can do. I’ve exhausted who I was and all I can do is just be. Now.
I remember when I thought that every change in life had to be dramatic. I remember when I use to feel that if I didn’t feel like everything in my life wasn’t overturned that true change did not occur. But really, such an extreme viewpoint was b.s.
This is not to say that drastic and dramatic changes did not happen or aren’t necessary. Sometimes they are necessary and do happen. But they are not an indicator of huge growth/change. Sometimes those miniscule events and gradual transitions in life produce change and are, imo, good enough.
I applied for a new specialty today.
But here’s my question…
Am I suppose to have all my ducks in a row? I don’t know. Am I suppose to know everything? I couldn’t tell you. Granted, yes, I am trying to find my niche and there’s things being sorted out on the relationship ‘sphere at the moment. But right now…right now everything is different.
Arizona (like Iowa and Texas) has been good for me. And like I’ve been saying over and over there’s just some things that I just can’t and won’t do anymore. If anyone is looking for a girl/woman who has life all figured out and some serious self-help advice, then I am not the one to go to. I am not going to preach to you about the pursuit of happiness or peace of mind, etc. Of course I’ll try to help. But I don’t have all the answers. I’m growing, sure. I have moments when I’m happy,sad, angry, confused, miserable, etc. I make mistakes. My mind races from time to time (as is evidenced by my earlier posts). I do dumb shit at times. But…meh…I’m sick of coming down hard on myself all the time too.
I don’t feel like running anymore. My ego has been fighting so hard to stay alive and to remain relevant but now I’m tired. It’s always something. There’s always something. A more lucrative job, more money, more friends, a better relationship, not enough personality, a better life, more success. It’s always something. There’s never enough. There’s always something to worry about. Not finding a new job if I leave this one, not making more friends, not being smart enough, not being qualified enough, always something. There’s always something you have to do in order to make your life better. You have to do something. Always do something. It just never feels like it ends.
In meditation I heard, “It’s out of my control”. I then hear, “Why don’t you Cry?”. Both are songs. But the lyrics kept coming to mind. And then I swelled with tears and found myself crying as I heard, “Come closer”.
So many fears swelled up inside of me relating to work. I feared death. Not actual dying per se. But I cried again thinking that work, from a heart centered place, would kill me. I’m a nurse. People can be cruel. Their egos can lash out at me in a way that makes me want to break down and cry and most would just look at me and think me “soft”. The ego, my ego, has been trying to protect me from this. Ego is what I have used to block myself from the pain of other’s blows. It hurts. But I often imagine that it’s better than not allowing their ego to actually come in contact with my core. It’s better than letting myself cry, better than letting myself feel it, show it, acknowledge it. It’s suppose to protect me. But I know it’s really trying to protect itself from death.
I think the ego a useful tool. I thought the ego was suppose to keep me out of trouble. But many times it keeps me from feeling connection. I block people, close myself off from them for fear, once again, of dying, possibly even losing “myself” and being hurt again. And then in meditation I cried again. I work tomorrow. What would happen to me if I went to work, unguarded, from my heart centered place as opposed to keeping my ego shields up? “Come closer”. “Let go” and I knew that all of this was easier to do when one had nothing to lose. But what if I do? I love my job. I love travel nursing. I do. Would letting go mean I’d hate it because I’d have no defense? Would I be attacked? Would I die? Death. It all came back to death.
“Close the door”.
And how can I be this when others ego triggers my own? How can I function? I’m going to die. It’s always easier when you have nothing to lose. I’ve explored all my deepest fears. fear of going crazy, fear of “being wrong”, fear of “losing friends”, fear of being delusional. None true. None painfully true anyway. It’s always something. Now it’s fear of being a shitty RN who can’t protect herself from the egotistical blows of patients, MDs, RNs, and PCTs alike. It never ends.
There’s always something to keep the fear alive.
It’s always easier when you have nothing to lose.
“It’s easier for a needle to go through a camel’s eye than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven.” – Mark: 10:25
I seldom ever look back at the things I’ve written but lately I’ve been doing it a lot! I went from thinking myself crazy, delusional, and naive to accepting I might not be all that crazy but really more inexperienced and idealistic at the times when I undertook a new project. When you’re going through a situation, your outlook might be a little different than when you look back or have an outsider’s perspective. There’s also many aspects of my life that I did not blog about, or that I remember blogging about but then deleting because I was too ashamed to acknowledge it, or something of the sorts.
Anyways, looking back, I have to laugh at myself. Like, really laugh. I’ve actually tackled a lot of the things I wanted to and experienced a lot of what I wanted to (but didn’t always get the results I was expecting) and it’s actually quite cool! Here’s some:
- Met my twin soul (Didn’t go as I expected. Was actually quite stressful. lol But enlightening *nods*)
- Dated a bit (Also enlightening)
- Travel Nursing (love it!)
- Got a new specialty (Love specialties! Not the one I planned on getting but pleased nonetheless)
- Accepted my spiritual gifts
- Got into a Doctoral program (turned it down after discovering that it was NOT the specialty I wanted)
- Dropped 10k on my student loans (woot! Almost done!)
Anyways, I’m pretty content even though I didn’t get all the things I wanted. I don’t really have any more die hard goals as I said in my last blog. I think a lot of the pressure I was putting on myself in the past (getting rich, being successful, money money money, real estate!) came from the people around me (more than likely from my ex). It’s really important that we’re mindful of who we allow into our lives and how they affect us, no matter how much we love them. My chakras have improved and opened up again, I feel balanced, I’ve cleared my head quite a bit, and I’m just looking forward to creating new experiences and enjoying my life, whatever that turns out to be and look like. Yes, I do want to write more creative pieces, or more along the lines of stories, but I’m not sure if I’ll be sharing them here or if I’ll create another blog, etc. I’m looking into taking a class while here in Arizona, just to meet some more like minds/like hearts and people outside of hospital life.
I realized I don’t have many friends my own age! I don’t have many friends (period) but most of my friends are older. I’d like to make more friends my own age but for some reason it hardly, if ever, happens. But who knows? Maybe next year or next month, or next week will bring me with another like mind my own age. I’m willing to let life surprise me.