I feel like I'm in the middle of a 20 mile hike, and the person behind me keeps sneaking more rocks into my pack the further we go.
I am being bombarded by issues these days. I mean a full-on attack from all sides. Every time I put out one fire, I turn around to find 10 more behind me. I don't know what to do. The only thing I can think of is to keep putting the fires out one by one and hopefully they'll slow down or even stop. Hopefully. I am just living on adrenaline these days. Pure adrenaline and willpower.
I want nothing more than to crawl under my covers and hide from the world for a few days. Unfortunately, this is not an option. Nor would I enjoy it as much as I'd like to think...I'd probably go stir crazy after the first hour. It's still a nice thought, though.
I'm just going to keep going. Keep moving. Don't stop. Fake it 'til you make it. Seriously, that's all you can do sometimes.
Eat, sleep, breathe. Eat, sleep, breathe.
Rinse and repeat.
I had a draft of a blog sitting here for a week and ultimately decided to delete it.
I'm not able to express my feelings adequately using words today. Or this week. It's as though half of my conversations lately have been spoken in an alien tongue.
This week has sucked. Really rough this year - harder than previous anniversaries...not sure exactly why that is.
My brain is tired. Body's exhausted. Trying to just force my way through the sludge and hopefully I'll come out okay on the other side. Wherever that is. Can't even see the shoreline from where I'm at right now.
Eat, sleep, breathe.
I really, truly hate this month.
I have my own reasons for it always being rough for me, but it seems like everyone I know is having a hard time with January this year. I feel like I'm fighting mental health issues everywhere I turn. I'm constantly worried about at least one person at a time, and lately it's been more like 2 or 3. Luckily it's put me in my pissed-off Marine mode...so I'm up for the challenge right now. Anger tends to help me to channel all of my energy into one specific problem. It wakes up my brain cells, and my ability to be both logical and creative simultaneously is amplified.
God help you if you are getting in the way of the thing I need to fix.
And if you are causing the problem...you're going to have to deal with my wrath. I'm not exaggerating when I say you do not want to even consider being in that position.
Due to my recent increase in energy, I actually almost went to that gym I joined!! The one thing that kept me from going there the other day is the fact that I don't have any decent athletic shoes. My knees have been killing me since we went ice skating the other week, and I can't afford to risk injuring them more by doing something stupid like trying to run without real sneakers or a knee brace. I've just been cleaning the house like a maniac in the meantime. All in all, it's been a productive couple of weeks! I feel like I'm really getting a better hold on everything, and I definitely feel like whatever I don't have under control yet is in the process of being taken care of....I guess things are looking good.
I just can't wait for this month to be over.
I miss you, my friend. So much. Everyday.
I put this together for my parents' wedding anniversary last week...my favorite memory from the time they've been together!
I was upstairs studying for school when I heard my stepmother coughing uncontrollably in the bathroom below me. Being a student nurse, I figured I should go check to make sure everything was all right. When I got there, my dad was looking rather frantic, pacing around the kitchen searching for something. He told me that my stepmom was having trouble with her asthma and he needed to find her nebulizer (for those of you not in the medical field, it's a machine that delivers medication to someone having an asthma attack). He said he was going to go out to the garage to continue looking for it and asked if I would please keep an ear out for her to make sure she was okay. I went into their room to check on her while he went to search for the meds. After about 5 minutes, my stepmother's coughing had calmed down enough that I wasn't worried about having to call 911 for her anymore, so I went back to the kitchen to see what my father was up to. I had never seen him look so frazzled! He had the same look on his face that I often get when my kiddo is really sick or gets hurt. He wanted so badly to make her feel better and he was trying the best he could. When I found him, he was standing at the kitchen counter trying to assemble some machine he had gotten from an unlabeled black bag out in the garage. I told him that my stepmom was feeling better and that the attack was subsiding. His relief was evident and it seemed like he was finally able to take a real breath now that the emergency had passed. I finally took a look at what it was he was trying to assemble in front of him, and I'm pretty sure I looked at him with a VERY confused expression on my face. (Also, I was trying not to burst out laughing, as that would have been completely inappropriate given the severity of the situation just a few minutes prior...but it definitely makes me laugh now as I am writing this!) He huffed out a breath and set the plastic pieces he was holding in his hands down on the counter. "Good", he said, "because I can't figure out how to put this thing together!" I looked him straight in the face, eyes full of mirth, and responded, "That's okay, Dad...I don't think my old breast pump would've helped her much in this situation anyway..."
Congratulations to my parents on their 10th anniversary!!
When my daughter saw my new haircut the other day, she was shocked. Add to that the confusion of an earring being in her mother's nose, and I think her brain was a little fried...
Munchkin: "MOMMY! Your HAIR!! What...? How....? What happened to it??"
Me: "I cut it all off!"
Munchkin: "But what did they do with it?"
Me: "What do you mean?"
Munchkin: "What are they going to do with the parts they cut off?"
Me: "I don't think they want to keep my old, frizzy hair...they just throw it in the trash."
Munchkin: "Maybe they'll use it!"
Me: "Um...what do you think they'd use it for?"
Munchkin (completely matter-of-fact): "To make birds' nests!"
I'm definitely going to recommend this option to my hairdresser next time I go in.
Love the things my daughter comes up with sometimes!
Today I got my nose pierced.(!!!)
After I got my yearly haircut/dye this morning, I loved my new look so much that I finally allowed myself to put that hole in my face I've been wanting for so long.
The guy that took me back was COVERED in tattoos - head to toe. Seriously, he had a ton of them all over his face, as well as about 10 separate piercings from forehead to chin. This may be offputting for some, but to me it just meant that this guy obviously had experience with what he was about to do to me. I was immediately happy that I had chosen this place to get my piercing done.
As I sat in the chair, the guy with the mohawk that had helped me at the front desk came in. I figured he was just giving the piercer some paperwork for his next client. Then he started putting on gloves and positioned himself next to me with this serious, concentrated look on his face.
I immediately recognized his expression. I've seen it oh-so-many times.
It was that, "Oh, crap, please don't let her be a biter..." look.
I burst out laughing and both men turned to stare at me like I was insane. I collected myself and looked at Mr. Mohawk.
"You're here in case I need to be restrained, aren't you?" I asked.
They both looked at eachother and then back at me.
Mohawk: "Pretty much!"
Oh, the things that you notice if you work on a psych ward...
In our line of work, it is very easy to become stressed out, burned out, irritable, and just downright grumpy. This is something you have to quickly learn to manage if you want to make it in the psych field. If I snapped at every patient who demanded I get them what they wanted instead of asking politely, I'd be in the running for the title of bitchiest nurse in the region. I certainly don't want that!
I've learned to let most negative comments roll off my back like water on a duck. (Sure, there are plenty of times I go home to my husband and whine about how it seems like people aren't taught appropriate manners these days and how it seems like pleases and thank yous are very few and far between.) I do remind people that although I am happy to help them out with whatever it is they need, I am not their personal assistant and there are other patients on the floor who require my attention as well. Sometimes all they need is a reminder that I understand that they are going through a difficult time, but they are still expected to be respectful of others on the unit - staff and patients included. Sometimes they are so sick that this goes right over their head. Can't blame me for trying!
In my years as both a nursing student and a licensed RN, I've seen staff burnout rear its ugly head. I've seen call bells being ignored because the patient was known for being "needy" and it was assumed that whatever they wanted now could not possibly be urgent. (What if that time it actually was urgent, though?) I've seen staff goaded into arguments with patients who are irritable and just looking to pick a fight with the first person they see. I've seen a lot of ugly things that made me wonder why people chose to work in the psych field if it makes them so miserable to be around.
Here's a word of advice to anyone who is thinking about working in psych - if a patient is exceptionally rude, negative, or just plain hateful...don't take it personally. For myself, I know that when I am sick with a bug, or haven't gotten enough sleep, I can be a little extra snippy. These people are patients for a reason! They are going through an incredibly difficult time in their lives and they don't feel well. In fact, some of them feel so bad that they would rather be dead. Do you really think they are going to spend their practically nonexistent energy trying to make you feel better? If you had just lost your house, your job, your spouse, your kids, and half of your real teeth, do you think you'd be concerned with boosting the ego of the person whose job it is to help you?
I didn't think so.
I'm fortunate enough to work with great people who understand this and don't get overly upset when patients lash out at them. They calmly remind the patient that they are here to help, but that it is easier to understand them if they are calm and controlled instead of shouting in their face. The majority of the time, that seems to work. And if not....dude, you can't win them all! Some people are just born cranky.
I suggest you accept this and move on, or you're just setting yourself up to be miserable. "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." And if you want a job that is mostly sunshine and roses, work in maternity, not a psych ward! You can't seriously expect a suicidal patient to put on their happy face just to appease you, can you??
So, thank you for listening to my rant. I apologize for being crabby. I'd appreciate any constructive criticism if you don't agree with anything I post on here!
After joining the gym, I felt like I had actually accomplished something. I was in no shape to use the gym that day (having started the day in a bad mood I of course chain-smoked quite a few cigarettes in a short period of time and was seriously lacking sufficient oxygen...) I left feeling pretty good about myself....but still really antsy. Lucky for me, Best Buy was now open!!! I drove straight across the street and eagerly entered the store, excited to finally be able to buy something with the extra money I had from working over the holidays.
Initially, the plan was to buy a CD player for my car. My car tends to be the go-to when we have to drive long distances, or to pretty much go anywhere other than straight to work and back home again. It would be really nice to have a CD player in it for when we drive up to my mother's alpaca farm (check it outtt!!) on the giant mountain in northern NH. We always lose radio reception when we drive up there...the last hour of the drive is spent listening to the random gospel stations we pick up along the way. Or the theme to Deliverance playing over and over again in your brain. (Duh nuh nah nuh nah nuh nah nuh...) (Love you, Muddah!)
I was very disappointed to find out that they couldn't put the player in at that very moment. (I was definitely looking for instant gratification that day.) When the guy told me to come back later in the week when they were less busy, I lost interest in that idea. So, I moved on to the TV section! I checked out the smaller flat screens that were on sale, picked a decent-sized one for our bedroom, walked over to the next isle, picked a Blu-ray to go with it, and practically skipped over to the checkout counter to complete my purchase. The guy at the counter was looking at me like I must have escaped from the local psych ward. (I suppose technically I had, if you count the fact that I had gotten off work just a few hours earlier.) He had been watching me talk to the guy in the car stereo department right before this and was probably thinking I was going on a shopping spree with a stolen credit card with the way I was so eager to throw money around. Either way, he clearly decided the commission he was going to make off of this loon was reason enough to ignore the warning bells going off in his mind. I paid for my loot and was finally ready to head home.
The hubby was not all that pleased with the fact that I had bought a new TV and DVD player on impulse, but he couldn't really say much about it. He was the one who went grocery shopping one day and came home with our BIG TV that's in the living room...and he was the one who went to CVS and somehow managed to find a store that sold PS3s during that 5 minute ride. The one thing he could lecture me about was the fact that these wonderful, shiny, brand-new electronics I bought have 3-pronged plugs. We have 2-pronged outlets in our bedroom. Oops! We apparently cannot use adapters in these outlets because the house we live in is a little older and needs to be completely rewired, new circuit board and all. (Something about the house burning down, blah blah blah...)
How am I supposed to know these things???
No worries, I fixed this by adding "Electrician" to our to-do list in the kitchen. We should be able to afford one in a few months once I replace the money I used to buy the new TV.
Hubby, "I always feel like I'm getting undressed in front of a construction site when you're here."
Hubby, "I just feel lke you're going to start whistling at me any second!"
Apparently the fact that I haven't gotten any QT with him has been a little too evident in my expressions lately...HAH!
Love you, Dear.
I started the other morning in a very grumpy mood. There wasn't one specific thing that set me off, it was just a general feeling of irritation aimed at no one in particular - everyone got to feel a little of my wrath. It had actually been a good night at work! When I got home, I didn't feel much like sitting around the house and quietly waiting for everyone to wake up. I figured I'd take a drive and see if I could do some retail therapy to improve my crappy mood.
See, I happen to think shopping can be healthy coping skill! (As long as you aren't using your mortgage payment to pay for a bunch of machines that chop up food in different ways on HSN, it's not an issue!) The only problem with my otherwise brilliant plan was that it was only 8:30am. On a Saturday. I drove around for a full 30 minutes until I finally gave up and pulled into the only store I could find open. I quickly found out that grocery shopping does not work the same as buying a new hoodie from Hollister for me. So I hopped back into the car and started to look for other options. I initially ended up in the Best Buy parking lot and was planning on waiting in the car until the store opened 30 minutes later. While I sat there, I noticed a bunch of cars in the shopping plaza across the street. I scanned the strip mall, trying to figure out where all of these people were congregated so early on a weekend morning. It was a gym! I took that as a sign from the cosmos and promptly went over there to sign myself up. (HEL-LO! Big New Year's resolution, remember?!)
The guy at the desk was rambling on about all of the different reasons as to why I should get a membership there. I stood there, nodding politely as he talked and talked and talked about how they have 20 tredmills (!!) and showers in the locker rooms (!!) and 10 flat screens with a variety of reality tv options (Jersey Shore and Real Housewives at the same time?! Sign me up, dude!) Seriously, though...this poor guy didn't seem to realize that he was wasting his time with all of this talking. I knew I wanted to join the gym before I had walked in the door - I didn't need all of the extra convincing.
I think my favorite part of this whole experience was the part where one of the members came up to the desk to complain about being kicked off of her machine because it was a part of the "circuit" and per the rules of the gym (which the lady and I both found out at the same time are posted in 4 separate areas in giant lettering on the walls) if someone's doing a "circuit", they have first dibs on the machines in the "yellow area." This woman didn't care about these rules everyone else had to abide by. In fact, her only response when the desk guy calmly explained this to her was, "Yeah, I see the rules. So what? It's because I'm black, isn't it?" The guy at the desk turned all red and kept assuring her that this was not a race issue, they asked the same thing of every member. She eventually stormed out the door ranting and raving about how they weren't going to get her $10/month anymore. Lady...I'm sure they're all broken up about it! Once she was gone, I finally got to pay my startup fee and left. I hadn't even used the gym, yet I already felt healthier...osmosis, maybe??
........to be continued!......... (I'd finish now, but I am busy watching World's Dumbest something-or-other on TruTV.)
Mother and wife by day, psych RN by night. So many different ways to view life. I try to take everything in and be very slow to judge.