Last night was too much. The past few nights for that matter. At one point, during the blurry eyed hours of the morning, I turned to a co-worker (who thankfully had been helping me survive) and said, “I’m just going to get this off my chest. This shift F$*King SUCKS!”. The venting helped, along with the laughs that came with it, but today I’m feeling it. The emotional stress of it all. Seeing too many things. Dealing with too much. People’s lives. In my hands. All at once. Sometimes it can be a little bit too much.
Most nurses I know, maybe you can relate to this, have a different sort of humor. We tend to laugh at things that might seem serious to others. That might cause someone to perk up an eyebrow and wonder what the heck is wrong with us. Why? No, we’re not doing it to be cruel. We’re laughing because it’s just how we get through. It’s how we survive. If you can’t laugh on the job? You’ll get eaten alive. You’ll leave with sobbing red eyes more often than not. I’ve been there. I’ve tried that. And it didn’t work. So hence, I laugh.
Last night was different. Laughing got me through the full 12 hours, but now. Now I’m feeling it. A little off. A little somber. A little emotionally exhausted. In need of a good shoulder cry. You know, the one where you bury your head into someone’s arm and disappear. Sobbing oh so attractively. One of those. Unfortunately for me, that’s not in the cards right now. So what do I do instead? I’m taking a me-day. Instead of joining the A-team in Big White (sorry girls!), surfing on white powder and letting Albert run wild (my 3 beers in alias who is a pretty damn good time if you ask me) – I’m doing what I need. Vegging out. Taking a time out. A well, well, WELL needed time out.
When life becomes too much, it’s okay. It’s okay to take a step back and do what you have to do. Cry if you must. Eat a cookie if you will (peanut butter chocolate chip is always the best in my opinion). But no matter what, get it off your chest. Whatever you do, don’t stuff it down. Admit to yourself that it’s too much. That you need some help. That you need a time out. Sometimes, this can be the hardest part. Admitting. Admitting that no, you’re not superwoman; you’re not superman. You’ve just had too much. Talk to someone about it who understands. Or at least knows you well enough to see it from your shoes. Sometimes all it takes is to say, “I need you to listen for just a minute while I say, ‘This F$*King SUCKS!’“, and other times it may take a little more. Whatever you need, do that. There’s no point keeping all that energy in. Do what you have to do to let it out. Let yourself free. Breathe. Smile. And realize that everything is going to be okay.
Smile with your heart
P.s. If you have a friend who’s a nurse, give them a hug. They’ll DEFINITELY appreciate it. And they probably need it too. Just sayin’ :)