You are all very dear to me.........thank you so much for being there for me.:kiss
I'm feeling quite a bit better this evening......had a very good first therapy session this afternoon, and I have a lot of new 'stuff' to think about. Right away, I learned that I haven't been taking care of me for a very long time.......perhaps never, at least not in the way I should if I want to be around to see my grandchildren grow up. He also said something that slapped me upside the head so hard that I made him repeat it, twice: "A problem is nothing more---and nothing less---than a failed solution".
Well, to say that I'd never looked at it that way would be an understatement; but when I thought about it, it made all sorts of sense. I mean, what ELSE have I been doing when I self-medicate with sweets? Sure, it makes me feel better for a brief time when I'm having a bad day, but later I feel gross and overstuffed, and it adds more and more weight, which is the root of a lot of my physical problems, and thus creates a vicious circle.......a failed solution.
I also realize now that self-medicating is EXACTLY what I've been doing for most of my life: it's no different than drinking like a fish, smoking like a chimney, doing speed, or toking away on a joint---all things I've done in the past. And hey, why not? Food is legal, it's socially acceptable, it's always available, and it doesn't give you cancer or make you smell or turn you into a dropout.
Trouble is, it doesn't solve anything, and indeed creates other problems, as has been made abundantly clear to me through the aches and pains, the high blood pressure, the groaning of my poor abused joints whenever I get out of a chair or climb stairs, the bad digestion, the depressed moods. It's no different from how I used to behave whenever I went on one of my six-month-long benders: I've got the stinkin' thinkin', I've got a crappy attitude, I'm stressed, I'm anxious, I'm totally down on myself........all the ingredients for a world-class dry drunk. The only thing I'm NOT doing wrong is actually consuming alcohol........no, I get to feel virtuous by staying sober all the while I'm systematically destroying my body with a knife and fork.:stone
What I'm going to actually DO about all of this remains to be seen; I guess that's why you're supposed to go to therapy more than once.
But this is an enormous breakthrough........just tonight, I've caught myself reaching for the peanut brittle twice, only to stop myself by asking if I really wanted it or if I was just trying to soothe my lingering embarrassment over my crying jag in the boss's office this morning. What is it they say about a journey of a thousand miles........?
Speaking of which, I got enough courage from my therapy session to go to the meeting at work that I've been dreading for a month, the so-called "debriefing" about a patient I talked about here awhile back, the one with the controlling husband who treated us all like dirt, the one who went bad on me while I was dealing with 4 other patients and a fresh post-op who was acting like a drama queen. Seems the lady passed on a couple of weeks ago, and if her thundercloud of a spouse isn't planning to sue us, I'll eat my employee badge. (The actual death happened at our flagship hospital, where she'd been transferred after our 'mishandling' of her care.......where her WBC count went from 25 to 45 to 69, where she was put through every test under the sun, where massive sepsis overwhelmed her bad heart, bad gut, and bad lungs.)
Anyway, I said some things at that meeting that I should have said weeks ago when the assistant department manager reamed me a new anal orifice for 'neglecting' a patient in whose room I spent three and a half hours of a four-hour shift. When my NM said we are supposed to call in the managers if we become overwhelmed with patients who are crashing or otherwise needing heavy care, I told her the truth: "I HAVE gone up the chain of command, but I have been told---on more than one occasion
---to suck it up and just do it".
You could have heard snow falling in the room, it was that quiet......other nurses were nodding silently, and the managers all sat there with their mouths hanging open. The NM said finally, "well, I personally have never told anyone to 'suck it up', but......" Which is true, she's never told me that, but I HAVE heard it from the ADMs, the house super, and even the staffing coordinator, so after a while I just learned to shut up so I wouldn't be labeled a whiner.
The NM then told everyone in the room that if we EVER are overwhelmed and need help, we are to persist in getting that help, even if we piss off somebody in the process, because patient care is the ultimate priority.......even if we have to call in the VP of Nursing Services herself. I said, "OK---I will hold you to that". And I will........I'm not going through this sort of thing again and getting hung out to dry like I have in the past.:angryfire
But then, I'm not going to be in Med/Surg any longer than I need to in order to keep food on the table until I can find another type of job. That's another thing I was made to understand today.......this kind of nursing sucks the life out of me, and I can't possibly take good care of my patients if my strength is so sapped that I have nothing to give them. As of today I am on leave of absence; I will be in touch with my NM next Wednesday at the earliest, but at this point I feel like something's crossed over in me, that I may not be able to return at all........I have several irons in the fire already, so to speak, but I also want to spend some time with my 20-year-old who's coming home on leave next week, and to enjoy my grandson's very first Christmas on earth.
What it all boils down to is this: I've got to take things one day at a time, just like I did back in the early days of sobriety when I was so afraid of going crazy, never realizing that sanity would come only when I'd cleared the booze out of my brain and learned to deal with life on its terms.
Thank you all again, and good night.