Hello frematus! You've asked a pretty broad question here! But here goes...
As the name implies, I work OB now. But I worked (for about a year) prior to this at a 6 week inpatient drug & alcohol treatment facility for women. I can't figure out why, but I've always been fascinated with addiction and the recovery process. It was a job that I honestly loved. It was, however, extremely emotionally draining! Now when I get home from work I feel physical pain, my feet ache, my back hurts, etc. At that job, when the day was over, it was my head and my heart that ached. The things that I saw and the stories that I heard still send chills up my spine to this day. But I remember all of their names, and see them occasionally here and there. I sleep at night because I know that, whether their treatment was successful or not, I was there for them for 6 weeks.
Another important thing about that job was the lessons it taught me about judgement. Just when I was at the end of my rope with "all these junkies" (no backlash please! We all have lapses in sanity and get a little jaded!) in would walk the new patient who looked just like my little old lady kindergarten teacher. It really makes you sit back and realize that THIS CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE! Then there were times that I was sitting around having a friendly conversation with someone that, if I passed them on the street, I might fear for my safety. There is a realizaton, for why or what I can't explain, that occurs when you look around you and see that you are the only white person (and a female to boot) at an inner city narcotics anonymous meeting, but yet you've never felt more welcome or belonging anywhere in your life. The people who are really working the program are the warmest, most open, welcoming people I may have ever met. The meetings are hard to describe. When they're good, they're good. When they're bad, they're bad. But no one walks out of them alone.
That year was a great year that really brought me full circle in my life. I had been in a "recovery" of my own, from eating disorders, for a few years when I got that job. While I couldn't empathize with their substance abuse, I knew the pain of not liking yourself, wanting to hurt yourself. But I also know the joy of finding myself again, and actually enjoying this person that I have become. I hope I was able to share that with them, because they shared so much with me and taught me more can they could ever imagine.
So, I eventually got an offer from my true love, OB. It was a days position at a big hospital that I couldn't pass up. I did the D&A thing per diem for about 6 months, but it eventually got to be too much. The commute was a good one (45 min) and my husband was beginning to worry about my safety. But not a day goes by that I don't miss it, or wonder about my girls...
I didn't mean to ramble on, as you can see it's late and I'm getting a little slap happy! I apologize in advance for any spelling
errors, but I don't feel like proof reading tonight!