Monday, August 13, 2012


Of course day shifts this week mean that I get hit with a wave of anxiety that was completely uncontrollable. I I knew as I was staring at the clock at 330 am with only two hours to go before my alarm was to wake me up for my day, that I should have stayed home. I knew actually at 10pm last night that I should be staying home. I know my body. I know how well I work under those circumstances. All of that means nothing when people are looking at you like you're coming up with any excuse to not go to work. Even the people that you work with, whom also work with people who have mental illness, seem to judge all to harshly. You'd think that a group of people that work with the sickest of the mentally ill, would be more understanding. They aren't.

I say that as a blanket statement because I am just too scared to talk to my manager about getting modified to be on night shifts only. The same anxiety that prevents me from going to work, also prevents me from staying home. It's very difficult. I am very afraid of being fired, but at the same time going to work sick, and dizzy, and exhausted from panic attacks, makes me a not so great nurse. The only up side is the chance of me making a mistake that will kill someone is lessened by being on this floor. It's not gone though which is a big problem.

My wish is that people didn't look at me as though I was making everything up because I'm able to cope just slightly better than the people admitted to the unit. I know I say it all the time, but I really do wish that anxiety was viewed as a real illness not just one of those ones that people make up. Or better still, not an excuse that people who are lazy use.

You don't have to understand it, but it is important that people start to realize that it isn't as simple as just "doing the job anyway". It isn't as simple as "get the fuck out of the house". It isn't as simple as understanding that "you're strong enough". All of those phrases, even the well meaning ones, are degrading. Stating something like that means that you aren't taking it seriously. Stating something like that means that you aren't listening. It hurts.

Smarten up.

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