Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Little Wing

I just caught myself.  I was about to apologize for my recent "dark" posts.  But I am not going to.  If you don't want to hear it....step away.  I am sure you can guess from what I have been saying lately that I have been in a pretty bad place.  And while things are very challenging with the boys, this time it has nothing to do with them.  Or life at home at all.  It's about me, and me alone.  I have been in this place for over a year now, and I feel like I have been trying to scratch and dig myself out of this deep deep hole.  Searching for any means of guidance, any way out.  I have discovered the hard way that there are no ladders, no ropes, and no flashlights.  Just my fingernails and sheer force of will.  Sometimes I want to just stay down there- it's easier, it's familiar.  But if I stay in the hole, I can't truly be with the people I love, I can't see anything, I can't experience my life in the way I am meant to.  I have had people come along and offer to help me up....but there is something in the way.  I have finally realized what it is.  It's me.  I am in my own freaking way.  There is no one who can help me but me.

Today I broke out my Tori Amos, Fiona Apple (which my cousin said should come with a warning label- depression central), Annie Lenox.  It's funny how I can be listening to this depressing music in one moment and in the next making an outreach call to a patient and acting like Miss Mary Sunshine.  Meanwhile in the background I can still hear "These Precious Things".  While this music can be considered depressing, it's actually really comforting to me- I listened to it all through high school and college.  Anyway, I was wallowing, trying to figure out how to handle the situation I am currently in.  I always want to do the right thing.  I always want to be a "good" person.  The problem lies in the fact that there are times when there is no "right" way, or "good" thing.  When a situation is just bad all around, there is no real way to make it right, and my "helping" does no good.  I can't fix it!  It's something I have struggled with for a long time.  I am a nurse through and through.  Some people learn compassion from being a nurse, others become nurses because they are compassionate.  I would put myself in the second category.  Because this need to help and fix translates to all areas of my life.  And speaking from experience, this is a losing battle.  Some fights are not mine to fight.  Some fights have no resolution, and even if they do, I cannot be the one to bring them to that point.  The only thing I can do, the only healthy response, is to let it go.  Oh, how I wish it were that easy!  How I wish I could just snap my fingers and make it be so!

Often when I am feeling lost, I think back to my first years as a nurse.  At Hopkins.  One of my preceptors, and really my mentor for the whole time I was there was this kooky, cheerful, wild, inspirational woman who has been on our unit basically since the advent of bone marrow transplant.  All of my Hopkins people who are reading this already know exactly who I am talking about from this description.  She taught me so much. She was so loving with her patients and families, and yet seemed so easily able to transition back to her technical or leadership role.  It was seamless.  I could never achieve that.  I carried my patients' angst home with me, cried for almost every patient we lost.  And on an oncology unit, that can be pretty frequent.  I went through periods where I would attempt complete detachment....but that's not me, at all.  I became charge nurse to avoid direct care sometimes- and it helped, as did working in the outpatient clinic.  But this woman was the person I could always turn to when it all got to me.  I cried on her shoulder countless times.  And then I would turn around and ask her to help me with a procedure I wasn't familiar with.  She was amazing in both scenarios.  We had a very strong bond.  She called me her "little wing".  And I took that to heart.  I am missing her very much right now, as sadly, after I left the hospital, or at least after a few years, we slowly lost touch.  It's times like now, when I want to know where I am supposed to be, how I am supposed to handle a situation over which I have no control, that I miss her the most.  Honestly, if one of my 5B ladies is reading this, can you show it to her?  She is not exactly a techy :).  I would love to hear from her, even if it involves her putting me in a headlock or smushing my face with both of her hands.  I miss having my face smushed.  I even miss her tackling me in the hallways.  And pulling my chair out from under me and running away laughing like the lunatic she is.

This song reminds me of her every time I hear it.  Partly because it's inspirational.  Partly because despite it's inspirational lyrics, it happens to be the song that Demi Moore strips to in "Striptease".  She would love the irony of that, as do I.  I WILL come out of this.  I don't care if I lose all of my finger nails in the process.  My family needs me, my kids deserve my focus.  That is where my heart and mind need to be.  Sorry I can't be more specific on this.  It's very personal for me- but if you've been reading for awhile you know by now that if I don't write about it, I don't process it.  Thanks for listening.


  1. Something I really respect about you is how raw and honest you are with your feelings. We are human and we feel a wide range of emotions - things in life aren't always happy and the way you open up makes life feel a little more real because most people only expose what is on the surface, but we all have our struggles deep down. Never feel like you have to apologize to anyone - people read your blog because they care. We don't, or maybe I should speak for myself, but, I would never hope or expect for you to stifle those feelings. You are so strong, Jenny, and I admire you a lot for sharing your story here.

  2. Thank you my cousin! miss you

  3. I become an OT to learn how to be compassionate towards people with different disabilities. Little did I know that the real test of that started from accepting myself after I got diagnosed with AS. For the most part, I have accepted myself and have learned to be a champion of autism in OT. However, there also are instances where I wish my social blunders (though few in number) don't happen and the moments where I have anxiety levels just a tad more than I would like (which interferes my ability socially and being a competent OT).

    Like yesterday, I had to announce something to my classmates. Unlike when I was sitting down to deliver presentations or I was having casual conversations, my anxiety levels just spiked up for no reason when I stand up to do public speaking. Sure, I got most of what I wanted to say in. But, that drove me nuts in terms of the job I did there versus the job I am capable of.

  4. I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.