Life is hard and things are shitty sometimes
Life is hard and things are shitty sometimes. That seems obvious, but I think it's important to acknowledge it. Say it with me: Life is hard and things are shitty sometimes.
Lately I find myself pretending everything is okay when it isn't. This is bad. It's unhealthy and it's becoming a pattern. And I don't think this is a problem that is unique to me, I think this is something we all do- we put on a brave face and power through.
It seems easier to power through. Feelings are messy and no one likes a mess.
A couple of days ago a patient that I had become invested in died. I say invested, instead of liked or knew because he was already comatose when he became my patient. He had no family. He was dirty and his story (what little we knew of it) was sad. But he was a fighter. Every day for a week or so when I checked on his progress he would have invariably pulled himself a little further out of death's grasp. Until the day that he didn't. He died over a weekend when I wasn't even at the hospital. And that made me sad, heartbroken a little. There I was, feeling deeply sad for this man I had never even spoken too. That made me feel a little crazy- who was I to grieve for a man I didn't know? So I tucked that sadness away and moved on. I decided to power through.
This worked for approximately two days. Then I lost it. All the feelings I had been bottling up broke out of their carefully crafted cage and engulfed me. I was drowning on all the emotions I had suppressed for who knows how long. The patient who died was just the catalyst. I cried and cried some more. I called my mother and cried to her. I cried her out. I called my sister and cried some more. I cried until I felt like I had released some of that feelings-pressure-build-up.
But that's not healthy. I know better. We have to talk about the shitty things, the hard things, the ugly things. Talking about them won't fix them, but it will make them less bad. Don't hold it all in. Don't isolate yourself.
Remember: Life is hard and things are shitty sometimes for all of us
Release the pressure. Make a mess. Cry it out. Talk about it. Share the burden.