What is wrong with me????

  1. ...........that I can't seem to make decisions? I mean, seriously. Is it some sort of chemical imbalance or is it some inherited mutant gene or something. I'd really love to know! Is this my personality forever. Dysthmia or something? Am I just an overthinker. I mean, what?


    I want to know if anyone else has this problem. And I mean not just having a hard time making up your mind, but I mean SEVERE vascilation in coming up with an important decision, vascilation that NEVER ENDS.

    I have to decide now whether I want to go ahead and continue Nursing School in the Spring. Those of you that know my story (how could you not?:deadhorse ), know how much I struggled with whether nursing was (is?) right for me. First I said, "Well, I'll never know till I try". Halfway thru the semester, I acknowleged that I loved learning and feeling like I was doing something worthy but mostly wanted to hide in the SPD closet all during clinical. There were many tear soaked Thursday nights writing careplans till the wee hours where I swore I was just going to drop out and do something else. I would be 100% confident that that was the right thing to do at 12 am. Then, I would wake up, get to school (griping or crying the whole way), and by the end of the day, think, "Maybe I can do this. Maybe it is not so bad". I would feel like everyone else... until the next week, when the whole cycle would repeat itself!!! But am I EXCITED to start an IV or do a dressing change?? Not in the slightest! Do I think it is interesting to learn what happens to the body in COPD??:1luvu: Oh yeah!!

    But now, just like the beginning of LAST semester, I say, "Ok. Maybe I COULD do this, but do I WANT to do this??" WANT being the operative word. Again, just like last semester, I can't answer (or am afraid to answer?). I told myself I would be able to tell after semester 1, but I still can't. I don't really like the hands on of nursing but I think I would feel very much like a failure if I quit school. I feel like maybe something in nursing could be for me, I just don't know it yet? I feel like "what if I am giving up the opportunity of my lifetime??" My sister thinks I want to be a personal trainer deep down and thinks allow myself to admit that, quit school, and "do what I love". But I wonder if that person is even me anymore. She thinks I am pursuing this nursing degree for everyone else but myself.

    No offense to trainers here, but I feel like if I were to stop now and go into training that I will have failed. I almost feel like that in order to be termed a "success" in life I have to make over $20.00/hr consistently. Then I get to thinking about the other people in NS with me and think, "They aren't any better than me" but then I still wonder what the heck I am doing when I smell feces again for the millionth time that day. I don't get warm fuzzies from helping people. No, I just get more and more depressed from seeing sick people all day in and all day out every day. Now I am working in the hospital and with my dad's recent diagnosis..........well, it seems I can't get away from all of it! Uck! Everyone is SICK SICK SICK. I want to be around people that are relatively healthy and want to get healthier or stronger.

    You know, it is like I have a little angel and a little devil on my shoulders all the time but neither ever wins out. It is just a constant argument. They argue about school, about having kids...anything more important than what is for dinner. I go to therapy and get on meds...nope, that didn't help......I talk to people at school.......nope, they can't relate....talk to my husband.....he has no advice, can't relate. Talk to my family......they say "you gotta do what is right for you"..........BUT WHY CAN'T I DECIDE ANYTHING FOR SURE, MAKE IT HAPPEN, AND FEEL CONFIDENT IN MY DECISIONS??? I have got to decide about school NOW. I have a thousand dollar bill that has to be paid!! I pushed snooze on my alarm today........swore I shouldn't go to school...just drop out....cried all the way there (over various things I am sure)........but stayed. And felt better when the day was over. Not about my decision to go to school, but about the fact that I am still here. I pushed through one more day. Yeah me.

    I mean, I think about this crap so much that it literally consumes me. I buy self help books to try and "fix" myself. I wonder what happened to the old me that just knew I was screwed up from childhood but wasn't consumed with dysfunction. Back then I wanted to workout, I wanted to be healthy, but I guess was never truly "happy" either. Now, I just wonder what it all is for....why bother?

    Should I flip a coin????? I am seriously about ready to, LOL. Oh..............I know! I could make it into an allnurses poll?? Aww, c'mon... Do you guys want to decide for me????? Ok....should I have kids and should I continue on in nursing school are the subjects up for debate...LOL....Can I make hiding under the sheets curled into the fetal position for the rest of my life an option? Pretty please?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Jessy_RN
    You need to get away from your current stress and have some time to yourself to sort things out. You are having mixed feelings, and you shouldn' make a hurried decision just yet.

    Ask all the questions you need to. You are right! You won't know until you try it for sure. Don't go into things with a fear, rather go at it with a positive attitude and outlook.

    By when does your decision need to be in?

    Good luck in whatever you decide
  4. by   NurseDaddy2006
    I've been there, and felt all of that. Very often.

    You are not alone. I've been that STRESSED OUT for a while.

    Take a little time to do something for you that is not related to school, get your head cleared a little, and then look at all you've done to get to this point. Pull out all your passing papers. Scan your grades. Reinforce that you're capable. Think about any of the nice comments any of your patients may have made about the care you provided.

    One day in clinical my instructor decided to give me 3 patients. One in one room on one side of the unit, and two in another room on the other side of a unit. One patient was a dear old man who just wanted to talk. In the two patient room was a young man from Equador who came to this country to work and send money home to support his family, but suffered a stroke and was very angry about his situation. He'd fling feces at the staff. He'd spit, fight his meds, and soil his bed right after you changed it, with a smile because he'd managed to excert control by holding it in while you cleaned, only to let 'er rip after you were done. Bed two in that room was a man in Halo traction who'd suffered a hangman's fracture.

    I did my best to take care of my three patients, the most I'd ever had, and it was a challenge. The whole time I was telling myself "I cant do this. I dont want to do this" over and over. At post-conference, my professor told everyone about MY day, and that the staff had told her I'd done a great job. I did not believe it for a second.

    Then the next day, in the shower, I was standing there with the water running over me and I remembered what my two communicative patients had told me. They were appreciative of the care I provided, and I realized at that point that I can do this, and that I want to do this.

    I still have days where I question the whole thing, but with all the effort I've put into it to date, I know I would not be able to live with myself if I gave up now. Besides, do you know how many people I've told??

    I'd never live it down.

    Seriously though, you have to realize that you've got it in you, and that you can get through it, but do it for you. Do it for what you envision your future to be. Do it because once you're done with school, you will have many options, and if you get out there and get working and decide to pursue training, you'll be able to do that too.

    But first relax and regroup. Decompress. Your anxiety level is too high for you to function effectively. But that's just my 2 cents.

    ND
  5. by   studentdeb
    First of all I am not a nurse nor a nursing student any longer, but I know exactly what you are talking about. I went round and round with my decision to go or not to go to nursing school. I took all the pre-reqs, got accepted into the program several times, started one semester, but gave it up each time.

    At least you have been plugging along and doing it, that's more than I did so I will always wonder.

    I am horrible at making decisions especially when it came to nursing, I ask everyone what they think hoping it will help, but for me it never did. I finally decided to get a job in a hospital and it helped alot. I learned I didn't want to do nursing, but even after that I still wonder.

    I did finally get a job working for Social Security and it's a good job, has good benefits (flextime and good vacation and sick benefits), pay is decent (not as much as nursing), but that's ok. I finally came to terms with myself that I liked the field of nursing, but I didn't want to do the hands on stuff, I didn't enjoy the smells of the hospital and knew I wouldn't be able to do it in the long run.

    I still visit this board and enjoy reading the posts and still post occassionally.

    I still question my decision. thats probably why I visit this board often, still think about going to school, and even this semester wondered if I would get another acceptance letter (I had reapplied in January because I wasn't sure still) but didn't get a letter so that was good.

    I guess for some of us decision making is very hard and we second guess ourselves everyday, I did it over and over every single day, but it's ok, just try to follow your heart. Take some time for yourself and see where it takes you. If you don't enjoy being around sick people all the time, then you need to rethink the whole nursing thing.

    For now, staying in the government is the plan, I already have 15 years so I want to build more time towards retirement but will continue with school to obtain my bachelor's degree. Not sure yet, Social work possibly or I might do the Business route since that will help in the future for promotions.

    My niece graduated from nursing school in May and is working in the area she wanted and she seems to like it, but honestly I wonder because she is working PRN and will not work but 1 or 2 days a week. Then when she has to work, she complains about it, but states she is ok once she gets there. I sometime think she went into it for the money.

    Don't be so hard on yourself, but I guess you will have to make that decision soon before spring semester. Do what is good for you and what you really want to do.

    Good luck in what ever you decide. Sorry I am not much help, but wanted to let you know that you are not alone regarding decision making.

    Take care

    Debi
  6. by   aaac
    I can understand what you are going through. I am a nurse and always thought I wanted to be one. I realize that I am not much for bedside nursing. I do case management now, which I do like because I am able to still be involved in medicine, which I enjoy. Truthfully, I should have been a detective. But anyway, I think you should make a list of all of the reasons you believe you want to be a nurse and all of the reason that you don't. If your reasons to not be one heavily outway the reasons to be one then maybe you have your answer. Consider volunteering at the hospital and get a better feel on what nursing is all about or if you are able to get a job as a nursing assistant. When I did floor nursing, I felt like a glorified waitress. I was tired of being around sick people as well. But, do know, that there are areas that you can do where you are not dealing really with sick people or at least for very long. You could be a surgical nurse where you manage the operating room, you could do recovery room, you could do endoscopy where you are giving meds during procedures, you could do mother/baby, which is mothers after they deliver. I do not believe that they are really sick. You could do telemetry. They may be sick but they can do a lot for themselves and probably not going to deal with a lot of gross stuff. You could do office nursing. There are a lot of options. If you like being a trainer then maybe you should consider being a physical therapist. They make good money as well. There are many options in nursing. But, if I had did it again, I might have been a doctor or a detective. DO not do it for other people. You really need to look at what do you like about nursing and what do you not like about nursing. If the bad outway the good, then you should have your answer. IF there are certains things that you like about it, then consider if there is other careers that match the things you enjoy in nursing.

    DO not worry, I am a nurse and still battle today on what I should do. I can not make a decision either and battle my own demons regarding what path to take in nursing. I often tell myself that I need to either sh#@! or get off of the pot. If you are really depressed try to find out what is really driving your depression. Feeling of making the wrong decision and failure drives my anxiety which goes along with perfectionism (thanks, mom!). I would try to get your mood stabilized (possibly antidepressants) before making a decision because you are not likely thinking rationally if you are depressed. Hope this helps!
    Last edit by aaac on Dec 10, '05
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I am a nurse too and a case manager as the above poster is. However, I realized that I like taking care of patients so am pursuing returning to that. However, making decisions is part of life, not just nursing. Perhaps you can't make decisions because you are too stressed and sleep-deprived. I know when I don't get enough sleep, even simple decisions are difficult. With XMas break here for us students, try to take a day or so (or longer if possible) where you do nothing but come to some kind of decision.
  8. by   sun_chica
    you're not alone!!!

    I've been a nurse for 1.5yrs, ever since 3rd semester of nursing school I was ready to leave nursing school... I hated it!!! To this day, I think I only finished to give a big f*-you to my professors - they were out to see you fail... not supportive by any means. My husband is the only reason I finished, I was so close & figured "it must get better after I graduate"... well... I truly hated nursing for the first year & several months... the past month or two have been slightly better.

    The only advice I'd offer is to sit down, make a list of possible career choices you think you'd like to do, list the schools, degree, cost, time commitment, salary after graduation, pros & cons of each profession. I did this for myself & feel much better that I know what I want to do! Don't get me wrong, some days I try to rationalize staying in the nursing field, but then I go to work, or read some of the stories on this board & I can't wait to get out. My hubby is done school this May, I hope to go PT this fall or weekend program, so I can return to school & complete a degree in conservation & wildlife management.

    I found that I love animals, fitness/health/nutrition, science/business. I've talked to family, friends & my poor hubby is sick of talking about my career, but he's still supportive. I'll definetely be making life alittle harder for myself by returning to school... increasing my student loans by $30k, starting at a lower salary w/ my new degree, delaying having children another year or 2; but that's all ok... the end goal is that I will hopefully find more enjoyment in my work & actually like going to work.... it's no fun to dread going to work!

    Also, keep in mind that many other professions may start you out at a lower salary, but often will have graduated raises & more progression, & could surpass your nursing salary (nursing can offer this if you advance your degree).

    Best of luck to you:icon_hug:
  9. by   Curious1alwys
    SunChica! Hey! We are cut from the same cloth!!:roll


    I have an appt with an advisor for advisement on an Exercise and Wellness bachelors degree. If I had to pick one thing that I find the MOST interesting, money aside..opportunity aside, it would be this. So............I am off to see if that is the route I should go. It is the same campus that I would of had to go to many years back to finish my nutrition degree, so if EXW doesn't work out then I can see if I want to go back to nutrition. I am still VERY torn, constantly worrying if dropping out is the right thing. But, if it isn't, I can always go back after a semester of being out. We'll see.


    I think you have to follow your dreams. I got a good job in the hospital recently doing registration and so far seem to like it. Atleast money is not so tight now. The university will cost much more, but atleast I'll get a bachelors and won't just end up with two Associates (that was what was going to happen in nursing school). I talked with my nursing instructor and while she did not tell me what to do, she helped me a lot.

    I'll let you know what happens! Oh............and my hubby is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tired of hearing me whine about my professional woes as well. It's horrible.:roll

    Take care!!!:icon_hug:
  10. by   sun_chica
    thrashej...

    nice to hear I'm not alone. It's kinda funny, I just had arthroscopic sx done on my knee so I was off work for 2 1/2 weeks... I would love to stay home & get a PT job for fun!

    But, back to reality... I think it's funny, I was considering fitness training/kinesiology/sports med/gym teacher or the animal route, I've even considered nutritionalist. Some of the programs would be another 3-5yrs of schooling & clinicals. I love fitness & health myself

    While I was recovering I was torn about going back to school, for 2 reasons: 1) another $30,000 in student loans (+ the add'l $6,500 from nursing school, then my hubby's $17,000) - ugh! 2) I went into nursing b/c I wanted to work in the ED, then a while back decided no longer wanted ED. then I was involved in a code recently & my itch is back (lil' bit). so I'm trying to transfer to the ED, a last chance before I give it up on nursing. I'm scheduled to begin school in the fall, so hopefully the ED position comes together & I figure out once & for all what direction i'm going. So frustrating & exhausting, but once you decide (once again) on a plan the stress melts away!

    I'll keep you posted, good luck to you:icon_hug:
  11. by   VivaLasViejas
    Just for the record, you don't have to be a nursing student, or even young, to have trouble making decisions. I'm in the middle of a similar dilemma as we speak......an almost 47-year-old grandmother who doesn't know YET what she wants to be when she grows up. I've been a nurse for 8 1/2 years, and I've already had several career changes within the profession itself (from med/surg nurse to long-term care to management to assisted living and back to med/surg again) and STILL haven't found my niche.......of course, I find myself occasionally wondering if I'm even cut out to be a nurse, but then I listen to my heart of hearts, and it tells me I was born to be one.......I just need to find out what kind of nursing is best for me.

    So the journey continues.......and sooner or later, we all learn that it's the journey itself, not the destination, that matters. There is no "there" there......what suits one at a given time in life may become completely UNsuitable later, and change once again becomes inevitable. Get used to it, my friend, because that's the way it's going to be throughout your life. If you can learn to be comfortable with discomfort, and trust in what your heart and mind---not your friends, not your instructors, not even your family---tell you to do, someday you'll find out where you need to be.

    Just know that you have a lot of company, and that it's OK to be undecided......don't be so hard on yourself.
  12. by   PedsER-RN
    I've been out of school for almost 2 years now and believe me when I say most nursing students have felt the same or similar to what you're feeling now. The third week of my second semester I came SO CLOSE to saying 'forget it' and quitting. I was sick of staying up until 3 AM working on care maps and looking up drugs and learning pathos and then waking up two hours later just to go to the hospital, try to regurgitate everything back to my instructor, and then go deal with grumpy nurses and being put on butt wiping duty. But, my point is, nursing isn't like nursing school. Sure, you still have to know your pathos, look up drugs, deal with grumpy people, and do the nasty stuff. But you also gain autonomy, respect, and you learn that 'hey-I can do this'. I was at work once and was having a crappy night and as I went to discharge one of my patients (I work in a pedi ER), he handed me a piece of green notebook paper with scribbles all over it. It was a thank you note he had written me. A year later I still have that note in my day planner and it reminds me every day why I do what I do. There are going to be negative aspects in any job but for me the good in nursing far outweighs the bad.
    Good Luck!!!
  13. by   leslie :-D
    oh boy, i would never want to be back in nsg school.
    my anxiety levels were off the charts, my confidence at an all time low.
    i dreaded clinicals and never felt good when the day was over, just relief.
    even though i never had any problems, the anxiety reeked havoc on my mind and body.
    i finally went to my doctor who put me on an ssri and also prn ativan.
    the prozac helped me with my anxiety levels tremendously.
    i could think more clearly, became more confident and relaxed, and gained much more insight re: my choice of nsg as a profession to pursue.
    i had always vascillated between being a nurse or an attorney.
    even though we all have our days from hell, i personally love nsg and have no regrets.
    but it took an antidepressant (that had anxiolytic properties) to help me make the right decision.
    perhaps a visit to your pcp might prove beneficial.

    wishing you everything good.

    leslie
  14. by   timster1984
    I can definitely agree with everyone that anxiety or indecision is unique to nursing students or abnormal, I think from all walks of life people are going to deal with that since it's uncertainty of change that always makes someone pause before they do something that they haven't before. We all wonder about whether our next decision will be good or bad, regardless of what that decision is for. Hell, I'm going through the same thing myself, and I'm not even the student of what I'm shooting for, just pre-medical right now. I can't decide on nursing, medical transcription or something else as a backup plan in case the medical schools say no or whether I should even have the mindset of needing a backup plan to begin with.

    Follow your heart and like everyone says, take some time off, relax and just think about it. In anything, you have to weigh the pros and cons against each other and decide whether the cons are worth the pros. There may even be twenty cons to one pro, but as long as that pro is really worth it, then that should be your answer...just remember that anything worth having doesn't come easy, ya have to fight for it. I wish you the best of luck.

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