Learning a Life Lesson, The Hard Way

  1. For me learning to strive for balance in my life is utmost important. I didn't know this when I finished my BScN in 3 years and rushed into my first career choice.

    Learning a Life Lesson, The Hard Way

    I started out full time as a new grad in the ER department and casually on a nephrology unit. The completion of a long time goal was finally there and I was awe struck, contemplating what my next goals would be. I loved the experience, meeting new people and making a difference in people's lives.

    I felt like I was working so much that I deserved a stretcher in the ER... just for some down time. Little did I know what life had in store for me or that that while I was focusing so much on being a good nurse and doing everything the best I could other areas of my life were being sacrificed.

    My family life, health and emotional well being was suffering. I was caught in the midst of a confused circadian rhythm that couldn't figure out if it was night or day. Some nights I would be wide awake at 0400 in the morning, feeling guilty because it seemed like no one else was up at such crazy hours.

    I learned to use this odd time of the day to fulfill my passion for hope. These hours were great for working on projects and acting as an outlet for creativity. Despite the fulfilling time, I would then go to sleep, and sleep the day away. I would wake to phone calls in the morning feeling like a zombie and soon return to sleeping my exhaustion away.

    Somewhere in my first year as a RN I attended a conference called dealing with difficult people. During this event, I heard something from that conference that never left my mind: "Why is it that people you work with get the best side of you and those most important to you get the not so good side" ?

    I have contemplated this for a very long time.

    After 8 months of fulltime nursing and living tired, a terrible tragedy overcame my life. The unexpected loss of someone close to me shook my world.

    The following months were overwhelmed with sadness and unanswerable questions of 'why'.

    This turning point woke me up from what was a self chosen exhaustion and I learned to take control of my life. I learned that only I held THE POWER of CHOICE and LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO live on regrets. It was after this realization that I put those who were closest to me, FIRST, I decided to work part time in my position where I had ample opportunity to pick up shifts at my discression, I joined committees and started focusing on what is important to MY LIFE. Really, I did what needed to be done. I took my life in to my control.

    If you don't do it society or your employer will.

    It is very challenging to be a good nurse when you don't take care of yourself first.

    redpinkhe:heartbeat The overall lesson that I learned during the first year of my nursing career is that striving for balance is important, those around you love you and you must care for yourself and for them, there is always a CHOICE (even if it means thinking outside the box).
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14, '18
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    About vadushkas_nurse

    Joined: Mar '08; Posts: 17; Likes: 71
    ER RN
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Emergency

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  3. by   leslie :-D
    sounds like you have your priorities in order.
    congratulations in embracing such a valuable lesson.
    there are many who never even learn this.

  4. by   vadushkas_nurse
    Yes, it certainly is a valuable lesson I've learned. Unfortunately, lessons can't buy back time.... so all that is possible is to make a change in the future. Hopefully my story can help someone else. I always believe that trying something and making a choice is better than always wondering "what if". :heartbeat
    Thanks for your feed back
  5. by   hottyrn
    I am new to this website, but I can totally relate to you, last year my 13 year old daughter was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her left leg and had limb salvage in june of last year, now we are in houston tx for treatment because it is now in her lungs-for the past 4 years I have given 150% to my job and felt overwhelmed much of the time!!! Thanks for sharing your story!:heartbeat
  6. by   NewTexasRN
    Yeah, I can definitely understand where you are coming from. I have the same mentality to do that too, but something happened where I had to drop out of college from exhaustion. I had a problem with telling people "no" and my friends who graduated took advantage of that. Yes, you come first. A sick person can't care for a other sick person properly.

    Good Luck
  7. by   dpbrown523
    Cancer sure changes one's perspective on life...
  8. by   furbie
    I share the same views you have. I hope that I have the same courage and determination to maintain self worth, relationships w/ loved ones and self fulfilment regarding work in this humbling profession. Good luck and thanks for the enlightenment. Hope that I can surpass it all as a newbie.:angel2:
  9. by   ysth83
    for having your priorities in order and for taking hold of your life.