Just like the only child that I am, I also channel somewhat of a split personality. Gemini, you know. Blame astrology if you must, but there really are two of me. The first is the one you all see on a daily basis, with all my faults, sarcasm and big mouthed ruminations. The second is the one that appears after a twelve hour shift at work. It really is almost like they're two different people. They probably are. And you know what? There's not a damned thing I can do about it.
I work with the most amazing people you can imagine. Supportive, teaching, caring and funnier than I could ever convey. There is not a minute I spend at work where I don't feel that my back is absolutely covered by my co-workers. I trust them implicitly. I sincerely hope they trust me too. Hospital lore says that the ER has the wickedest sense of humor in the building. The lore is spot on. If you can't laugh you won't survive. Period. What I'm trying to say is that I'm in a really good place. I don't want to be anywhere else. But...the ER is the ER, and there will always be risks to those who make it their career. Emotional risks. Physical risks. Life risks.
The problem is that when I am kind of battered by work, the logical assumption is that once I get a little rest and decompression time all will be well again. And to some degree that's true. My big question for myself is this - knowing that my job sucks me dry why do I a) keep going back and b) love it so much? Is this some screwy character flaw that I need to address? Or have I become so entrenched as an "adrenaline junkie" that I need it to feel like I'm contributing?
For several years I've had a little theme song for my working self. And, even knowing how dead on accurate it is, I have to wonder...could I do something else with my life and pay a smaller emotional price?