9 months of great expectations, and i am not sure if i could carry on like that.
Since starting work as a registered nurse in April, i’ve learnt much so much that my disillusionment with life has gotten so significantly worse, i am almost sure i’ve had enough. I’ve seen with my very own eyes, how fallen this world is. How apt it was for me to have called being in the real world, being ‘out in the wild’.
But at the same time, i’ve also gained insight into how capable i can be, if i had only let myself. I’ve seen for myself, the resilience, tenacity and passion i have, if i had only let myself be unihibited, and be free from the locks and chains that have held me down for so long. I’ve been fortunate enough to see myself for who i truly am, without the fog of depression and RA clouding my vision, and with objective understanding of my strengths and weaknesses.
I have too seen for myself, how precious life is, and how fragile it can be. I’ve seen and felt the despair, the helplessness, the pain and the suffering of my patients. I’ve seen my patients go as quickly as they came; sometimes they get worse then get better, other times better then worse. I’ve seen them get ready for discharge, then pass on very suddenly. I’ve seen patients so empowered, and i’ve seen some having given up. I’ve seen families who are supportive, but also families who seem like they can’t wait to get the patient off their hands. And believe it or not, like in tv dramas, i’ve seen patients’ families eyeing on the patient’s assets. Yet aboveall, i see also, the strength, the courage and the undying spirit of my patients. They unknowingly have taught me life lessons that i can never learn else where. How precious, really. I am very humbled to be able to serve and care for them.
So what is it? What is it that makes me so tired and weary, so sad and angry, so hopeless and helpless?
It is the great expectations demanded of me- mostly as a nurse, as a patient, and plainly me.
I have never ceased trying- trying my utmost and giving my all as a nurse, trying my darndest as a patient fighting RA and my mental illnesses, and of course trying to be the me that i am by reconciling all the different parts and identities of me.
But as it always is, i am never enough.
I speak of never being enough, mostly as a nurse. It cannot be simply put into words- the amount of sweat and tears it involved, all the time i’ve given, everything that i have done for my patients and for the ward/colleagues. I would say that i have totally immersed myself, and have completely devoted myself, to my calling as a nurse. But again it wasn’t enough. It was then that i saw for myself, how stigma can destroy a person’s sense of self-esteem and self-worth, if there is even any to begin with.
I was crushed when my immediate superior tried to explore quitting as an option for me. It became a double whammy when the very next time i spoke to her, she asked if i had talked to HR about revoking my bond and quitting. Call me paranoid, call me stupid. But with a disordered mind like mine, i took it as rejection and disapproval. It hit me so hard that despite my utmost, i was unwanted. It was very contrary to her acceptance of me earlier. It was as though she suddenly conceived the notion that i must be mad, crazy, insane; that i was incapable of carrying out my duties well; that i am a burden, a ticking time bomb.
But i am not. I know very well, in my sane and rational mind, that i am a good nurse, and a darn good nurse at that. I did what was required of me, i did what was not required of me. In fact i did more than was expected of me. And because of that, the shoes that i had to fill became bigger and bigger. I was up till my neck, but they never relented. Stress mounted fast and furious. But there were great expectations of me, and i just had to do my best to be good enough. Apparently my best still wasn’t enough, and i am now rendered at complete loss.
Will i pass my probation? Or will i not on the basis that i am perhaps ‘mad’? Will i fail again on the account that i am not meeting expectations even though i very well am? Or will i pass my probation only to be shown the door?
Great expectations, only because i was much more than mediocre. Great expectations, only because i was more than good enough. But it will never suffice you see. When you are good enough, they give you more to make you less, and make you lacking in most areas.
9 months of great expectations, and i’m not sure if i could carry on like that.
I love being a nurse, but if it means having me relapsing back into the dumps of depression, i will not persist. And having heard for myself from my superior that i should consider quitting, i realise that she does not deserve to have me on her team. I deserve more, and i deserve much better, because i am good enough.