Chihuahua mode: ENGAGE. Part 1.
I'm high on life yooooooo. Energized. Motivated. Annoying AF. Can't say I'm sorry about it.
Here's what I've learned.
Humans try to force shit to happen. You numb yourself and silence yourself to keep a job you hate for the pay check and the insurance. You ignore red flags because you want him or her to be The One. You have a baby before you're ready because you feel too far behind your friends. You force yourself to go to college because your parents said they'd disown you if you didn't, but you hate college. You do things you don't agree with, or that are wrong, just to keep quiet and not rock a boat. Doing things that don't feel good just to maintain a certain reputation or "keep up with the Jones'." This list is so endless.
What I've learned in my life is that things happen for me a little later than every one else, for the most part. I think that started organically because I was nearly the youngest in my class. I started Kindergarten about 1-2 weeks after turning 5. Started college about 1 week after turning 18, but started participating in college stuff at age 17. Please do not be confused, this is NOT because I was smarter or academically gifted. Just, was the way it panned out. So, the milestones generally happened for everyone else before they happened for me.
But also, it took me a lot longer to figure shit out. And by that I do NOT mean that I have shit figured out. I just mean people had careers picked, husbands and wives picked, houses picked. It always felt like (still does sometimes) people settled into what they could thrive at before I did. It always SEEMED (or actually was) like people didn't have as many interpersonal struggles as I did, or as hard a time at getting along.
And I take a lot of accountability for that.
I got in my own way. A lot.
I cannot recommend these books enough. I am due to read them again, because life has changed so much. As have I. HIGHLY recommend you read them too...
I am very attracted to books that have curse words in the titles.
And, as it turns out the books with curse worse in the titles have been the most effective at getting in my head. I respond well to tough love and realness.
Opinion: The most genuinely successful, healthy people are those that are tired of their own shit. Tired of making excuses. Those that take ownership of their life, their health, their relationships. People that tell the truth, even if it stings. End of Opinion.
Historically, I have been a very "reactive" person. Very defensive, and that can be viewed very negatively... Or, if you're a person that "gets it"... You weren't ever afraid of me, because you knew it was a protective mechanism. And believe you me, not everybody "gets it". Me for me. Me vs. The World. Survival mode 24/7/365 for a very long time.
Thankfully, I'm healing from that. The "old" me still absolutely pokes through, but only when I mean it. And only for good reason/s.
Chihuahua mode: ENGAGE.
Cool. So 2 things. (1) I very recently, in the last week, got a new certification from Precision Nutrition. This certification will allow me (allow is a strong word... nothing was stopping me before other than Imposter Syndrome, ADD, my husband's work schedule, my work schedule, lack of prioritization, and oh, Imposter Syndrome) to become a Lifestyle, Health, and Nutrition Coach.
I am also certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner, since 2018, which is my regular job.
Story Time: If you don't care, skip down to (2).
I got my RN in 2010. And it's been a hell of a ride. I did not know what was coming.
I was not in touch with reality, yet I was also way too in touch with reality due to a series of traumatic single and ongoing life events.
In terms of functioning as an adult, understanding that corporate jobs absolutely suck ass, managing money, knowing I'd have to tolerate a LOT of BS in order to remain employed, and generally following rules... I was not equipped. From moment 1.
That said... I was very in touch with reality in other terms... I "got it" from moment 1 that working in Corporate America where there are stupid, punitive, suffocating, robot rules and regulations "we" are "forced" to follow... was, well, STUPID. I don't do well at all with stupid stuff that doesn't make sense. Or stupid people. And I don't care what your momma told you - there ARE stupid people. I have never, don't ever and won't ever do well with "Because I said So" assertion of authority. And a person in a "power" position that can't see straight through me...well, they don't like that one bit. LOL I "got it" real early on that it doesn't matter who is right or who is wrong, it just matters who complains to the manager first.
I simply do not function well in those situations.
JUST like the NFL. The flag is ALWAYS thrown when the second guy throws a punch back. Never the guy that started it. I'm amazed by the uncanny resemblance to nursing management departments across the globe.
This has led to over a decade of high highs, and low lows. If you're anything like me, you were made to believe, and eventually DID believe..."Something is wrong with me." "I am the problem." "I'm not like everyone else." Constant fear of being fired.
Nursing is something that I just "stuck with". Nursing school, especially the one I attended for undergraduate, is NOT for the faint of heart. They manage to purposely distort you psychologically with their demands for perfection, sarcasm, and unrealistic expectations, for 4-5 years. Nursing school was HARD for me. It did not come easy. It's very common, at the school I attended, for your freshman class to start out with 120-150 students, and by graduation be down to ~60.
I looked around bewildered. I keep passing the exams. I keep making it to class, I keep showing up to clinicals. F it. Might as well just go with it. And that's how I became a nurse. Absolutely no other way.
I forced it to work. I needed this career. I needed the steady pay. I needed the job security. Work Monday - Friday 8-5 is against my personal religion. I don't believe in it. So no sort of office job would work for me. Oh, look - Shift work, nursing, there ya go! I tried day shift, night shift, swing shift, inpatient, outpatient, ER, full time, PRN. Though I got more mature, and better with time, I was low key miserable most of the time. I had to stifle myself. I had to shut up. I couldn't defend myself if wrongfully accused. People lied. Patients were horrific, disrespectful and mean.
On the other hand, I also have had so many moments where I was BURSTING with pride in myself. Clutch moments where I knew I made the difference for a patient, where I was super f**king smart, paid attention to details, on the ball, and advocated fiercely for patients. It absolutely eventually felt like a calling, and enough of the time, I loved it.
Yet, I could NEVER disconnect from standing in front of an angry, raging patient, who has made a LIFETIME of poor choices, calling me stupid or slow, and being just so pissed and miserable while blaming us for their discomfort. People in charge, who literally couldn't do the job as well as myself and some of my coworkers did it on our worst days, telling me to be nice, bring them a sandwich tray, berating me for not doing things their way. People in charge who bullied, humiliated, mentally tortured nurses that were "below" them on the totem pole. It was in every single job I held. Every single one.
Bullying in nursing is a THING.
I've determined it's where the Mean Girls go. And if they don't go... it's probably because they failed out or quit.
Has to be in the top 5 most accurate movies of all time.
So, I have spent SO MUCH mental energy. Time. Distress. For years. Just racking my brain on how I could get OUT of nursing. What ELSE can I do?
So I decided to go to Nurse Practitioner school....
*snort laugh*. Humans. Forcing it. Trying to make it work. Maybe this will help... do more of the thing you are miserable doing.
I'm a burst-shaped peg and my career has been a square hole.
It's fine. I'm fine. After 12.5 years I've reached a place and point where I'm settled.
Cruise control if you will...
So, yeah. I got a Precision Nutrition Coaching certification. And it's like somebody opened the blinds and let the sun & wind in. I did it. I didn't give up. And finally, a second chance. To do WORK that I am SO PASSIONATE about. I have SO MUCH to offer.
And the point of this v long story is...
Now that I'm "here", I couldn't have done this a moment sooner.
No experience is wasted.
Even the ugly, difficulty, stressful, tear-filled experiences. They are not in vain if you don't ALLOW them to be. No experience is wasted. Even the experiences you hated, not just the ones you loved. When it's YOUR "time", it'll be your time. Stop trying to force it. You are where you are now because of a lot of decisions you made, maybe a few you didn't make. Zoom out. Think about how you got to today.
The things you want, you may not be ready for just yet...
(2) I have been participating in EMDR Therapy.
EMDR Therapy is not new and WHERE THE HELL HAS IT BEEN THE LAST 10 YEARS OF MY LIFE???
Sorry. Chihuahua mode engaged.
A more in-depth look at my experience so far in EMDR therapy plus tangents on other related and probably unrelated topics will be Part 2 of this blog, but here's a brief intro.
This is not "talk" therapy on a couch where you pour out all your feelings, problems, and mommy-daddy issues.
"EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is a trauma-informed, solution focused therapy that was founded by Francine Shapiro in 1987 for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Since then, it has become one of the best ways to overcome anxiety, depression, and a number of other mental health struggles." (1)
Primarily, EMDR Therapy is focused on "𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗼𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝘂𝗺𝗮
Your past no longer affects your present. You feel able to fully live in the moment and not be haunted by things from the past. When we reprocess traumatic memories with EMDR Therapy, those memories become properly stored in the brain, so that they no longer get triggered in day to day life..."
But the major benefits of going through EMDR can be:
Better Physical Health
Improved Focus and Concentration
Better Parenting Skills
Improved Sleep Quality."(2)
...and so much more. Little things and big things.
I got this book. (Not sponsored but wish I was). It is not a replacement for EMDR with an actual therapist, but it's a really great start, and gives you an idea of what to expect. Here's how to find an EMDR therapist in Louisiana. (3)
The conclusions that I have come to, from my own brain, about things that have happened in the past, are incredible.
If somebody has ever told you, or you have seen in a movie, or read in a book, the phrase, "The answers are already inside of you..." it's true. They are. It might take some work, honesty and vulnerability to get there, but if you want to be the best version of yourself... that's what it'll take, bae.
If you find yourself in the same predicaments. Same arguments. Same feelings. Same issues. Over eating. Over drinking. Over-anything. Engaged in pettiness. Defensive. With a wall up. Afraid to say how you really feel. Work troubles. Insomnia. Habitually doing things that feel like survivor mode tasks.
Same ole shit different day, different month, or worse, different year...
EMDR may be right for you.
Part 2, coming soon...