I’ve been having a hard time finding much to be happy about these days. Maybe it’s a sign of the times. Maybe satisfaction is relative, considering other times and similar situations where you weren’t satisfied you can achieve a level of satisfaction by comparing how you felt in other experiences. If I were to use that as my starting point, I’d say I’m not satisfied. It seems the cancer took more out of me than I had originally thought.

I’m not finding the things that once kept my interest, well, holding my interest. I find myself digging deeper into hobbies. I went from just playing airsoft to building my own guns, and by building I mean stripping it all the way down, polishing, rewiring, and repairing. I spend hours in the garage with my soldering iron and my screwdriver. I fix toys for fun, then sell those toys to buy other toys, and fix them. It’s a vicious (and expensive) cycle.

My work, however, doesn’t seem all that interesting. Turns out there is no one happy there either, so that only adds to my displeasure. The tank of compassion that I draw from to get through my day has run dry, probably drained in the cancer fight. I find myself far less tolerant of early morning calls for mundane complaints that everyone else just waits to see a doctor. I usually refill it by spending time with people that are as passionate as I am but seeing as how money is tight, I’m not going anywhere for a little bit.

All I really want it some security and some peace. News recently is that the city plans to annex the area that I live in, even though money is tight and services that are already stretched to their limits will be stretched even further. This does not bode well in my mind because it’s me they’re talking about me and my property and my family. The city does not have a good track record. Without the security and stability, there is no peace. I’m restless.

Is this what being burnt out feels like, or is this just part of the human condition?


Category: Stories

About the Author

Russell Stine is a firefighter/paramedic in a large urban system. He has been employed for 6 years as a street level provider and has delivered care as an EMT and a paramedic across the urban, suburban, and rural settings. He has been in emergency services for 15 years.

  • http://emsblogs.com/probietopractitioner Probie To Practitioner

    Thank
    you for writing this, really. I don’t know if there’s something in the air, or
    if it’s just the dreary time of year, or what, but I know a lot of people who
    feel similar to you, on one level or another. I know I’m not feeling my best
    lately. I know I’m not at my worst, and I try to remind myself of that, but
    sometimes that does little to assuage the feelings.

     

    No
    one is going to fault you for feeling the way that you do. Although I have my
    own medical issues, cancer is not one of them. I haven’t had to fight that, and
    I won’t even pretend like I know exactly what you’re going through. But I
    understand feeling disinterested. Personally, when I get into one of those
    places, I just don’t feel myself. The things I used to identify myself by
    suddenly don’t mean the same, and I’m left wondering who I really am and what I
    really do. It’s all too easy to see yourself as nothing more than the sum of
    your parts. Noting that you’re feeling depressed and disinterested seems to
    only add to the negative feelings.

     

    What’s
    helped me get through things like that in the past is knowing that I’m not
    alone. I might feel isolated, but I’m not. Although I feel like I’m going
    through this alone, that’s not the case. Everyone feels what you’re feeling at
    one time or another. It has no bearing on who you are, how strong you are, how
    you think you should feel…none of that has anything to do with how you’re
    feeling right now.

     

    What
    you’re feeling now leaves you in that weird place, where you kind of lose track
    of time. Where your mind tricks you into believing that each tomorrow is going
    to be exactly like yesterday. The important thing to remember is that this is
    temporary. It will pass. Whether it passes all by itself, or you take steps of
    your own to conquer it, or you recruit help (either professional, or in your
    personal relationships), it passes. It gets better. You will have good days
    again. You will find joy in hobbies, actions, and people again.

     

    Six
    months from now, it will be August. Summer will be winding down. The leaves on
    the trees will start to dry and wither in the late summer heat. The last of the
    season’s thunderstorms will roll through in the evenings. Grocery shopper’s
    baskets will be filled with hot dogs, ground beef, buns, beer, condiments, and
    all the other fixings for those last summer cookouts. The roads will be filled
    with roars of motorcycles, their owners trying to get in the last ride before
    the weather turns. The check-out lines of Staples, Office Max, and Target will
    be packed with parents and reluctant children, buying new school supplies for
    the coming academic year.

     

    In
    other words, things will be different. And you will feel different. And things
    will not feel as bleak as they do now. Good luck with everything. You’ve got a
    whole blog-o-sphere of support behind you.  


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