how am i doing?
People keep asking nurses this question. Do you want the honest answer? I am no longer *doing.* I have stopped AlloftheFeels. How? I do not know. I am in lockdown. Emotional timeout.
I have zero fucks left to give out because in the first year of the pandemic I was too liberal with my fucks. I gave them out willynilly and was left feeling strung out and stressed. I felt the outside world pressing in, and was suffocating. No more. I have adapted, and keep my fucks close to my chest now. They are mine, and I will no longer give them away.
ICU nurses are already pretty good at compartmentalizing. I mean, we kind of have to be able to do this to survive our profession. We have to be able to shrug off a rough shift and go home to kiss our babies and be mom. We have to be able to put it away and not yell at people in the grocery store. We have to let it go and not be crazypeople.
But a pandemic is everywhere. So there is no putting work away right now. We have had to learn to function in a world that was not letting us compartmentalize anymore. So I have learned to not feel. I have learned to give zero fucks about anything that is not in my own tiny bubble. Otherwise I would not be able to keep going. And we need to keep going. So that is the truth of it. I will pour my heart into this work but I will not let myself feel any of it anymore. Not now.
Someday we will feel again. Someday I will be able to put emotions back into these memories. I will cry and scream and grieve. But not today. Not now. How am I doing? This is how.