Death and all his friends

So this week I have been working a lot, at the Veterinary Practice where I am carrying out my placement for my degree at a Veterinary Nurse. Now if you’ve kept up with my story so far, you will know that I have a passion for animals, that is probably harbouring on an obsession, and quite honestly, I have a greater respect and love for all animals than humans. I therefore love my job, and have been so excited to have just begun my course, ready to learn about how to help out suffering animals in any which way that I can.

Veterinary nursing is a tough job for many reasons: it is physical, exhausting, draining mentally and emotionally and quite frankly at times is heartbreaking. This being said, it is also very rewarding, loving and caring, and I am never happier than seeing a wagging tail walk out of the door back into the arms of their loving owner.

This being said, I’ve struggled this week. Death has been a prominent theme, and his “friends” include tears, frustration, lack of self-belief, worry and pure exhaustion.

I’ve been struggling to get a grip on my emotions, crying uncontrollably at home for hours after a busy day of being unable to save certain patients, and watching owners sob as they say their last goodbyes. I have been drained physically and mentally, and this, hand in hand with the tears and the sensitivity (not helped of course with it being “that time” – I’m sure you girls appreciate!) has led me to feel a lack of self confidence and self belief that this is the job for me. Deep down, I know it is, but on the surface this week, I have felt weak and vulnerable. I have wondered if I can do it, if I can subject this upon myself physically and mentally. If it will make my depression return with a vengeance. If I can muster up the strength to be brave and go home every night in the knowledge that I am helping – and that is more than I have ever done before, and more than some people do in a lifetime.

It is a difficult place to be in at the moment – working and trying to help as best I can without the knowledge and qualifications to really help as much as I potentially could. At times then, I feel as if I’m letting myself and the animal down, by not knowing what I could do to help. I’m frustrated. I’m also frustrated in myself for allowing it to get to me quite so much. A life is important to me, and I know that the day I feel nothing, is the day I hand in my uniform and say goodbye to the job. However I cannot, for myself, be this emotionally drained at the end of every week. I cannot cry myself to sleep for a life I did not save. I cannot worry myself stupid about how I will feel when it’s my own pet’s turn – a cruel trick my brain seems to keep doing.

I wanted to know if any of my followers or readers had any advice for hardening up and becoming and little more thick skinned? I wondered if you’ve ever had a job, or are in a job which calls for you to be strong? Perhaps stronger than you ever thought you could be? Is there any help you can suggest for not allowing my energies to deplete after every battle I could not win? I’m open to all suggestions.

I cannot cry any more, and I’ve told myself this.I need to find an inner strength and courage that is in there somewhere, I just need to unlock it. I need to balance caring and loving and nurturing, with acceptance. I know I need to fine tune the balance and also take the pressure off myself – I cannot save lives if I have yet to learn anything on my course. And even then, I’m not a Veterinary Surgeon. And even then, we’re only human. And even despite that, it’s the circle of life…it moves us on, Elton taught us that. So why can’t I seem to accept it?

Yours,

A crumbling wreck x

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