I've now been back at work 3 weeks and it feels funny. Having burnt out so spectacularly over a year ago then crawled my way back from the depths of depression and physical unfitness, I'm feeling rather ambivalent about it all. It's like I want to get involved but am putting up huge personal barriers because I'm scared of getting hurt again.
Working in Aboriginal Health is definitely an emotionally draining experience, but it's also extremely rewarding, and Aboriginal people are so warm and genuine, I love working for and with them. I couldn't envisage moving into "normal" general practice and coping with the "tears and smears", I'd go totally loopy. So it's a complete no-brainer for me to return back to my previous employer.
I tend to have high expectations both of my performance and that of my colleagues - a perfect recipe for being disappointed and getting burnt out again. I know this and so have to restrain my enthusiasm as well as my willingness to do anything beyond the call of duty so to speak. And there's always someone wanting you to do just that little bit more. So having decided to use the no word lots, I now have to learn not to feel guilty for doing so. This is so very hard for me to do, but I am determined to not go down that slippery slope again. And there is no doubt that I am scared shitless that it is going to happen again.
I think I may benefit from some counselling, especially if I can learn more constructive ways to deal with the demands of my job. But in the meantime, I'll just stick with my two and a half days, try not to dig myself into any ditches, and keep up the cycle commuting - nothing like a bit of exercise to clear the mind!!
Meanwhile, I'm steadily editting and uploading more photos onto the new website, and have bought myself a new camera which has a few more bells and whistles. I'll soon be back to doing the Greenough River walks again (Fridays) and have plans to visit some new walking sites on top of the Moresby Ranges. Stay tuned!!
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