A spark inside me has been slowly fading over the past few months. It has been with regards to my work. It started in harmless ways. Feeling lethargic at work. Procrastinating. Thinking of blogging and writing when I should be focussing on report writing. Feeling impatient with unmotivated clients. Feeling irritable at work.
Then it seemed to get harder. I noticed I was more tired at work. Initially I put it down to lack of sleep. Waking up for the gym was easy. Waking up for work, much harder. Tiredness was an excuse. Or maybe I really was feeling drained at work. But the energy levels would lift when I had to go to uni after work or to socialise after work. Every Monday I started my countdown to Friday. Sure, my work is draining. Listening to people’s problems can be hard work. But again, it wasn’t just that impacting on me.
I spoke about it with my supervisor. I spoke about how I would dream about days I could spend hiking, writing, with JK, with friends while I was at work. She wondered out loud if maybe – just maybe – because of writing and uni, I had perhaps lost interest in psychology as a career. That maybe I was carving a new career path.
But it didn’t feel right. I still felt that somewhere, I loved the work. After all, when an 8 year old client gave me a note asking me to help them with their stress, I teared up. When I was presented with a new assessment that seemed challenging, the motivation came back. It couldn’t be a lack of passion. We discussed other theories. And then last week, I had an assessment during which I went over time. It lasted three hours. Two of which I spent engaging an adolescent girl who had been written off by everyone. Who was being blamed and invalidated. Who had suffered from abuse. Who was hurting herself. Separately, the parents were feeling defeated. And I cared. I cared for them all. Deeply. I almost cried when this girl who tried to be strong and not show her emotions had tears rolling down her cheeks. Tears she initially did not want to acknowledge. Because it would mean she was being ‘weak’.
So I obviously cared. I was not ‘over’ being a psychologist.
It had to be the other reason I had discussed with my supervisor. The work environment. There has been a lot of negativity in the work place over the last three months. And I fear that the negative energy has seeped into me. Every other aspect of my life is positive and uplifting or at least content. That’s why even when I’m tired, my spirits can be lifted. But the stress levels of others at work can feed through like a contagious plague. And this drains me more than the horrific stories I hear.
It was good to learn that I still care about what I do.
Maybe I need a change.
Or maybe I just need to repel the negativity. Somehow.
Especially as I still have a lot to give.
Until next time,