Life

Are we done yet?

faded spark

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.

photo credit: photobunny via photopin cc

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Natalie
    September 29, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Hi Sanch, I can completely relate to your situation as I have been through something similar in my workplace recently. Sometimes we don’t realise how the energy in an environment impacts on our own wellbeing. I too was feeling drained, and for the first time in my 10 years at this workplace I actually dreaded coming into work! Although I couldn’t control how colleagues were acting, I could control how I was reacting to their crap, and it was only then that things changed. I hope that you find a way to overcome the negative energy in your workplace as it sounds like you are truly passionate about what you do! Cheers!

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      September 29, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      Thanks for sharing your side Natalie. It’s something I never realised until now…just how much the energy in the environment can impact on you! I am going to have make an effort to not let others negativity get to me and stay away from all the complaining and whining.

  • Natalie
    September 29, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Hi Sanch, I can completely relate to your situation as I have been through something similar in my workplace recently. Sometimes we don’t realise how the energy in an environment impacts on our own wellbeing. I too was feeling drained, and for the first time in my 10 years at this workplace I actually dreaded coming into work! Although I couldn’t control how colleagues were acting, I could control how I was reacting to their crap, and it was only then that things changed. I hope that you find a way to overcome the negative energy in your workplace as it sounds like you are truly passionate about what you do! Cheers!

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      September 29, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      Thanks for sharing your side Natalie. It’s something I never realised until now…just how much the energy in the environment can impact on you! I am going to have make an effort to not let others negativity get to me and stay away from all the complaining and whining.

  • Shalini
    September 30, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Good one, Sanch. I can relate to it it as I for one is going through the same phase. I have now taken a 3 month Loss of Pay leave just to take a break and figure out things. As if my guardian angel is still hiding under some shitty gutter! 🙁
    Shalini recently posted…Okra Stir Fry- North Indian StyleMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      September 30, 2014 at 5:24 am

      It’s tough isn’t it Shalini? Unfortunately I can’t take that much time off but I’m going to make an effort to not let stuff get to me as much.

  • Shalini
    September 30, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Good one, Sanch. I can relate to it it as I for one is going through the same phase. I have now taken a 3 month Loss of Pay leave just to take a break and figure out things. As if my guardian angel is still hiding under some shitty gutter! 🙁
    Shalini recently posted…Okra Stir Fry- North Indian StyleMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      September 30, 2014 at 5:24 am

      It’s tough isn’t it Shalini? Unfortunately I can’t take that much time off but I’m going to make an effort to not let stuff get to me as much.

  • Shilpa Garg
    September 30, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Oh yes, negative energy around you can leave you drained, exhausted and unhappy. Glad that you found out the real reason for the change that you felt. You are doing great by touching so many lives. Stay positive and keep up the good work! ♥
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Collegedunia.com… New Portal on the BlockMy Profile

  • Shilpa Garg
    September 30, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Oh yes, negative energy around you can leave you drained, exhausted and unhappy. Glad that you found out the real reason for the change that you felt. You are doing great by touching so many lives. Stay positive and keep up the good work! ♥
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Collegedunia.com… New Portal on the BlockMy Profile

  • Michelle Liew
    September 30, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Meaningful. We ned to let go of the negativity before we can go on. A perennial lesson.
    Michelle Liew recently posted…Life Really IS a Box of Chocolates.My Profile

  • Michelle Liew
    September 30, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Meaningful. We ned to let go of the negativity before we can go on. A perennial lesson.
    Michelle Liew recently posted…Life Really IS a Box of Chocolates.My Profile

  • Tina
    September 30, 2014 at 2:32 am

    I feel like this almost every morning now a days
    Tina recently posted…Did you take up the Bang Bang Dare?My Profile

  • Tina
    September 30, 2014 at 2:32 am

    I feel like this almost every morning now a days
    Tina recently posted…Did you take up the Bang Bang Dare?My Profile

  • Nibha
    September 30, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Well not into professional life yet but I do feel like at times when all I feel is to run away from my domain and just somehow escape to the other world. Good to hear you, I think it happens with every one.
    Nibha recently posted…A Stranger’s RequestMy Profile

  • Nibha
    September 30, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Well not into professional life yet but I do feel like at times when all I feel is to run away from my domain and just somehow escape to the other world. Good to hear you, I think it happens with every one.
    Nibha recently posted…A Stranger’s RequestMy Profile

  • Bill Dameron
    September 30, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Good for you for figuring out exactly what you need! So many times, I will say “I just want to write full time.” I took a vacation and went away to write this summer. I had an endless number of hours in front of me. Just what I wanted, right? Nope, I need the dual stresses of work and my writing life after work. It also sounds like you have the heart and compassion that this world needs so desperately!
    Bill Dameron recently posted…Public DisplaysMy Profile

  • Bill Dameron
    September 30, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Good for you for figuring out exactly what you need! So many times, I will say “I just want to write full time.” I took a vacation and went away to write this summer. I had an endless number of hours in front of me. Just what I wanted, right? Nope, I need the dual stresses of work and my writing life after work. It also sounds like you have the heart and compassion that this world needs so desperately!
    Bill Dameron recently posted…Public DisplaysMy Profile

  • Jessie Powell
    September 30, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Having you for a therapist would be amazing for a kid or family. And I don’t know. Maybe where you live good child psychologists are easy to find. But where we are? It took four years, two of them during which my son became suicidal (he was TWO for fuck’s sake when we started that search, and he was six when it ended) to find someone who didn’t either blow off our concerns or try to blame the problems on bad parenting.

    And that someone had to not only have the right personality to match our family’s. She also had to have the right specialty to be able to look at my kid right off the bat and see what was going on with him, to see exactly which line he was straddling.

    We had, during that time, lucked into an excellent psychiatrist, but he didn’t take insurance or do much in the therapy line. He could help with autism stuff as far as therapy went, but Sam needed something he didn’t have for therapy. He moved to a new practice where he was able to accept insurance. It was an hour away. We now drive an hour either way for psychiatrist appointments.

    We also drive an hour either way to therapy. Because the woman who had Sam’s number is at the tail end of her PhD, and we are goddamned lucky to have found her at a university clinic.

    I really hope you can take an active role in either improving the workplace environment or find a way to let it roll off of you, because those kids need you, as I’m sure you already know.
    Jessie Powell recently posted…PhantomsMy Profile

  • Jessie Powell
    September 30, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Having you for a therapist would be amazing for a kid or family. And I don’t know. Maybe where you live good child psychologists are easy to find. But where we are? It took four years, two of them during which my son became suicidal (he was TWO for fuck’s sake when we started that search, and he was six when it ended) to find someone who didn’t either blow off our concerns or try to blame the problems on bad parenting.

    And that someone had to not only have the right personality to match our family’s. She also had to have the right specialty to be able to look at my kid right off the bat and see what was going on with him, to see exactly which line he was straddling.

    We had, during that time, lucked into an excellent psychiatrist, but he didn’t take insurance or do much in the therapy line. He could help with autism stuff as far as therapy went, but Sam needed something he didn’t have for therapy. He moved to a new practice where he was able to accept insurance. It was an hour away. We now drive an hour either way for psychiatrist appointments.

    We also drive an hour either way to therapy. Because the woman who had Sam’s number is at the tail end of her PhD, and we are goddamned lucky to have found her at a university clinic.

    I really hope you can take an active role in either improving the workplace environment or find a way to let it roll off of you, because those kids need you, as I’m sure you already know.
    Jessie Powell recently posted…PhantomsMy Profile

  • Kinley
    September 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I can so relate to this! I work for Hospice, and while it should be meaninful and fulfilling, it leaves me drained. I dread going to work. We’ve had a ton of changes and I have watched the place become ever more corporate and I am finally realizing that it just isn’t me. It’s not so much negativity, as an environment that doesn’t work for me anymore. So maybe both of us need to find what we like to do, but maybe in a different place. Good luck with your searching!

  • Kinley
    September 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I can so relate to this! I work for Hospice, and while it should be meaninful and fulfilling, it leaves me drained. I dread going to work. We’ve had a ton of changes and I have watched the place become ever more corporate and I am finally realizing that it just isn’t me. It’s not so much negativity, as an environment that doesn’t work for me anymore. So maybe both of us need to find what we like to do, but maybe in a different place. Good luck with your searching!

  • simple girl
    September 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Negative energy around you can leave you drained in more ways than you can imagine. I have been feeling this for a long time now and I am still struggling to shield myself from it ..
    It is tough, but then for you, one good thing is that you have the passion for your work ..
    And one good thing for me is, I got this validation from you, that such a thing can happen in a place, even when one is so much passionate about one’s work, like you.. This validation has lifted a burden from my shoulders.. So thank you so much for sharing …
    For me what I plan now is to distant myself emotionally from the people around me ..
    As for you, your emotional well being is the most important so please do devise some ways to protect yourself from the clutches of negativity . Please do work around it and please share how you do it as and when you are comfortable … I am all ears …
    Lots of hugs and love .. 🙂
    simple girl recently posted…Being slow and the countdown for the most awaited event of the year…My Profile

  • simple girl
    September 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Negative energy around you can leave you drained in more ways than you can imagine. I have been feeling this for a long time now and I am still struggling to shield myself from it ..
    It is tough, but then for you, one good thing is that you have the passion for your work ..
    And one good thing for me is, I got this validation from you, that such a thing can happen in a place, even when one is so much passionate about one’s work, like you.. This validation has lifted a burden from my shoulders.. So thank you so much for sharing …
    For me what I plan now is to distant myself emotionally from the people around me ..
    As for you, your emotional well being is the most important so please do devise some ways to protect yourself from the clutches of negativity . Please do work around it and please share how you do it as and when you are comfortable … I am all ears …
    Lots of hugs and love .. 🙂
    simple girl recently posted…Being slow and the countdown for the most awaited event of the year…My Profile

  • Vanessa D.
    September 30, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Before I started working in vegetable production, I had a job I loved. Except the company I worked for wasn’t doing well and I sat right next to the accounting department. The stress that bled out of the office next door combined with everything else happening in the workplace eventually did me in to the point where I accepted a job elsewhere knowing it would mean working 60-70 hours a week. I hope you find a better alternative than I did.
    Vanessa D. recently posted…The View Through My EyesMy Profile

  • Vanessa D.
    September 30, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Before I started working in vegetable production, I had a job I loved. Except the company I worked for wasn’t doing well and I sat right next to the accounting department. The stress that bled out of the office next door combined with everything else happening in the workplace eventually did me in to the point where I accepted a job elsewhere knowing it would mean working 60-70 hours a week. I hope you find a better alternative than I did.
    Vanessa D. recently posted…The View Through My EyesMy Profile

  • nabanita
    September 30, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    It happens sometimes…And the way you analysed it that shows you still care…Sometimes we just need a change or a break…It happens..And thanks for sharing this..I need to read something like this …
    nabanita recently posted…It Cost more than One LifeMy Profile

  • nabanita
    September 30, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    It happens sometimes…And the way you analysed it that shows you still care…Sometimes we just need a change or a break…It happens..And thanks for sharing this..I need to read something like this …
    nabanita recently posted…It Cost more than One LifeMy Profile

  • Eli
    October 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Oh yes, negative people and negative environment sucks…. But the only sensible thing to do is to not let it get to you… I think. Sometimes, we have to live with it, but do lot let us be affected by it… And other times – well, we just need that change… I can so relate– great written post on this:-)
    Eli recently posted…1 day and 2 celebrationsMy Profile

  • Eli
    October 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Oh yes, negative people and negative environment sucks…. But the only sensible thing to do is to not let it get to you… I think. Sometimes, we have to live with it, but do lot let us be affected by it… And other times – well, we just need that change… I can so relate– great written post on this:-)
    Eli recently posted…1 day and 2 celebrationsMy Profile

  • Jen
    October 2, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Wear a few hematite rings and visualize before you go to work that you are surrounded by mirrors facing outward to reflect that energy away from you. Okay, I’m weird.. ha ha But really it’s so hard to be somewhere when you are feeling drained by your surroundings. Good for you for recognizing it.
    Jen recently posted…Living Between The HandsMy Profile

  • Jen
    October 2, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Wear a few hematite rings and visualize before you go to work that you are surrounded by mirrors facing outward to reflect that energy away from you. Okay, I’m weird.. ha ha But really it’s so hard to be somewhere when you are feeling drained by your surroundings. Good for you for recognizing it.
    Jen recently posted…Living Between The HandsMy Profile

  • Nate
    October 3, 2014 at 12:49 am

    A positive work environment has such an impact on my productivity. One little bad thing could happen in the morning – like a coworker kvetching about how awful her project is going – and I’m down for the day with thoughts like “this sucks” and “what’s the point?” I can see how you weren’t aware at first of its impact.
    Nate recently posted…I Am Precious Little Without ThemMy Profile

  • Nate
    October 3, 2014 at 12:49 am

    A positive work environment has such an impact on my productivity. One little bad thing could happen in the morning – like a coworker kvetching about how awful her project is going – and I’m down for the day with thoughts like “this sucks” and “what’s the point?” I can see how you weren’t aware at first of its impact.
    Nate recently posted…I Am Precious Little Without ThemMy Profile

  • Janet aka Middle Aged Mama
    October 4, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    My last job was in an extremely toxic environment. To be honest I didn’t realise how toxic until after I left; I put up with so much just because it “used” to be my dream job and I was trying to fool myself into thinking it still was. So I do understand … keep asking the hard questions because that’s how you build a life you love!
    Janet aka Middle Aged Mama recently posted…5 Style Tips for Apple Shapes: Sonia KrugerMy Profile

  • Janet aka Middle Aged Mama
    October 4, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    My last job was in an extremely toxic environment. To be honest I didn’t realise how toxic until after I left; I put up with so much just because it “used” to be my dream job and I was trying to fool myself into thinking it still was. So I do understand … keep asking the hard questions because that’s how you build a life you love!
    Janet aka Middle Aged Mama recently posted…5 Style Tips for Apple Shapes: Sonia KrugerMy Profile

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