Where is the off switch?


brain-cogs1Have you ever had that moment when you do something only to realise that it probably wasn’t well thought through. At the time and in the moment you were focused on getting something done, only to realise down the track it probably wasn’t done in the smartest way. I had one of those moments recently.

It happened with a patient that had just had six minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and was intubated (Had a tube into their airway and a machine breathing for them) after taking an overdose, so needless to say it was in a highly stressful situation. At the time “the resus” didn’t seem like such a big deal, but on reflection not too many people do this sort of thing on a regular basis at work, and yeah it actually was very a stressful situation. The event I am talking about was minor, easily resolved and not even an issue EXCEPT that I felt like such an idiot.  I knew at the time, that a bigger problem for me would be the amount of time I would spend berating myself about it and going over and over it in my mind.

I thought about it for the rest of the shift. I thought about it walking to my car, driving home, whilst I was NOT going to sleep. It was the first thing I thought about the next morning, whilst having my shower, making breakfast, etc etc, you get my point.

I cannot help it. I go over and over stuff like this in my head. And it sucks. I’m wondering if others do this? I’m wondering how to stop it, because it takes more than just telling yourself to stop it. All my logic tells me it was no big deal, could have been worse, nobody died. Then I have a crisis of confidence and I think “I shouldn’t be doing this job and I should get a job where I have no responsibility.”  Deep down I know this isn’t necessary or true and that I’d be bored stupid. And that I’m actually pretty good at what I do but none of this helps at the time.

I know there are personality types out there who would be reading this and thinking, what is she talking about, get over it and yourself. But what I would like to do is find a happy medium. Care enough to take the time to reflect on the action or incident, learn from the experience and move on. Stop the churning. I know I’m one extreme but I think the other extreme would be just as bad. I would hate to be dangerous because I believed I could do no wrong.
I debated actually posting this blog. I’m a bit embarrassed about admitting this in such a forum, as it’s probably not something you would openly discuss amongst work colleagues, but I think there must be people out there who go through the same doubts as I do after something like this. I am finding out through feedback about my blog that there are always people who can relate to the things I write about, so I have decided to go ahead and post this because if you too are a someone who goes over and over situations like this, you are not alone. Or maybe it is just me, alone?
So now I have written about it and I am hoping this helps. Writing this blog is my own therapy as you know, get it out of my head and onto the “page”. I would really like to hear your thoughts. Are you a churner? What do you do that helps you switch off the cogs turning in your brain? I would love to hear some strategies!
Stay Safe, be happy.
Screen Shot 2012-10-09 at 11.07.57 AM

3 responses »

  1. Bernie, I constantly feel like this. Always questioning myself and have a fear of looking like a fool in front of others. As you say though, most of the time people don’t even notice – I think we are all to worried about our own tasks/professionalism/knowledge to notice what someone else has done. When you find out how to stop berating yourself after such a minor incident, can you let me know?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s