I pulled up to my client’s apartment building and just sat there. I sat dazed and confused. Pressure built up across my forehead. I mapped out how the rest of my evening would go given that this was the first of three in-home sessions on a Friday evening. It wasn’t the fact that I was working on a Friday evening. If anything, that is my norm. It was all of the events leading up to this Friday evening that fed into my reluctance.
My week kicked off with a fibromyalgia flare up from two weeks of serious insomnia and anxiety-ridden thoughts. Right off the bat then, I fought off aches, pains, and fatigue. After a day or two of rest, I pushed onward. The next few days consisted of work.
Now, I often find peace of mind with work. I pride myself on achieving my goals and being good at what I do. The middle of the week seriously put this to the fucking test. I obviously cannot get into too much detail given privacy and ethical guidelines as a mental health counselor. What I can give you is that involved a client going to the hospital and managing drama amongst my interns on two occasions.
Afterwards, I called my professional abilities into question and spiraled quickly into the abyss of self-doubt. I just did not feel confident in what I was doing with my pride taking such a hit. I knew this feeling. I was burnt the fuck out.
I texted my three clients and told them that I needed to reschedule. I needed a break. In the past, I would feel guilty for not being able to see my clients and feel like I am doing them a disservice. Quite the contrary. By me pushing forth, I am doing them more of a disservice. I cannot give them my full energy and attention if I am burnt out. Plus the burnout affects my longevity as a counselor. If I let it eat away at me, it will eventually catch up to me and knock me down for the count for more than a night or two.
I took a much needed night off.
-The Caring Counselor