My job requires a strong stomach. My stock and trade is mental health. Which is ironic given that the only time people see me, is when THEY DON'T HAVE mental health. I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Nurse for short.
For the most part, none of it phases me. People pour out their misery and I kind of get excited. Between their snot bubble cries and spasms of untold pain, I know it's only the beginning. There, in my office, is where the healing can start.
Unless it doesn't.
Like my patient Jim. Dude is super homeless. We can help with homeless. We have an entire program to help him get un homeless. Only it's not working for him. He's a hard core alcoholic. Which is nothing new in my business. And it's not stopping him from getting help from the program. He's stopping him. He's shown up at the shelters drunk and pissing on himself. Which is fine, shelters will let you sleep it off once or twice. Except he starts to threaten staff.
AND THAT'S WHEN THEY KICK HIM OUT. Not out of the program, but out of the homeless shelters. Both of them.
We can still help him. We have residential rehab for alcoholics. Seems perfect, solves both the alcohol and homeless problem. He won't go though.
Then, and only then, he becomes a BIG PROBLEM for me. He keeps coming to my clinic. Especially in winter. We have a warm building you see. Except I won't prescribe medication for him because he's drunk all the time. Then, after we leave, we find him passed out drunk in the snow banks. We call the police. Then he shows up the next day, still drunk. We escort him out of the clinic and the cycle starts over.
So you see, this is a problem for me. I am hard wired for mercy. I am hard wired to work my ass off to help him. But I can't. So it weighs on me. He keeps showing up and it triggers my mercy and my giving. Only it ends with me getting really pissed off. Because I can't help him.
And all of this is swirling through my brain as I come home. I lay on the couch with Mr. Hall. He's had a long day with the kids and he needs me. But my head is swirling. My body is stiff, unyielding to the spoon. Mr. Hall opens his eyes and stares at me angrily. "The kids are watching Harry Potter and being quiet right now. Whatever you're thinking about, knock it off and kiss me."
And with a deep breath I let it go, I stop. I become pliable and smoochy. And in the end, the part the really matters is the wife and mother.