Monday, November 17, 2008


The past few weeks have been rough. I have a love-hate relationship with my new job at the center for women with eating disorders. I love it because I love the women. Every day I look at them and think, "You are so beautiful, and you have no idea!" There is one little girl who looks like she would crumble into dust if you poked her, but her big eyes will melt you quicker than a stroll on the sun's surface. Watching the women at meals is heartwrenching--the anxious trembling, the sullen faces, the sidelong glances at the bacon as though it will suddenly snap to life and attack them! Part of me wants to grab the bacon off their plates and stuff it in my mouth just to take away the pain I see in their eyes and slumped shoulders. But of course that wouldn't help them.

I wonder sometimes if I can handle such an emotionally stressful job. I am not the only one who wonders. A week ago, my Relief Society President came by to see how I was doing, and I had to admit I was miserable. I had been taking care of a lot of people (at work and elsewhere) but neglecting myself, and no one else seemed to be taking care of me, so I had a lot of unmet needs. Training on all the shifts (morning, eveing, graveyard) threw my sleep schedule out of whack, and being tired is no help for managing my mood. This morning, I was so tired that when my alarm went off, I started crying, cried myself back to sleep, and missed my shift at the temple. When I finally woke up, I spent the day consciously combating the flood of guilt I felt for letting down the other temple workers on my shift. So I don't know if I can do this, but one of the other care techs (that's my job title) said it takes about two months to settle in, and if I can survive that long, I'll be fine. My therapist thinks this job will be good for me and I'll be good at it, and she's the expert, right?

Segway to something unrelated: I had to work yesterday morning, so I missed church. Luckily, my friend Matt let me tag along to church with him in the afternoon. He attends the ward for single adults over 30. I had a fascinating experience there. In Relief Society, for several minutes, I watched a woman pick her nose and roll the mucous around between her fingers. All I could think of was what I have heard my dad say many times about the older single adult wards back home: "There's a reason some of these people aren't married." In the past, I have found that statement offensive, but provided it is not overgeneralized, it's accurate. I mean, come on, picking your nose and playing with your snot, in public no less? Really? Really?

Despite buger lady and several mildly offensive political comments during the Relief Society discussion about the "signs of the times," I enjoyed church. Mostly, I think I enjoyed going to church with Matt. These days, I go to church alone because my roommate is always ready to leave earlier than I am. Also, even though I have plenty of friends in my ward, I feel lonely at church. There was something about going with Matt--walking into Sacrament Meeting with him, seeing him waiting for me outside of the Relief Society room, sharing a hymnal and using his knee as the "book rest"--it all felt comforting somehow.

Wow, I really didn't realize how lonely I've been lately. Sad, sad. Bedtime now because sleep solves all problems (I'm only half joking).

Current songs: "Life in Technicolor" and "Lost!" by Coldplay


FamiLee said...

That is sick! Sick! SICK! Although my 6 year old did it for 4 months to make me puke! Crazy bugar lady!

Kind of interesting how we can be surrounded by tons of people, but feel so lonely~can relate. Good Luck with that job, my friend worked there only for a short period of time, because they were super strict and it was stressful not being able to talk about it...she did learn a lot about the way to talk to people with EDO's. Good Luck!

Deja said...

Sounds like it would be a hard job, but I can think of no one better equipped with graceful compassion.

I hope you start to feel better soon.

The Dancing Newt said...

I know how you feel, about lonely at church.

Liz said...

I'm feeling for ya. I've been there. Been there lots of times. All I can say is to stick it out. I think that your therapist is right--it could be great for you. Just give it some time, and if you're really not loving it in a few months, you can always find something different.

Not getting the right sleep messes me up, too. (Clearly, I should not still be awake, yet I am...) Also, I find that my sleep is worse in the winter with the shortening of the days. Only one month, and then the days start to get longer again! You can do it!!