Brought Down By a Bug...or SomethingSo, I woke up early this morning with a very upset stomach. I took some antacid and went back to sleep. waking up several times during the rest of the night for more antacids.
This morning, I got up with every intention of going to work. My stomach was upset, and the illness seemed to transfer down into the intestines as well. I tried very hard to get to work today. I even got to my car and about 3 miles away from home before the stomach stuff reared its ugly head, and I felt that I could not face an hour's drive feeling nauseous.
Now, I am a person who firmly believes that you should stay home if you are sick. If you are in any way contagious, then you have a responsibility to others to keep your germs to yourself. (I don't think I'm contagious, by the way.)
I decided that there needed to be some time to sit and try to stay quiet today rather than attempting to sing with my mouth open, breathing on my clients.
I hope it will be a quiet day at work. I worry when I am not there that I will be on a very long list. This list will be long because there are many folks gone on vacation this week. I knew that this morning which is why I tried to go in to work. I also worry about my equipment being used by folks who do not know how much it costs to replace said equipment.
Self-care for the therapist is something that most of my interns do not know about when they get to me. We discuss it often during their internships, especially when interns appear to be stressed out with their assignments. We talk about the need to take time to take care of yourself. We talk about being realistic as human beings - we are not perfect, and we need to recognize this fact in order to be effective therapists.
I have seen many good therapists burn out of the therapy profession because of unrealistic expectations of themselves as ubertherapists. They appear to believe that that they have to do everything for everyone perfectly all of the time.
Now, I tend to be one of those people. I am more likely to do something that someone asks me to do than to say "no" to their request. I have always tried to do things perfectly - I am a perfectionist, but I have learned the hard way that I cannot achieve perfection in all things. I can only do the best I can.
On days like these, my body sends a very strong message to my perfectionistic personality.
I have learned that it is better to address these issues when they first rear their ugly heads than it is to try to ignore them. If you ignore issues, they start to grow, kinda like a monster in a nightmare.
So, I am home today, writing this blog entry, trying to calm my upset intestinal tract, taking the very strong hints that my body is giving to me. Taking this time now will make me a better therapist tomorrow.