So again its been a while. I’ve neglected my writing. In to the latter stages of the course now and the pressure is, well its got a bit much really. I’m quite proud of making it this far without resorting to tears in my consultants office. There is no shame in crying I just find it annoying as it tends to catch me out at inopportune moments, like in the middle of a shift. The reasons behind my tears were that the many plates that you are expected to spin were starting to waver and I was not sure if could or even wanted to keep this whole act going.
My first words on entering the office were preparatory
‘I’m going to cry’
Door shuts, I sit down and say
‘I can’t do this anymore.’
I actually decided to myself that weekend that I was going to quit. The course was just making me miserable. I had gone to Scotland and it was beautiful being outdoors in wide open spaces but I just felt rubbish and guilty that I wasn’t studying and ensuring I was going to be the best ACP ever. If I’m I totally honest with myself its not that the course is too hard it is the fact I have no idea where I fit in the ACP role and if I even like what it appears to promote. The more people talk about these four pillars the more I feel like this metaphorical construct has been created to ensure people can talk their way into highly paid jobs and flit around the country promoting themselves for being great under the guise of conquering an imaginary concrete post.
That was very angry sounding wasn’t it and I fully grasp the point of them however…I have been a bit angry and disillusioned to say the least.
I came into advanced practice for the exact same reason I came into nursing. Simplistic as it maybe. I want to make people feel better. I don’t feel the need to demonstrate which pillar I am fulfilling in doing that. The problem is I’m not there yet I have a lot more hoops to jump before I am afforded the luxury of being able to do this job the way I want to.
I had a conversation with one of my academic supervisors recently. They had asked how I was feeling, where I was at on the Fischer model (remember that from my previous post). I explained I was feeing ready to give it all up. I seem to, as always, miss the point of what is expected of me. What they said next made it a little clearer.
They explained whilst I am an adult, being at university is unfortunately an extension of school and there are specific ways of doing things and that is just how it is.
This didn’t really help with my disillusionment but it did make things a bit clearer on the academic front.
I just was not prepared for the guilt and isolation that comes with this course. It’s been almost 2 years of just work minimal respite and what now feels like compete isolation from my normal life. People say it’ll be worth it in the end. I’m still not overly convinced it will be. There hasn’t been ups and down for me during this course its mainly been a downward spiral and it has been a constant struggle to hold on (dramatic analogy but feels apt).
I feel guilty about everything. Making time for family and friends is hard. Even time spent with them my thoughts are distracted with things I should be reading, researching or writing. It is true it is a time you discover who your real friends are. Thankfully I have a small but well formed support network and I have even found a new friend to help along the way. I wouldn’t have got this far without them.
After saying the words ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I gave myself a reality check. I realised I needed to take some time for myself. I decided to do Inktober where you draw every day, there’s a prompt sheet so I don’t even have to think what to draw which is helpful. It has been a welcome distraction even if my drawings at the start were somewhat embarrassing, but it wasn’t about that. For me it is the process of learning to draw and accept the permanency of ink.
I can do this. 12ish more weeks. Main aim to continue to be resilient AF!
First stop clinical reasoning exam wish me luck.