Burning Out

Wed Mar 26 2003 06:40PM -0600

What it most likely is, is the fact that I don't eat until 6pm every day. Being hypoglycemic all day can really ruin your attitude.

Even still. I can't pinpoint exactly why I feel all shot out and miserable (other than the fact that I have probably been exposed multiple times to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, most recently to a strain that is possibly multiple drug resistant) but, cumulatively speaking, these last few days have been really rough.

What it is is probably survivor syndrome. I mean, first there is this awful war that is killing people for no other obvious purpose other than to make George W Bush and Dick Cheney and a bunch of unfeeling CEOs richer than they already are. Second, at the hospital I'm at, I seem to keep seeing not just terrible medical pathology, but horrible social pathology as well. The enormous abscess, the incredibly infected woundâ€â€they are disgusting in a visceral way, but when it's your job to find out in excruciating detail how someone is brutalizing a childâ€â€well, I clearly have to find a better way to deal with this than either sublimating it or transferring it to someone else. But this is nothing new. I've always known that many human beings like to mistreat people who are weaker than them. (And notice, this current war and child abuse have a lot in common in that regard.) But the thing that isn't so much grievious as it is wearying is that I am currently working for someone who is known to be completely irrational. As someone who has known this person for a while told me, "There's something not right with [that person]." Fucking great.

It's really all these things adding up. In this lonely moment of darkness, I find myself doubting myself, doubting my abilities, doubting my ability to perservere. I know, and I've known, that the path I've decided to take is not going to be easy. I think therein lies part of the problem. I chose to do this, and so, in a way, my suffering is voluntary. This is where the survivor syndrome comes in. How can I complain when so many other people are suffering much more horribly and, in fact, dying?

Well. As has been repeated to me multiple times during this rotation, people really shouldn't be expected to be rewarded for doing what their supposed to do. As an illustration, in Chris Rock's Bring the Pain, he has this sequence:

"I take care of my kids." You're supposed to, you dumb muthafucka! What kind of ignorant shit is that? "I ain't never been to jail." What do you want, a cookie? You're not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-havin' muthafucka!

But a little encouragement every now and then would be nice. Ah well, while I'm at it, I may as well wish for a million dollars, a fridge with a padlock, and huge pectoral muscles.

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