Today marks one month since my graduation.

Unfortunately it has not been all rainbows & butterflies & puppies since then. (Well, there have been puppies. My puppies. I love my puppies.)

S warned me that it would take time to come down from the ledge, so to speak. Boy was he right. I love my husband. I love him so much I can even publicly admit when he’s right. 😉 There you go, love. For all the world to see.

What he meant was that I needed to intentionally separate myself from the stress. What he meant was that I needed to be kinder to myself. And so far I have flunked that assignment. Unfortunately the consequences have extended beyond my own suffering and confusion about “Why-the-hell-do-I-feel-so-drained-still-I’m-done-with-school-what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-me????”

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve enjoyed the free time. I’ve enjoyed the ability to read for pleasure again. And I’ve loved that I can sleep in on a Sunday with zero anxiety about looming deadlines.

But for one thing, I miss being a student. There, I said it. Learning is part of my being. And school offers me a sense of structure and security that helps me get through the tough days. It gives me a place to focus my energies. Sometimes it even gives me a place to escape (yes, I know that’s unhealthy.)

For another, I miss my friends. I miss the knowledge that no matter how busy our lives got, we had one weekend a month set apart to support one another through the journey. To mutually commiserate and to laugh and to share stories. It fed me.

I know my mind, my heart and my soul need a break. I know I need to get better at living in the present. I know that I have a lot of healing to do from a long journey that led me to this point. I know that the past four years have led to some toxic personal habits that have affected my relationship with myself and with the people I love the most.

But just as divers must take their time to ascend from the deep, so must I carefully navigate this experience.


I’ve been in such a hurry to recover from the exhaustion and stress, I haven’t remembered that it requires deliberate forethought and action. I need to practice healing, patience and forgiveness. I need to let go of the anger and bitterness that has dictated my emotions, my actions and my responses.

If I am to survive as a nurse, I must first start with my most important patient: Me.

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