Work Withdrawal


Damned if you don’t. Damned if you do, right? I just got sad tonight. I missed my work peeps. Ugh. My former work people, I suppose. I don’t want to come off as a complainer. I am grateful for the time I’ve had with my family, even extra family from out of town and friends too. We had some fun family time together at the lake for Father’s day, which was a first, since I’ve always worked on the actual Hallmark holiday. We’ve been swimming a lot and hitting the pillow hard at night with our tired heads. So, I know that I should not lament because it’s been an awesome summer so far.

But, still, I miss my friends. My work friends.

The ones who stood with me outside of rooms, in the hallways, next to the toy cabinets, and in the yellow charting zone area. My pseudo-office. I miss our conversations. I miss working. Even carrying my bag full of prizes, prep and distraction materials all around, throughout the red zone and yellow zone rooms. Even the green zone rooms, too. I miss blowing bubbles, holding hands, and teaching scared and anxious kids about what’s going to happen. I miss all of those powerful moments where I was confident or at least hopeful that I helped in a small way, either for the child or the parent. Or the nurses. Or the doctors. Call me crazy but I even miss hospital waitressing, grabbing warm blankets and dare I say it, those delicious lunchables for the patient or impatient yet hungry customers.

I thought I should just try and go to sleep tonight. Maybe dream the work withdrawal symptoms away, but I couldn’t. I had iced tea for lunch. That means my brain gets to keep on thinking and thinking and my heart gets to keep on wondering and feeling. A bit empty. I knew it would be hard, but I couldn’t predict how hard. (That’s what she said-Michael Scott) I don’t want to over-romanticize my career because there were definitely parts that I do not miss. And will not miss ever. But I always knew in my heart that I would miss the rare and beautiful and genuine people.

I reminded myself before I resigned that I may never find coworkers as great as some of the ones I worked with. I know I am only two weeks sober and I haven’t figured out my next career move, but I feel like I have a gaping heart hole. Which is ironic because I happen to know a crew that works really well in emergent situations. I should probably high tail it to the downtown pediatric ER. Please don’t do anything special for me like activate a trauma. I will not wear a gown. You can just meet me at the ambulance bay. I will bring cookies. If you grab me a Coke Zero. On ice.

Only I know it would be different. Because I don’t work there anymore. I don’t have a badge. Or keys.  I couldn’t naturally hop into a room to help out. Or interupt a conversation with my annoying morse code pager. It would be awkward. And painful, I think. I should probably just let my heart wound heal on it’s own. I could probably find an internet diagnosed cure for “work resignation withdrawal.” Treatment would probably encourage abstaining from the place I’m attempting to recover from.

I thought about grabbing a beer and retreating into my closet to read cards and blow some bubbles, but I don’t have any bubbles. How sad. I should have swiped a bubble tumbler on my way out. I definitely don’t want to have to make homemade bubbles. It would be like brewing my own beer. It sure kills the pitiful and sad moment when you’re measuring out glycerin. And where the heck would I even find a bubble wand this late at night in this house?

“Just don’t,” I told myself. So, I listened. For once.

I do think it would be okay to meet some of my former work friends for a beer. Or dinner. Or a playdate. I feel like I have certain stories that only my coworkers would truly appreciate or understand. For example, I have a lot of weird details surrounding the recent death of our guinea pig and his funeral that others may not fully grasp the beauty or humor or sadness or familiar combination of all three of these, like my work friends. Acckk. Former work friends. Anyways, spoiler alert. We had to put the guinea pig in the deep freezer overnight. Yeah, Yeah. It was the same place that I put your ice cream sandwiches a few weeks ago. Don’t worry, everything was wrapped up and sealed in a ziploc bag. The real deal, not a generic brand. Sterile-ish. The next day, my grieving inquisitive son wanted to pet his frozen guinea pig’s body before we buried him. So, I let him. It was a bit weird but he asked. It was his guinea pig afterall. And since he was frozen and dead….

I miss you guys. I’m sure you’ve got some great stories for me, too. Funny ones. Sad ones. Crazy ones. Work ones. Real life ones. Summer ones. It doesn’t really matter. I just miss your faces telling me the stories. Your stories. So, please, save some of your stories for me. The good ones. Or the bad ones. And I will do the same. Promise me we will all meet up soon. Don’t make me go against the internet doctor’s orders and go back to my former place of work. It’s just too soon.

One thought on “Work Withdrawal

  1. I’ve been out of the ER for years and still call it home. I can hear it calling for me. And one day I will go back. It is one of those places that grabs hold of your heart and doesn’t let go. Don’t get me wrong I love where I’m at now. But I miss those same work friends. They ARE the only ones that understand that story or grasp the weird humor. I figure you can take a girl out of the Midwest but can’t take the Midwest out of the girl. It’s the same for the ER. Once you become part of the family you can’t… Well you know.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s