“Turning The Job Off” After Getting Off Shift

By Safe Call Now’s Dr. Laura Brodie Ph.D.

Academies teach how to turn it on.  They teach of being alert, learning body memory, run in when everyone is running out, save the innocent; do your job! But they never teach how to turn it off.  The job teaches how to ramp up and be alert but now you’re alert at three am and reliving the day where you saw horrific things.  You’re now just pissed and annoyed at any request made of you and you’re thinking to yourself, this isn’t me.

You roll your eyes at human pain.  You hate handling the public and you assume your job is going to demand all of you and give nothing in return.  You’re angry. You’re so angry without a clue as to why.  You just want everyone to leave you alone.  You want to scream LEAVE ME ALONE!  But as you fantasize of doing so you also see yourself as the worst person on the planet.

You’re staring at paperwork and wonder why you took the job.  But, if you could go back in time you’d talk to your old self and realize you did want to do good.  You enjoyed helping the innocent.  You took the job to help. What the hell happened?

You forgot you.  You forgot everything that made you a person except the job. You forgot you like playing music loud, watching silly comedies or reading a great book.  You forgot the people under your roof love you.  You forgot you had dreams of travel, of remodeling the home or restoring that car.  You lost you and you’re mad. But wait, who gave you away?  You did. You bought into your identity as a hero and forgot your identity as a human.  You can find it again but it is hanging up the white hat and allowing yourself to return to the person who was not a savior, but just a person who enjoyed life.

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