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Saturday
Feb232013

Compassion Fatigue (Cost to our families part II)

This is a topic that is brought up frequently in my world. I hope it is because people are looking out for me and I believe that. It is also because people also see the affects that my work has on my non work life. When I was returning from a retreat with the men of my church recently, one of the other men looked at me and said my demeanor had changed. That I looked like something was wrong, my body posture had changed and I looked frustrated. This was after a weekend of retreat with no work or family responsibilities at all.

What I realized and I said that I was getting into my entry posture, meaning I was preparing for the worst to happen, unaware that I was physically getting ready to take the hit the world was going to expectedly give me. This is what I have been training my body, my mind to do, when walking out into the world, hunker down, get ready to react because the world is not going to give anything good to me for sure.

While I thought about this it came to me that I was carrying this posture into my general life, I have been preparing for the worst all the time. At first there is an adrenaline rush that you experience and some would say enjoy, but after awhile it just becomes tiring. What happens to me is that when I am home instead of being able to take in the sensory input of my children laughing, playing and perhaps at times yelling, I am sensitive enough it is painful to me and I react to that instead of enjoying those times with them.

I am told that recognizing that I have a problem is the first step in getting help to solve that problem. While I don't think I can undo the training and experience that I have gone through. I know that I can start to recognize what is happening to me as I walk through my day. In the beginning we train people to know what they are doing and to be able to do it under a lot of stress, which at times means doing it from the training and not thinking. I have been there and now I am looking at moving to the next level of being aware of myself at that time of action. 

As I continue on this journey I hope that you who have been there are able to encourage me and others along. If you are where I am join in with me and lets learn how to train our systems differently. For those of you who don't have an idea about this follow along and see what happens.

Peace,

John 

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