Notes from the foxhole

(If you’re new to Monkeytraps, Steve is a therapist who specializes in control issues, and Bert is his control-addicted inner monkey. 

That’s Bert at left, taking a mental health break.

Bert speaking:)

Forgive me if I keep this short. 

I’m in a foxhole, and it’s hard to write here.

It’s a familiar foxhole.  I’ve been here before. 

Steve dug it decades ago, soon after he entered the so-called helping professions.

He was like most neophyte helpers.  He roared into the profession determined to give and give, believing the giving would be its own reward.

And for a long time, it was.

So he gave and gave, and then gave and gave some more.  Then he collapsed.

It wasn’t a dramatic collapse.  He just woke up one morning and found he lacked the energy to get out of bed.

He went to a doctor, who told him he was fine physically.  No illness.  Just tired.

So he dug this place.

It’s not much, just a shallow mental trench that provides shelter from the bombardment of daily life.   A place to crawl into, curl up in, and nap.

Naps, by the way, are wonderful.

If you’re a professional helper — therapist, doctor, nurse, teacher, minister, mom — I hope you have a foxhole. 

I hope it’s deep enough. 

And I hope it’s nearby. 

Which is to say, I hope you’re smart enough to use it.

And if you’re not a professional helper, but a civilian…

 Same thing.

* * *

Want more?

 

A self-test for burnout.

 

Ten tips for stress management.

(Yes, I know you know.  You need reminding.)

 

A stress-relief song.


3 responses to “Notes from the foxhole

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