Put Your Oxygen Mask On First!


Whenever you’re riding in an airplane, the stewardesses always tell you, in the event of an emergency, to put our mask on first. Before you can take care of anyone else, you need to take care of yourself first. That is what my therapist just told me. We were discussing how I handled the situation at work. She asked me what I honestly thought about the situation. I told her that I feel like a quitter; that I think I should go back. The thing is that I’m scared. I don’t want to be in the same situation, but I don’t know how not to be in the same situation.

While checking out my options, I was told if I tried to fight for Worker’s Comp, that it could possibly take years, and during that time, I couldn’t work anywhere. This is not an acceptable alternative.

So, I told all of this to my therapist and she told me that I needed to strike a balance. We then completed a pie chart where she showed me where most of my energies were going. Most of it was going to things I couldn’t control.

“Concentrate your energies on what you can fix,” she said. It makes no sense to give your energy to something so out of your control that you lose yourself.

You can return to work and it will work out for you, only if you draw a line in the sand; have some barriers. There has to be barriers. She also told me that the biggest piece of the pie should go to taking care of myself. We compared the me from a couple of weeks ago to the me now. Believe me when I say that it’s a big difference. I am almost ready to return. I just need a couple more weeks to make sure.

When I return I am going to have barriers. I will contact the Principal and see what safety plan is put into place. If I don’t feel it is enough, I will leave. I will make a big deal out of the parent from hell having any type of contact with me. I will call the police and get a restraining order. I will call the school police if this child makes a threat against me. I will insist on fair treatment from all concerned. If at anytime I don’t feel safe, I will leave for good. I WILL PUT MY MASK ON FIRST.

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