Am I doing this for the wrong reasons?


So, I just finished up my first year of nursing school and I’m scheduled to sit for the LPN boards at the end of this month. I’m also signed up for 60 hours of unpaid cooperative work experience (CWE) starting next week. Here’s the thing- I am DREADING this CWE but I feel like I have to do it or I will be letting my husband and my parents down.

I had a terrible time with anxiety and panic attacks throughout the school year. Now that I’ve had a month away from school, I’m back into a routine with my two young children (2 and 3 yrs. old), and my anxiety level has went way down and the suffering is much more tolerable. Basically, I feel like I’m mellowing out and starting to enjoy life again. But now I have to do 2 weeks of 12 hour shifts and I’m nervous that my anxiety is going to be triggered again. I just feel like I need more TIME to chill before my second year of nursing begins.

But I can’t bring myself to tell my husband this. I think he’ll be upset with me, and disappointed in me. Do I “suck it up” and go through with this? Or do I speak up for myself and do what’s best for ME? Is this selfishness, or part of being healthy?


I say take a break if you need it specially when it concerns your health. Life isn’t a race to the finish line, do what is best for you. :slight_smile:


Take a break. Nursing is a demanding field. I know. Been in it for almost 28 years.



If you are having panic attacks you need to be evaluated by a doctor, and let the doctor then recommend a course of treatment.

That may include delaying your nursing obligations, or may include medication that can help you with the attacks.


Are you in touch with a counselor? Notice what you’re saying - you’re nervous that you might be anxious. Sounds like one of those mind traps to me that many of us fall into.

I’ve dealt with anxiety too. While it may be okay to take a break, sometimes it’s better to face what we are afraid of. I know for me the anxiety is 10x worse than the actual thing itself. It’s a distortion. I think it’s really helpful when we can prove to ourselves that we are capable of doing things. None of us want the anxiety to control our lives.

But again, that decision is probably best made with a counselor who knows your situation really well. Maybe your health is really fragile. Or maybe you can use a challenge with the right supports in place.

I would encourage you to talk to your husband. If he’s a loving guy, which I’m sure he is, he will want to know what you are feeling and thinking, even if he might react negatively at first. And I would be willing to bet he won’t be negative. I think that’s another thing people with anxiety do to beat themselves up more - worrying about how others will react, catastrophizing.

I guess my bottom line is don’t avoid the program out of fear. Make the decision based on your reason: what is the impact it will have on my family life? what opportunities will it give me? what talents of mine will it develop? is it worth it to me? is this what God has called me to do?

I just finished an extremely intense academic program so I feel like I know a little about where you are coming from. It’s normal to feel some “decompression” after a strenuous semester. Enjoy it, ask God to help you carry that peace into whatever comes next. I’m very much learning this myself.

God bless you. Enjoy those little ones.


I really understand you, since I suffer them too. I too had been doing much better, but a neighbor knocked on my door the other night asking for help. Her mom died, so now she has to leave her apartment, to move in with her dad and a sick brother. She was asking if I would adopt her one year old puppy, whom we know and really like, because she thinks it is way too much for her to handle him now. Well we accepted, thinking it would be smooth, since we have a maltese that has played with this puppy before and this puppy is already one year old. Boy, was I wrong, he is not house broken, he cries all night and all day, because he misses her and her other dog. And he wants to sleep on my bed or be on my lap all day, like she had him used to. I love animals, but I have never enjoyed sleeping with them on my bed. It is not something that I do. Sooo I have not slept in two days, I have tried everything to sooth him and nothing works,he is so upset and needy of attention all the time, and my anxiety has kicked in big time, to the point that my husband and I had our first arguement in months, because of the dog.This really made me upset, because I work hard at maintaining the peace in my home. I want to return him to my neighbor for my own well being, and my husband wants to keep him. But I am the one that stays home with him crying, peeing, pooping all day and all night. I feel bad for the puppy, because he is missing his family and his normal routine, but I cannot allow my anxiety to take a toll on my health, to solve someone elses problem. She really should of told me that he was not house broken and that she had him used to, such a high level of attention.So I do understand where you are now. Dealing with anxiety and pleasing what others expect of us is not easy. It is better for you to be healthy for yourself and your children. Take time to get better. For me I will be calling my neighbor today and explain nicely, that it did not work. I think she needs to take him with her until he is more mature and trained. I will work things out with my husband, we always have. My dog has not eaten in two days, because of the whole situation, she even refuses to play she is so nervous, she has been hiding under my bed forever. Do what you think is best for your health and well being. God bless you.


Yes, I have visited my doctor previously and have been on anti-anxiety meds in the past. I have xanax for panic now, which I can take if I feel an attack coming on. But I hate the way the long-term anti-depressants and/or anti-anxiety meds make me feel- FLAT. So I try to stay off of them. And it’s been much easier since I’ve been out of school this summer.:slight_smile:


Great thoughts. Thank you. That’s the hardest thing about anxiety is the distortion of thoughts and the fears that defy true reason. My guess is that once I get into CWE and get going, I will learn a lot. But my main anxiety is leaving my kids in the care of others. It’s not the nursing that scares me as much as the fear of something terrible happening to my kids while I’m at work. And although the nursing doesn’t scare me, as a student it is very stressful because of the amount of content there is to learn in a short amount of time which always gets my adrenaline going which promotes my feelings of anxiety.

This last year has been very hard on our marriage and on me as an individual. Sometimes I worry I’m doing all of this for the wrong reasons and that all of this conflict I feel inside is God’s way of saying he doesn’t want me to go in this direction and that my true calling is to live simply and be a mommy. I wonder if I’m supposed to be drawn toward where I feel most at peace, or try to make peace with this road toward being an RN.


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