Honestly, I think we often discount (or forget) how deeply we are impacted by our work.
A good boss and uplifting friends can make miserable work into a joy.
But the opposite is also true.
The repetition of it can get to you too – particularly dealing with hard issues.
I knew a guy who was a detective. He primarily investigated special victims crimes (sex crimes/trafficking).
He admitted once how hard it was to go to work day after day and deal with the same depraved sadness.
I can only imagine.
I think it probably takes a special person – with a special heart – to day-in and day-out care for the terminally ill.
At moments, the weight of it all became palpable. It was in the air, the stress and misery. Normally, you breathed it in, without noticing it. But some days, like a humid muggy day, it had a suffocating weight of its own. Some days, this is how it felt when I was in the hospital: trapped in an endless jungle summer, wet with sweat, the rain of tears of the families of the dying pouring down.
-Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air (Amazon)