Taking CPE and serving as a chaplain should come with some warnings like the ones on the side of prescription drug bottles or the laundry list that is read during the pharmaceutical commercials. Here is what I have experienced thus far:
- Uncontrollable crying during Pixar movies.
- Developing a taste for McDonald’s french fries (because they are the only place open at 3 am after back to back calls have kept me from dinner.)
- Annoying behavior of repeatedly telling all of my family members (and really anyone who will listen) my end of life wishes.
- Strong desires to give CPE-ish feedback & critique to the angry guy yelling in front of me in line at Fairway.
- Ability to watch a matinee of Wit and not leaving as depressed as the rest of the audience.
- Getting to know my local cobbler on a first name basis due to all the shoes I tear through. Related: I no longer wear high heels anywhere.
- Obsessive fears about my husband getting into a bike accident (this turns out to be not so unwarranted).
- Feeling as though I really should listen to and counsel the crazy lady who sits next to me on the subway.
- Overwhelming need to put at least one patient story into every sermon I preach.
- Ability to fall asleep during a Phillies World Series game because of post-call exhaustion.
- Knotty shoulders. I had a masseuse ask me once if I was storing acorns in there.
What are your unexpected chaplaincy side effects?