Butterflies and Barbed Wire 15 You are almost certainly not thinking about driving into a clump of trees. In fact, you probably still enjoy your job (at least most of the time) and love the challenges, the smiling faces, and the busy little brains. It is a lot of work, and you’re good at it. You feel confident and capable most of the time. Some days, though, things get stressful, leaving you tense and overwhelmed. When this happens, you usually bounce back quickly. Overall, you’re probably happy and content most of the time. It is important that you manage your stress so you do not get to the point where it consumes you. The three women who shared stories about their thoughts of harming themselves used to be in your position. They loved their jobs. They were dedicat- ed and passionate about their work. Then, gradually, there were more bad days and bouncing back was tougher. As time passed, they started feeling like they had less control over their lives. Eventually, those dark thoughts started to pop into their heads. You have to take conscious control of your own well-being right now so this slow, downward spiral does not happen to you. This book is one of the best tools you have for understanding why your smile fades and for making mindful changes to help maintain your smile. If you skip over the questions and activities presented here, you are cheating yourself and missing opportuni- ties to better understand yourself and your situation in life. You might think you don’t have time to stop, think, and write. You might feel doing these things won’t do you any good. You might be scared you’ll open emotional wounds and think about things that you work very hard not to think about. You made a finan- cial investment when you purchased this book, and you have invested time in reading so far. Why not invest a bit more time and a little energy in answering the questions you could just skip past? The worst that could happen is you spend time alone inside your head thinking about things you need to think about. I think you are worth the effort. What’s Your It? Even when you are having a great day, a day when noses are not running, no one has been bitten, and everyone slept well the