thankful for collisions

together

together (Photo credit: jungmoon)

I want to meet you on a narrow path.  A trail that only we can fit so we bump into each other often.  We apologize in turns until finally the collisions become familiar to us both and we accept that you and I are not alone.  Less space so we bang along, is just what I am and was hoping for.

 

Happy Thanks-Giving my friend.  I am thankful for you.

Self-care tip – allow the space to bring you into company and connection.  You are not alone.

 

In Gratitude. Commenting is good self-care.

In gratitude I move between these letters.  My step is often clomping and loud, but is that what we would name a “sure-step?”  Not always.  Even tripping and clipping corners bruising my legs, with my mistakes returning echoes to remind anyone who wants to know what my shifting sounds like.  Even when, I move gratefully.  And it is for you and Me and God.  We have decided confidently once at least.  At least once we have in like-minded strength chosen to dedicate our force to move us to the purpose of becoming a friend to yourself.  Many, more often than once.  Many have decided as often as they deliberately step, like a recovering spinal cord injury remembers just how to lift the leg, tilt the foot and ease it down.  Many find this purpose we have chosen at least as difficult as that.

How bout you?  More?  Less?  Gratitude is an assist for Me, as are the woven combinations of all that make up my process, my presence or we could say personal journey.  Within that weave, there is this thing that runs on the fuel that only kind feed-back can generate.  You people.  In truth, I can not move very far with out you.

I have two specific thank-you’s of this kind.

Some time ago, Beth Parker, gifted the Liebster Award and more recently, Cathy gave the Versatile blogger Award.  These girls are kind.  They are friendly and they are funny.  They give and some of what they give, specifically incredible generous feedback like this, is essential to Me.  I’m pretty sure it’s on the periodic table of elements.  Without it, I’d poop out, like an old jalopy in the desert.  I am grateful.

There’s a bit of an overlap in some spaces of these awards and I’m going to snip it back a little since the day is spent.  The good stuff really is naming off you wonders out there who have voices that must be heard.  I’m going to remake the to-do’s of these awards, because I can and that’s the kind of girl I am ;).

My deep gratitude compels me to name off the folks who comment.  They talk.  They speak and connect and let themselves know and be known.  What an honor.  You, and to all have had the courage to write your vulnerable self into words and engage – Thank you.

This commenting-thing is more than pom-pom action.  When we speak out loud, we open closet doors, shame is aired, fears are invited for tea and then ushered out more easily.  We hook into the self-care tips and make them our own when we breathe out audibly.  We may not know it but we claim them and the people in this community of “Friend to Yourself-ers” or FTY’s.  (How do you like that?  FTY?)  This is awesome and powerful and free.  As we say here, “speak.”

You may or may not be on this “WordPress” generated statistic of commenters, but either way, you are here with us.  You fuel us in our life journey uniquely and importantly.  For those who read but don’t comment, thank you as well for letting us share ourselves with you.  Comment if you will, but keep coming either way.

In gratitude:

Nancy 64
Carl D’Agostino 50
Col 34
Cindy Taylor 26
duckofindeed 21
livingvictoriously 17

Sincerely, 

Me

I am Liebster’d and It’s Grand

The last award I received was the Stylish Blogger award.  It’s only happened a couple of times but it has always been a fun surprise.

Our friend, Carl D’Agostino, awarded FriendtoYourself.com the Liebster Blog Award.  Why?  He says it’s to bring additional recognition to this site.  I now understand that FriendtoYourself.com qualifies because it has less than 200 followers.  This is the one time I am glad to have less than 200 followers because being honored by Carl is huge for me.  If you check out his comments here at FriendtoYourself.com, his cartoons and comics on his own blog, i know i made you smile, and start interacting with him through his comment section, it won’t take you long to understand why.

Carl has over the past year+ become my friend and mentor.  He never asked for it.  You know that in the presence of a generous spirit, we naturally give without expecting more in return than that person is who they are.  His intuition and sometimes edge, inspire and instruct.  I’d be a fool not to listen.  He doesn’t ask for it.  But you know how it goes.  In the presence of a generous spirit….  (Liebster means ‘beloved’ in German.  Is that right Thysleroux?  I think it’s real sweet.  Thanks Carl.)

The rules roll that if you receive the award, not only do you have the, “less than 200 followers,” but you should have more.  Those are the rules :).  That, and, you should link back to the blogger that nominated you (yours truly) and nominate five more blogs.  Let them know that you nominated them, or it may be that your tree grows in a forest of Internet Web and jungle but never seen.

Here are five blogs I am honored to share space with…. Five out of almost a google more out there that I admire – all for their own reasons.  (You know who you are.)  People doing what they love to do and working hard at it are a delight in life.  Keep on.

1.  Absurd Old Bird ~ aka Val Erde… who plays with words and images.

2.  The Duck of Indeed The Duck of Indeed  Art, writing, and one person’s journey to do it all, – with, well… Duck.

3.  KANSAS MEDIOCRITY, – with Tracy Phillips.

4.  ocdbloggergirl.com LIVING WITH OCD…WITH HUMOR, – with Lisa

5.  Living Victoriously Hope, Life, Inspiration, and Realities, – with Marie.

The Gift of Desperation

Life (23/365)

LIFE

Misty sounded relieved,

Yes.  That’s it.

She had just realized that life isn’t fair.  Sure.  She knew that before, but she just realized what she knew.  Don’t we all love that moment when our senses join up – sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, emotion, intellect, spiritual and the rest.  That is a lot to coördinate after all and sometimes some of them don’t make the train.

Misty was a single mom of three.  Her ex-husband was what she called, “Disney-Dad,” and her kids relished their time with him.  Misty complained that she didn’t get to spend the special times with her kids.  She mainly took care of them, but missed out on irresponsible fun.  She was sure her kids wouldn’t look back and think of her like they would their father.  She was getting angrier about it all the time, ruminating about it and it was getting in the way of her ability to connect with others and feel pleasure.  There it was in front of her blocking her from seeing her kids even, let alone herself.

Then after weeks of this along with medication and talk therapy, she told me,

Yes.  That’s it.  Life is not fair.  There are many other things in my life that aren’t fair either and if I look for them, I could spend my whole day every day counting them off.  

It broke my heart a bit to hear her and see her there.  Humble like that; she would I think affect you the same way.  So real.

Yesterday, Carl D’Agostino replied to our post about growing our understanding of our choices beautifully.

…we wait until we are at our wit’s end before we seek assistance…. considering reaching out as personal failure or inadequacy re: our own self-esteem…. Foolishly we wait until our way just is not working anymore. That is why AA calls this a gift: the gift of desperation. …For many, the depths into which we have succumbed are now found not to be so deep at all and in fact, ladders are readily available if we use them in recovery. 

Ah Carl.  Say it again.

The gift of desperation.

Too good.  Don’t you think?

Questions:  Have you ever received the gift of desperation?  What did it bring you?  Where did it take you?  What did it do to you?  Do you still have it?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip – Celebrate your gift of desperation.

Why Psychiatry?

An American Lady butterfly against a cloud-fil...

Image via Wikipedia

If we have ever seen a psychiatrist, then there has been some point in our lives when someone told us to go or we told ourselves.  I have some questions for you.

How did you hear about psychiatry?

What are your thoughts?

What did/do you understand?

Please tell me your story!

Self-Care Tip – Explore your connection with psychiatry.

Eight hugs a Day

Evening friends.  Spent the afternoon enjoying the company of friends and family.  Including enjoying a lecture from the “love doctor,” Paul Zak PhD.  Dr. Zak gave us a practice run on his upcoming lecture for TED in Scotland.  He told us about the amazing hormone, oxytocin, which Dr. Zak tells us is the morality hormone.  It increases any time we have increased social connection.  Oxytocin makes people trust, empathize and have increased moral behaviors.  Dr. Zak’s prescription is eight hugs a day (hugs increase oxytocin).  Awesome.

Our Patient-Doctor Relationship Improved by Self-Care and Back At You!

NICU Nursery

Image by EMS Shane in Portland via Flickr

I am writing a series of blog-posts outlining self-care in which we examine the tenets of self-care:

Self-Care Tip #265 – Use your connections to help yourself and use your self-care to improve your connections (such as your patient-doctor relationship.)

Damaged and premature, my niece was born needing help to live. Now, one year later, I am playing ball with her on the floor. Her intelligent smile, thriving body, and especially the lovely nape of her neck with that baby-curl of hair lipping up makes remembering her near death-dive into life surreal. I don’t want to remember it anyway. But when I can’t help myself, what I like to think of is how my brother and sister-in-law were treated.

The clinicians at UCSD were unbelievable, my brother said. They included him in their decision-making and informed him of medical study results. If you don’t know, if you’ve never been sick or been in a medical setting otherwise, this doesn’t always happen. It isn’t traditional to share medical information directly with patients (such as x-rays, laboratory results, differential diagnoses, and to ask their opinion. Can you imagine?!  “…Um. Yes PLEASE! Can I be your patient!?” Sounds like fantasy.)

I’ve also struggled to collaborate. Hovering over charts and laboratory results, many of us practitioners behave as if our patients were at any moment going to throw us into court. It’s embarrassing, even though the truth is, too many of us clinicians are stalked by litigious intentions, whilst the truly awful practitioners seem to sail away on unsinkable malpractice without pursuit.

I have not enjoyed myself when I’ve done this. When I’ve acted suspicious of the very people I’m meant to team up with, work was not good for me. I don’t think my patients felt comfortable with the doctor-patient relationship either during those times. Hearing my brother talk about how he was treated has emboldened me to engage with more trust in the care I offer patients. Moreso, being friendly to myself has helped me be a better physician.  It’s tail chasing but with productive and enriching effects.

Making a choice to choose trust and transparency with patients and clinicians, even being present with the fear, is self-care although high pressure. With people’s lives on the line, clinicians and patients know mistakes will happen. The self-care will grow our ability to forgive each other.

My journey with self-care has brought me to see people differently. I look at them from the self-care angle. I look for those sticky bits where we can connect and collaborate. I expect things from them. I ally myself with their self-respect, with their intuitive desire to be friends with themselves. I am bored at work when I don’t do this. I am bored at work when my patients don’t do this too. Without self-care for myself and without my patient’s interest in self-care, medical practice becomes everything that the negative reputations advertise about the physician and the patient.

Yes. My quality of practice has definitely improved.

Who isn’t blessed when she sees the courage to face stigma, shame and bewildering illness? Who isn’t more informed every time someone chooses the freedom to do self-care, chooses to live, fights hard like my niece did and shows what that fight is worth?

Who doesn’t learn from that? When someone loses her identity to the defacing ravages of disease but still knows she is worth the fight, like PattyAnne, working beside her is one of the best places in the world to be. For Me. It starts and ends with Me.

Building trust in a patient or a clinician starts with us staying connected to others in our personal circle and along the ripples as the circle widens. We have to have a voice and hear their voice and we do this by maintaining a community of people.

Connection is part of self-care for both clinician and patient. In the case of PattyAnne, (yes, she’s still in our story,) she could take an action toward her self-care with the intention of gaining stronger connection to her community and to me. She could ask herself about her intentions. In fact, we both would do better self-care approaching each other this way.

Connection via the patient-doctor relationship is self-care and then back the other way too!

It starts and ends with Me.

Questions: Has your patient-doctor relationship been a friendly part of what you’ve given yourself?  What are some examples or in what ways have other connections you’ve chosen improved your self-care?  How has self-care inversely improved your patient-doctor relationship?  Please tell me your story.