Thank you for reading my weekly newsletter. I'm glad that you're here and hope that my reflections will help your life.
Today, I thought I would share with you a few ups and downs that I've had this past week and how I dealt with it.
Hopefully, you'll be able to relate and feel connected from our common life experiences.
Enjoy and have a great week! 😄
Recently, a patient sat in my office, berating me for over 20 minutes on how negligent I was and how much she had suffered when I hadn't responded to her communication over the weekend.
Had I abandoned her to Godzilla? Had she suffered from psychotropic medication withdrawal side effects? No. She was angry about having heartburn, which she resolved by increasing her heartburn medication by one-fourth of a tablet.
The next week, she failed to show up for her appointment, didn't respond when I tried to contact her, and emailed me hours later, to fire me, lecturing me on being "untrustworthy."
A few hours later, another patient called to schedule a new intake appointment. She shared that someone at a residential treatment facility had raved about my holistic approach.
"Just thought I'd let you know that you're a rock star according to some people." She said.
And THAT is just a tiny taste of the ups and downs I encounter as a psychiatrist. Ever had weeks like that?
How do I, as a psychiatrist, handle the ups and downs of life? Do I float through each day in a perpetual zen state, meditating away any disturbances to my constant state of bliss?
How did you know! Okay, well, no. Here's how I really cope when people start to have a negative impact on my self-possession, self-esteem, or self-sufficiency:
- Talk to a friend. That evening I shared my experience with a good friend and felt understood and supported when she responded, "I have one of those right now. Boundaries are for people who don't respect our boundaries." Thank goodness for a friend who understood and loved me. I had been gaslighted by the angry patient, and I needed someone to reset my sanity button. The patient did have boundary issues, and I am trustworthy.
- Journaling. There's something very calming when writing about one's day and reflecting on everything. As I journal, I often feel as if, from a spiritual realm, helpful thoughts are flowing to me and supporting me. My jumbled thoughts and feelings become more orderly and serene. By the time I'm finished with my entry, all that life had thrown at me had landed on a few pages, to be part of a long, ongoing story. It feels good to be the protagonist of that story and add another chapter to "my book." Here's a link to a newsletter I had written on the value of journaling.
- Use Logosynthesis. It's really simple to do and very effective at supporting positive energy. I have the three sentences written on a piece of paper conveniently close by, so I can use the technique readily. If I am bothered by something, or want to work on improving or healing some aspect of my life, I will do a few rounds of Logosynthesis before the end of the day. Here's the link for Logosynthesis.
- Being creative. When my emotions are intensified by stressors, I try to let off steam by being creative. Often, that might mean writing a poem that expresses how I feel at the moment. You, on the other hand, might choose to hammer out your feelings by making something out of wood, or take out a paintbrush to create a colorful painting. I try to really connect with my feelings when I'm translating them onto paper. Afterward, I will have a new angsty poem to add to my collection. Being creative allows me to direct my negative energy into productive paths. Click here if you are curious about the angsty poem I just created, "The Rich Witch".
One last thing, try and follow the Golden Rule of Self-care. Rather than just remembering to "do to others as you would have them do to you," remember to also "do for yourself what you would do for others."
That is, be as nice, compassionate, thoughtful, and supportive to yourself, as you would be for others. Life will have its ups and downs, so take care of yourself and remember to love yourself and treasure your light.
I just updated my Energy Breaths page with an improved recording.
Click here to listen.