How This Moment Broke Me and Let In Some Light.
The day we took Ridley to the vet was one of my first breaking points. Once again, I was exhausted. I dropped into bed, and my head hit the pillow. I was sure I’d fall into a deep slumber right away. Like many nights, however, this did not happen.
It would start as a pit in my stomach and slowly work it’s way up to my heart. I couldn’t always name it, but it was one of my constant companions back then. On this particular night, the day we took Ridley to the vet, keeping my awake was ‘guilt.’
Ridley was our 200lb Great Dane
His massive size and deep bark could fool you into thinking he was a vicious dog. However, there was a reason his nickname was “Boo Boo,” he was a gentle giant and afraid of almost everything! Ridley had cancer. That morning he couldn’t get up.We knew it was time to help him transition peacefully. We made an appointment for 3 pm that afternoon.
My original plan was to call the last few patients of the day and reschedule them allowing me to go to the vet with my husband and kids and then home together to cope. But we couldn’t get a hold of the 4 pm patient.
I had built a patient-centered practice
I took pride in putting patients first and delivering fantastic customer service. I often did this at my own expense. I thought this was what it took to be successful. I also had a bad case of FOPO (Fear of Other People’s Opinions.) I didn’t want anyone to know I couldn’t “DO IT ALL”!
Therefore, that day, I went to the vet at 3 pm. The appointment was one of the most emotionally painful moments of my life. My kids were devastated. My daughter clung to me.
At 3:55, I handed the kids over to my husband, stuffed my feelings down deep like I had done so many times before, and headed back to the office to see the 4 pm patient. I walked into the operatory at 4:05 and apologized for being a few moments late. The patient joked that he hoped I had been enjoying my coffee break.
And that was my breaking point. Something inside of me cracked. I couldn’t put a name to it or even understand it. I just KNEW this life I had created was not in alignment.
I barely slept that night because of the guilt
The next morning I woke up, and life continued. I didn’t make any changes because I didn’t know how to. But that breaking point had let in some light. I became aware, and that was a start.
“Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
My tip for you is this
When you have a breaking point, pay attention. Jot down your feelings. These moments are clues your soul is trying to send to you. You may not know what to do at that moment, and that’s ok. The first step is to become aware of where you are.
If you have nights when you struggle to sleep, please know that I was there. I lived it. And I lived through it. There is a better way, and I’d love to guide you there.