Why start a blog. Why do I think I have something important to say. Why should I be vulnerable with complete strangers. Why, why, why. The questions are endless but it all really boils down to one answer. I like to help people. Actually I feel compelled to help people. As a veterinarian you would think that my major driving force in life is to help animals. And while I love animals and love to help them feel better, I have found that the real juice is in the aspect of helping people with their animals. It really is a win win for me. But this blog and the desire to start it was not born from a desire to help pet parents. It was really born from a desire to help other veterinarians.
In May of 2014 a friend and classmate of mine took his own life. He was a board certified veterinarian, married, and had 2 small children. A close friend of mine called me to tell me and together we both lamented his loss. After getting off the phone I just couldn’t stop thinking about his kids. His kids would never to get know how awesome their dad was and I found that to be unbearably sad.
At that point in time I can’t say that I was doing so great myself. Things were ok but I was just barely keeping my life together. I had a small child of my own that had major sleep issues so I was only getting 2-4 hours of sleep at a time and had been that way for a year and a half. I was working full time at a busy 24 hour practice and I struggled to get done with work on time and felt tremendous amounts of mommy guilt. My marriage was strained from lack of sleep and an intense need to control every aspect of my daughters life. Fast forward another year and a half and nothing had changed. The child still wasn’t sleeping and I began having intense migraines. The migraines were debilitating. The medications they put me on made me foggy and slow. The migraines stopped but were replaced with a daily low grade headache that could flare up to more at the drop of a hat. Life was almost unbearable. The days were dark and I found pleasure in nothing. My marriage was suffering. I wish I could say I went looking for help but I really didn’t.
During some of my lowest moments help found me in the form of Stacey Martino* and her relationship development program. I had no idea what personal development was. Sure I had read a few self help books before but nothing that had ever resulted in real change. Watching Stacey on screen she seemed so happy, obnoxiously happy, too happy to be real happy. I had lots of reservations but in that moment I said yes. I took a leap of faith and signed up for her course. Somehow Stacey’s program helped me to shift my perspective on not just my love relationship but everything. Life, my relationship with my family, my daughter, my husband and my work! The more I learned the more I explored. I found Tony Robbins and Emily Fletcher and Michael Singer and Abraham Hicks and so many more. If Stacey mentioned a book I read it, then read it again and then began implementing. Soon enough I found my days at work more pleasurable. At first I thought it was that work had gotten easier but soon enough I realized it wasn’t the work that had changed. It was me.
As time has passed the call to share what I have learned has gone from a whisper to a shout. I’ve seen more and more instances of colleagues needing help. My first few years as a veterinarian I can’t say that I really thrived. I survived those years for sure. But thrived? No way. It really hasn’t been until the last 3 years that I can say I am no longer surviving my days as a veterinarian. I am thriving. Finally.
This is my way of taking a small step to help. My hope is that my little ripple will become a wave of change. I have no guarantees that any of what I have to say will be heard or well received or even helpful. But I have hope. And I have faith. And with those two things here is my beginning.