Dr. Anne talks about how she learnt to look after her own needs better. She worked on her skills after reading Fast Track Real Confidence, and using the cards (now an App).
One insight I had quite recently, is that it is okay to stand up for myself. I can say more or less what I think. What a load off my shoulders! All my life I thought it was rude to stand up for myself. I was taught by my parents that it was bad manners to be direct. It made me look ‘greedy and selfish’. Here’s the thing. Those words are one side of the same coin. ‘Greedy and Selfish’ can also be reworded as looking after me. If I don’t look after me who else will? The patients won’t. My children won’t. It really is up to me.
I was always a giver. As a doctor and a mother, I had learnt to be even more of the same. This is good to do when I have to but not at the expense of my needs. It is a hard lesson to learn to consider my needs first. Sometimes I can’t. I have patients who need urgent attention – whether it is my lunch hour or not. Even in private practice, there are still demands that I need to meet before mine get met. Sometimes, it is a bit like my internship days.
Interestingly, one of my children recently said she wanted to do medicine with a view to specializing in psychiatry. I warned her of what it was really like, the long hours, the time you miss meals, and the times the hospital food is not wonderful. Did I accidentally on purpose talk her out of it? I hope I did the right thing for her. Medicine is a wonderfully rewarding career, but you still have to make a conscious decision to look after yourself. My daughter is looking at Bio-chemistry instead. Hopefully that will be a less taxing career. Before I took u journal writing I would have put a very glossy coat on psychiatry. Thank goodness I can tell her the truth, even if it is not what she wanted to hear.