by Carrie Jurney DVM DACVIM (Neuro)
So, a few years ago I was in a really bad place. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a veterinarian anymore, and that thought left me bereft. This was all that I have ever been. If not this, then what can I be?
I was fortunate enough to have a very understanding husband, and enough financial security that I could take some time off and just be. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of that time beating myself up for not getting better fast enough. For not getting more chores done. If I was going to sit at home all day- why couldn’t I get my closets reorganized?
And then two very important things happened.
A dear friend, who had been through a similar career crisis took me to lunch and said “Look Carrie, You need to let yourself go through this. There is not a schedule. You owe yourself this time. You only need to do two things- shower every day and get out of your apartment twice a week. Everything else can wait.” This was huge for me. This was permission to feel the way I needed to feel for a while. There was no list. There was no goal other than resting. I couldn't make good decisions until I had recovered, so I needed to stop trying to force that.
And so I did that. I let myself rest. I let myself heal. I took long walks with a friend and we talked for hours. And some weeks later, I no longer felt panicked about my life and its path. I felt ready to make rational decisions about the next steps. However, I still had a problem: The climb out of this comfortable bubble I had built was insurmountable. The walls of my comfort zone seemed hundreds of feet high. Every day I didn't find a new job or organize my closets or lose ten pounds those walls got 10 feet higher. I felt trapped. I was scared to act, and then depressed that I couldn't get anything done.
As I sat in my comfortable paralyzing bubble, browsing reddit, I found this really great, simple productivity system that struck a chord with me. It’s called Non-Zero Days. I’m sure I’ll tell you all about it in another post. It really helped me dig out and become a productive person again. But more importantly Rule 3 really struck a chord. Forgiveness. You have to forgive yourself. You cannot dwell on ever mistake, every misstep of your past.
Here’s what Ryan, the author of this masterpiece, says:
This was a breakthrough for me. It is hard- I am a world champion of beating myself up. But this simple reddit post told me to stop doing that. To let myself be my best self I had to stop. I had to forgive myself. And I’m thankful for this space, because this will be my weekly reminder to forgive myself.
What can you forgive yourself for this week?
The Admin Team of NOMV is a group of veterinarians dedicated to improving veterinary mental health.