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?