Reflections on reflecting

It’s been almost two months now since I started this blog. And it’s been even more therapeutic than I ever imagined it could be.

If I’m being completely honest, whenever I would see a mental-health consultation show up on my schedule for the day, my heart would sink a little. I would feel anxious thinking about how drained I would be after that consultation. I would almost wince thinking about the patient disclosing all of the awful things that have happened to them.

And while I do feel terrible for admitting that, I have to remind myself that I’m only human, and if I wasn’t so deeply affected by these consultations then I wouldn’t feel anxious about them.

But since actively taking the time out to actually reflect on these consultations, I’ve realised that the exercise of reflection allows me to learn so much from my patients. When I didn’t reflect, I felt like my cup was being emptied. It was a totally one sided experience of me helping that person. But now, I realise that these patients actually help me. They help to fill my cup. That patient teaches me something about life that I wouldn’t otherwise have learnt if it wasn’t for meeting them. And honestly that has been such an amazing discovery.

So instead of anxiety and trepidation about what will happen in these consultations, I feel a sense of hope and optimism about 1. What I can offer to the patient in terms of steering them onto a path of healing and 2. A sort of eagerness for what my interaction with this patient will teach me.

And in bearing witness to the experiences of multiple patients each week, I gain a unique collective perspective on life, relationships, grief, anxiety, depression, ADHD, and all sorts of other things that continue to compound as time goes on. And the more I learn, the more I am able to pay it forward in a way, by sharing these learnings on to help guide the next person in front of me, and also to help guide my own life!

My blog and instagram posts have also invited meaningful conversations with people that I wouldn’t have had before, allowing for a richer connection with friends, and a greater appreciation for the people in my life who continue to show up and be present with me.

It’s also made me think about what it means to be my true authentic self, and doing what makes me happy. One of those things is singing. I know, it seems a bit contrived doesn’t it! But singing is definitely a big stress release for me. Granted, I’m definitely not the best singer in the world. Growing up I used to watch a lot of singing shows and would be as critical as a judge on the show’s panel would be of people’s singing.

I was therefore also very critical of my own singing- I would be self-conscious thinking how I could never be good enough to be an actual singer. But now I’m like, well I actually don’t have to be the best singer, and I’m not out here trying to be a commercially successful singer anyway. I sing, and I enjoy it, and I’m going to record songs that I like to sing, and that’s that! That is what makes me, me. And if I died tomorrow, at least I’d know I lived being as me as I could be rather than a shell of myself.

So thanks to everyone who takes the time out to read my blog, instagram posts or listen to my singing. I so appreciate the support for my blog but also for this wellness journey that I am on, and I hope I can continue it (unlike my many attempts at new year’s resolutions).

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