03 Apr A Message from Dr Paula
I am just writing to say “hello” to my clinic community; as I am now just over 5 weeks into my “health leave” (I don’t like to call it sick leave because I am not sick.) Some of you would know I have recently had some post-twin repair surgery.
It actually took me a long to time to firstly decide to get some help and secondly organise this extended time off to get things sorted and allow my self to heal and get strong again.
This is the longest break I have had in 20 years of practise that didn’t involve looking after babies. That might sound a bit indulgent, perhaps it is, and that is why it took me a long time to actually book the time off.
You see, I have had very high expectations of myself, a high level of resilience and drive. Some of the traits are inherited, some a virtue of life choices. These traits that I and many people possess remind me of a post that has been floating around FaceBook for quite some time:
“A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience.
As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question.
Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water.
Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
Remember to put the glass down.”
Carrying stress and responsibility does get heavy it can take its toll very slowly and sneakily, it can chip away.
When I finally stopped having to manage both Goodwood and Mt Gambier patient loads myself last year when that pressure started to release within my body and brain and I really started to feel signs of wear. Now, in truth, its does hurt my pride to admit that I am not Superwoman, but I realised what I was doing was not sustainable and some change needed to occur.
This recent time off has allowed me to reflect on all this. Apart from my work responsibilities, other parts of my life and relationships were starting to unwind, I needed to address it before my wheels started to fall off, then I wouldn’t be much good to anyone: my family , my clients, my friends and community.
I have needed to reframe this time-out as having courage to do what I needed to do to look after me for a little while not see it as a weakness. I have needed to be my own best friend or supportive practitioner as I have tried to be for you, (When I have recognised you need to put time into your own health) this time I have had to take my own advice!
I feel lucky that I have had good people my clinic team who have a genuine desire to look after our clinic community and have the clinics run well, but that didn’t happen by accident. It takes, time, training, persistence and good communication to get it to gel.
So, I am doing ok. I am working towards coming back in May with strength, resilience and a sense of balance.
I am looking forward to being a part of your lives again- in the meantime I know that Dr Emily, Dr Chelsea and my team of chiropractic Assistants with continue to serve you to the best of their ability.