Gratitude In Daily Life.
I couldn’t keep living day to day like this. How had this come to be, that a physician who was treating patients suffering from mental illness, was starting to slip into depression? I dreaded coming to work because I could not help those who had lost their health, their livelihood, their very lives during the COVID 19 pandemic. What had seemed like an isolated event in other countries had finally hit home in the US and we were all ordered to shelter in place. The news screamed out death tolls each day. Then the unrest and rioting began and the country was on fire, literally and figuratively. My patients were suffering under this fallout and begging me to assuage their fears, to take away the hurt and pain. I was coming home with headaches every day and I thought to myself, “My work is making me ill.”
I was also in huge debt from my medical school student loans which seemed like Mt Everest in terms of how I was duly paying my bills every month and just existing. I was losing my passion for life and for my work.
Last week I was again looking at the news and I idly clicked on NetFlix and was going to search for a good mindless movie to watch to while away the weekend. I happened to see the title “The Secret”. I recalled all the hype surrounding this documentary during 2006 or so but I was a skeptic and dismissed it as ‘metaphysical, magical thinking and fluff’.
But this time, I decided to watch the documentary and by the time I finished watching it, I knew I had found something that changed my life. I immediately ordered two of the other books, ‘The Power’, and ‘The Magic’, and, as they say, my life has not been the same.
Now I wake up grateful and with a light heart I go to work and I am happy to be working with my patients. In psychiatry, we are taught to assess for psychiatric symptoms, make a diagnosis, and treat accordingly with medications. I now ask my patients to share with me their feelings of gratitude and encourage them to reframe their situation by encouraging them to share their positive feelings about themselves and their dreams. It has made a world of difference especially in my patients who suffer from depression and anxiety.
I no longer have crippling migraines at the end of the day and I am no longer taking any migraine medication. I wake up with gratitude and when one has gratitude, happiness will follow.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.