By Dr Emily Amos
Right now I'm meant to be feeling all the feels of a recent business set back as I re-build myself after burning out in clinical medicine. 'Wallowing' was the word I used when talking to a very dear friend who was coaching me through it.
Admittedly, I'm actually terrible at sitting still for long, but I did have every intention of letting this feeling wash over me and set up shop for as long as it needed to for me to honour it.
Then I had an idea.
What if I could build a resource to bring together health care professionals as we question our lives outside of work? What if I could help others negotiate the discomfort around our growth edges?
What is a 'growth edge' you might ask?
Well a growth edge is that point at the limit of our abilities. It's the imaginary line around us that delineates "success" from "failure". It's the line that most high achieving individuals are terrified of ever finding. It's the line I found when I needed a break from my work as a General Practitioner after burning out. It's the line I've found again as I've begun to realise that my life in clinical medicine isn't the right path for me right now. It's an uncomfortable place to be.
We're hard wired to avoid failure. The thing about doing our best to avoid ever failing though is that we never actually know how close we are to our limits. We stay in the 'safe zone', only taking on tasks that we know we can succeed at. We never grow.
I really don't know what will come from this endeavour. But I do know that the last 12 months of introspection I've done and growth I've had as I've worked my way around this growth edge of mine has allowed me to really begin to know myself. A 'Self' outside of my identity as a doctor. If I've learnt anything in the last 12 months it's that there are many, many people who feel exactly like I was feeling within the healthcare industry right now. Feeling lost in my profession, sometimes robotic in my work and not sure how to find meaning in my life that was independent of my ability to help others. And with the current COVID-19 pandemic, I know that even more of us are feeling overwhelmed and alone than ever before.
The Healers Health Collective is the product of my desire to help others, my affinity and utmost respect for my colleagues and my gratitude for the journey I've been on.
I hope that other healthcare professionals will find this page of service to them in their own journeys of rediscovery.
I hope that others who find catharsis in writing feel drawn to submitting anonymous blog posts for publication here.
I hope that from this humble beginning a wonderful resource may grow.
Because, even the healers need healing sometimes.
These are blog posts submitted by those in the healing and healthcare professions who are reflecting on their lives, their roles and themselves.