I said I was "fine."
Frustrated, insecure, neurotic, and emotional.
I was fine alright.
Have you ever said you were "fine" when you weren't?
What I wanted to say, was, “I’m so sick I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I’m depressed. And I’m lost.”
But I just said, “I’m fine.”
My patient looked at me and she said, "Bullshit. If you can't take care of yourself, Dr. E., How are you going to take care of all of us?"
Her exact words.
The truth of her statement hit me.
I felt tears well up in my eyes that I was trying hard to push away you know the way we doctors do.
I did my best Rocky Balboa voice.
"HEY, YO -- I’M FINE, LIKE REALLY. YO, I'M COMPLETELY FINE."
My patient had ruthless compassion with me.
She said, "Be real -- you ain't fine."
It took being called out.
It took a while.
But I slowly became "fine" in a new sense.
By gradually giving up perfectionism and self-judgment.
A tiny bit better each day.
Eventually, I got there.
Fun-loving, inspired, nurturing, and expressed.