By Holly McCorriston
Hello again Kindersley and area. Greetings from your friendly not-so-neighbourhood anymore (I moved to Calgary this summer) life coach, mental fitness trainer, and former pharmacist.
I wanted to write this week about a post that I made on social media recently that has been going viral. I think the message is important enough to share here and expand upon for the community I grew up in and lived in until only a few months ago.
“I still have a Bachelor’s of Science in Pharmacy (BSP) from the University of Saskatchewan even though I will never wear this white coat again.
My degree is never going to go away even if I never hang it up on the wall of another pharmacy.
And what people need to realize is that even though I have a degree in pharmacy and practiced in a community setting for almost 12 years, I was never the expert of anything or anyone else.
To get into pharmacy I had to write a “critical thinking essay.”
Unfortunately, they never once taught us in 5 years of university that you can’t think critically when you are stressed-out and fearful.
You may not realize this if you’ve never worked in health care, but it’s stressful and there is a ton of fear.
“What happens if I screw this up? How do I know if this is the right decision? I’ve been interrupted 19 times trying to do this calculation and run these drug interactions.”
And most of your practitioners are running on autopilot.
It’s all we can do to get through the day.
The number one premise in medicine is to do no harm.
And a provider’s own fear can easily get in the way of their decision-making.
So if you are hoping for your providers to be able to effectively do this critical thinking for you, please remember that at the end of the day it is still your body.
Your provider will not receive the benefit or the harm that comes from any intervention or decision not to intervene.
True informed consent includes providing you with accurate information about what happens if you do nothing.
And reminding you that you have a choice.
There is no empowerment or autonomy when your CHOICE is taken away.
Your body keeps the score.
Your body knows the way.
Your critical thinking and knowing only come online when you are held in love and compassion, the OTHER side of fear and coercion.
My pharmacy degree can’t decide for you.
No one else’s medical degree can decide for you.
This goes for anything you choose.
You are your own best resource.
There is no urgency.
Slow down and listen to what’s beyond the fear.”
I think it’s important for people to realize here, especially in the middle of this health crisis that we’re having, that we tell people not to go online and do their own research. We tell people not to trust what they read on the internet. We tell them to talk to your doctor or pharmacist or healthcare team before you make any kind of health decision. The problem with this is (and it broke my heart every time it happened) that often the health care providers really don’t have the time, resources, or energy to fully investigate every new treatment and inquiry.
It is a misconception that people with degrees know everything. They have their own lives, stress, and drama. They are HUMAN and usually doing all they can to get through a day without killing someone with inattention or medical error.
This is why it is so important to direct people back to their own inner authority. A traditional medical model does not reconnect people with their bodies. It does not help people nourish and nurture the mind-body-spirit connection and become whole again. It does not teach nervous system regulation or how to manage fear and stress responses.
The traditional health care model includes the presentation of a symptom and the treatment of said symptom, with whatever tablets, ointment, or other medication might be indicated.
I’m in no way shape or form saying that medical interventions don’t save lives. What I’m trying to say is that if your stressed-out healthcare provider is not asking questions and involving you in your own care, then you are not being empowered and enabled to look after yourself. You are not being supported and looked after as the authority of YOU.
At the end of the day, we may believe that the system and the people in it need repair, however, each individual is the only one that can truly advocate for themselves.
In the last several days since my message went viral on social media, I have heard firsthand so many accounts of people that have felt disregarded, disempowered, and dismissed in the traditional medical model.
I have also experienced overwhelming support from other health care providers that are feeling conflicted about how to support their patients in making and trusting their own decisions in this climate.
And these healthcare providers are TIRED. They are stressed-out, fearful, and exhausted. This is not the healthcare system most of us signed the Hippocratic oath to serve. They may indeed not be able to answer all of the questions you have with the limited time, energy, and resources they are offered in their respective fields of practice AND this doesn’t mean they don’t wish they could. They are also subject to their own bias and influence from governments, colleges, and authorities.
It’s time we all practiced a little more compassion. A little more love. A little more discernment for what is actually happening and what is actually important here.
Your body is immensely wise. It knows when something is wrong, out of place, or misaligned.
Staying wrapped up in our fearful and stressful reaction-based analytical thinking is keeping us disconnected from ourselves, each other, and the solutions that often lie deep inside of us.
We need to start addressing the underlying fear in all of us. We need to slooooow down. We need to learn how to regulate our nervous systems and get more comfortable in those states of slow down.
Collectively, we have been under an immense amount of stress and pressure in the last 18 months. We are bombarded with horrible messages in the media every day, angry and hostile discussions on social media, livelihoods and freedom being threatened, and general encouragement to be fearful of well…pretty much everyone.
I would strongly encourage you to begin looking inside. All of the answers you are seeking do truly lie deep inside the body you already have. I would really like to give you permission to point back to yourself as the ultimate authority of your life, your decision-making, and your choices.
Until we all start taking some personal responsibility for everything in our lives (including the food, television, drinks, or medications we put in our bodies, the people we hang out with, the health and wellness resources we seek out), we’re going to keep running into issues.
As long as we keep relying on something or someone outside of us to decide what is best for us, we will continue to be cut off from actually knowing what we need. The people around us of course have our best interest at heart, but they don’t actually know what’s best for us.
Your doctor doesn’t know what’s best for you. Your lawyer doesn’t know what’s best for you. Your pharmacist doesn’t know what’s best for you. Your partner doesn’t know what’s best for you. Your parents don’t know…your children, your neighbors, the cashier at the grocery store. No one knows what’s best for you, except you.
Until you come back into your own business, your own body, and you also stop being so incredibly involved in what’s best for everyone else, there will continue to be a huge disconnect.
We are all responsible for coming back to ourselves to heal the dismissal, discouragement, and disconnection that is happening. And the discomfort is going to continue to grow.
So if you’re seeking comfort right now… if you’re seeking some peace in your life… if you are seeking how to shift out of fear and make better decisions for yourself?
You have to slow down. You have to come back into your body. You have to address the underlying fear that is keeping you disconnected from your own authority.
YOU are essential and you matter. And YOU decide what’s best for you.
Start a mental fitness practice. Learn how to regulate your own nervous system. Address your stress, fear, and anxiety so they are no longer driving the car. There are so many free resources online and you can find many links on my website at www.hollymccorriston.com. Find some resources that allow you to expand beyond using your linear analytical mind as the only tool available. Come back to yourself. If you’ve been waiting for permission… this is it.
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