I spent yesterday morning at a study day organised by the local RCGP faculty. It was a vibrant and focussed meeting and I was truly impressed by everyone I talked to. I spoke to a number of GPs and they are all deeply committed to their work and want to do the best job they can – the trouble is they feel a little out of sorts. It seemed to me that there a lot of fear and anxiety out in healthcare land – fear of reprisal for mistakes, fear of policy makers and politicians who don’t seem to have the first Idea about the complexities of primary care.
I felt my motivation and enthusiasm humming away in my soul – I came away crying – not with despair like this time last year but with excitement about the possibilities. I have at last found a time and space to be grateful for the vileness I experienced – if it hadn’t been so I might still be struggling to “make a difference” in a hostile and toxic place, instead I have had months of time to settle into myself and explore why I was placed in the position I was – without blaming or shaming.
I have just finished Frazzled by Ruby Wax and I have found that mindfulness , morning pages, meditation and walking in nature has made a HUGE difference now to my mental state. It is a work in progress but if you want to read an accessible book about Mindfulness and the evidence base then Ruby’s book is a good start. Next is Mindsight by Dan Siegel – there are a number of parallels between mindfulness and what happens in a writing or art workshop…
I am so pleased I got myself to the meeting – it took a lot of calming and self talk to get there but I managed – I could have spun into a whirlwind of frustration and irritation – after all most of the issues out there that were being explored for improving primary care have been talked about in silos for over 30 years. However I didn’t get annoyed – I had some lovely conversations about primary care and have rediscovered the heart of what I believe in – I want to find a way of supporting primary care staff and I will continue to explore the possibilities over the next few weeks.
Over the last few months I had begun to get really inpatient with myself because I hadn’t really defined what it was I wanted to do – all I had been able to identify was what I didn’t want to do – i.e. Go back to Univesity work, be a manager etc – so this has been a bit of an epiphany (as my daughter would say). I thought my days of these insights had abandoned me after my turbulent time back in practice but maybe all that experience has been for a purpose and that is beginning to become a little bit clearer.