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I FEAR BEING LABELED CRAZY
Written by Dr. Romie on Aug 26, 2013
Mindful Living Tags: Self-EmpowermentConfidence
Photo: "First and Coles" B.C. Lorio http://www.flickr.com/photos/ackniculous

You may have been flipping through the tabs of this website thinking, hmmmm. It’s all put together, catchy, and polished. Like so many other mind-body medicine physicians, this one is talking passionately about nutrition, lifestyle, and whatever else they can sell online. Oh, this Dr. Romie may be one of these doctors who knows what she is talking about. Now she is going to tell me how she figured it out in all those years of her medical training.

Girl, seriously, I’m not polished, pulled together, nor did I figure out any of the knowledge I am passionate about sharing in medical school. In fact, whatever I get to share with you, I learned despite being in the medical profession for the last 15 years. No, I am not here to slap the face of physicians. I am alive today because of the brilliance of a cardiothoracic surgeon. My father and one of my brothers are physicians. I just don’t feel like wearing a white coat and going into a hospital is my role in life anymore. Most of my childhood friends in Danville, Illinois will tell you it was never my role.

As a physician, I met incredible women every day: my patients, nurses, technicians, physicians . . . and I felt like I never had the time to share what the Universe wanted me to share with them. In today’s broken healthcare system there is no patient-doctor relationship: due to the lack of time, overwhelming administrative duties, and physician burn-out. There is no time for personal relationships with our families, friends, and communities.

In fact, I have idea boards full of blog topic ideas, outlines, and conversations floating around in my overstuffed brain. It’s been brewing for a few years, but I would doubt myself every time I put on the white coat. Then I would sit in meditation and see the visions about what to write. I’d be in shavasana in yoga class and see myself on a stage making women laugh and empowering them to live an authentic life of true health.

Visions? Dreams? Do you think I was going to tell any of my colleagues this fact?

They would have sent me to the psych ER and loaded me up with antipsychotic medications. It felt horrible and suffocating to know that I had dreams that stretched beyond what the role of wearing a white coat in the hospital would allow me to do. I feared being judged by my peers, friends, and society.

Then I would call my Mom and she would just give my fear a loud megaphone;

“How can you support yourself if you don’t work as a doctor?”

“How will you find a husband if you just leave your career and decide to spend time with your hobbies?”

“Why don’t you take another vacation and forget about this whole physician burn-out thing?”

“Everyone will think you have gone crazy, why don’t you just buy yourself some new shoes and you will feel better in the morning.”

Truth of the matter is there are colleagues that will Google my name, see this website and think “Lord why didn’t her family send her to a psychiatrist?” Believe me, my brother (the one who is not a physician) tried. In fact, he is not speaking to me and is giving me the whole Asian silent treatment “because you are not listening to me routine.” Listening to him would mean going back to my role as a traditional neurologist. This means on a call week, I would get out of the bed already exhausted and be at the hospital by 6am. Round on inpatients. Rush down to clinic, see outpatients. Spend lunch reading EEGs. Back to clinic. 5pm the rest of America is going home. Not me, back to the inpatient side to see inpatient consults. About 8pm, make a decision to go down to clinic and finish insurance paperwork and clinic charts. Sometimes I couldn’t take it anymore and would go home to my poor lonely dog. That’s how I got behind on medical records. More than once. I refuse to take any phone calls from the recruiters trying to put me back in jail, I mean the hospital working as a neurologist. Like I said jail.

So what was the issue?

With a brain full of fear, I easily found more excuses than I have black high heeled shoes: Here is some of the highlight reel.

I had no time to follow my dreams. I was taking 24/7 call as a neurologist without coming up for a breathe of fresh hot Arizona air.

I was bitter because the hospital administration hired me to work part time. BUT I was working full time. Every call week was 80 hours. The weeks I was suppose to be off, 40-60 hours. And unlike any other profession in the US, I was still being given a part time salary. Really! No overtime. Not even a thank you from my boss.

Fear of losing a comfortable salary: still wasn’t bad, it allowed be to stress relief shop online at Sephora and Lululemon. My only hopes of meeting a man was the UPS man who dropped boxes off at my front door. Problem was I never home to meet him because I was walking around bitter, burnt out, and hopeless in the hospital.

I thought I was delusional. Go back to my childhood love of writing and public speaking-this is how I can reach women.

Re-enter excuse number one. As my reiki healer and teacher, Kassandra, called it: I had the “golden hand-cuff”. I was afraid what I would do without the salary, the title. This would make me a societal outcast.

At this moment, I am motivated because of yet another amazing woman- she just doesn’t know she is amazing quite yet (funny how so many of us don’t know how amazing we really are).

I am motivated because as I start my new business, God blessed me with a new friend and neighbor Kathy. I wanted to write, but didn’t want to be stressed over commas and semicolons (another one of those fears, “I can’t write, I don’t remember any grammar rules). Her eyes lit up at the thought of helping me edit and having some part time work.

She now has a part time job, and seeing her excited quieted down the fear monster inside my head. Here is one person that doesn’t think I am crazy. I told her that I would have these articles to her this weekend to edit. So shut up Fear, it’s three hours away from that deadline. I don’t want to let either one of us down.

Funny thing when you start following those visions, dreams, life calling. Everything falls into place easier than it is to order online a pair of Jimmy Choos at midnight, from the hospital, waiting for a patient to come back from radiology, and feeling sorry for myself that I’m not in bed.

Speaking engagements started lining up. Another former colleague and friend out on medical leave emails me on Facebook to help me as a virtual assistant. Another friend referred me to a great marketing firm and publicist in Tampa.

I keep meeting amazing women in my journey to help me get the ideas and “visions” out of my head and out into the world. I’ve had so many God led encounters with empowering, inspiring, and gracious women in my life. So I realized I am not crazy. I am on a mission.

Well Mom, Kathy, and so many other inspiring amazing sister-friends, sisters, healers, and other women that have been a part of my journey the last 38 years. I no longer fear being called crazy. In fact, if this is crazy, come join me because I have never been felt more joyfully liberated.

I’d like to show Kathy, my Mom, and all of you how amazing you really are. At the end of the day, I firmly believe God puts a woman in our lives for one of two reasons. Women come in our lives to empower us with their wisdom. And Women come into our lives so we can empower them with our wisdom.

I created this website as a forum to do both. I’m honored that you are joining me and let’s celebrate. I no longer fear being called crazy. Neither should you.

What would you do if you listened to your visions, and dreams, and that nudge from another woman put into your life with a message?

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