On Resilience …

others Apr 08, 2016

Sitting here today I was going to write on a health-related topic, but the truth is that today I’m getting a big lesson in resilience so I’m just going to talk about that. Maybe I’m processing out loud, maybe I’m asking questions, and maybe I just need a little moral support.

In the past couple of days there has been an onslaught of random people coming to The Naturopathic Mama Facebook page and leaving really nasty comments. Let me be clear, I’m fine with healthy discussion, differences in opinion and personal perspectives. But what has been occurring is just flat out nasty comments on every single post – everything from “saying that you’re a doctor is an insult to actual medical professionals”, to “stop being a fear-mongering charlatan”, to “she’s just an idiot”, and the list goes on. One of these people actually posted a comment “isn’t this fun?” to his buddy, like it’s just a game to them. Like they don’t think I’m a real person with real feelings. I know the simple answer for this is delete, ban and change security settings (which I spent my morning doing). But I can’t help but feel so saddened that this is how people are, and that this is how people treat one another. I wonder if they’d say all of that to my face, or if the safety an anonymity of the Internet allows them free license to make judgmental, rude and hurtful comments that aren’t even based on fact?

The fact is that not everyone is on board with natural/ alternative medicine, I get that and I’m fine with that. But the fact is also that I am actually board-certified and licensed to practice medicine in the state of California. It’s a naturopathic medical license, not an allopathic medical license, and I’ve never pretended otherwise. But I did eight years in school, and do carry a clinical doctorate, so indeed I am a doctor. I maintain a busy practice where I see patients, and I try my darned hardest to help as many people as possible, to the best of my ability.

I can’t help but wonder, why do people do this? They’re not medical professionals themselves (I peeked at their profiles), if they don’t like what they’re reading they can gladly move on. Why spend so much time and energy cutting someone down? Even more sad to me is that in some cases they have children of their own – what values do they pass on to their children? Positive values of open-mindedness, kindness and generosity; or mean-spiritedness, judgement and elitism?

My second lesson in resilience today is that we finally decided to try IVF, we were meant to do an egg retrieval tomorrow and although everything had been looking really good so far, last night the cycle was cancelled because of suboptimal hormone levels. Again, in my head I know that this happens all the time, we’ll just start over next month, this is par for the course etc etc. But the disappointment is profound. The fertility journey is certainly a rollercoaster, and one needs to be resilient to stay on the course and not feel like giving up.

So as I sit here feeling somewhat discouraged I have to draw on the tools that I know of to bounce myself back. Part of it is cognitive – simply reaffirming to myself that I’m ok, that I’m doing the best I can to help people, and through my blog to share helpful information. Part is seeking support from loved ones – and just hugs, frankly. Part is to look upwards and remember that I am loved and created by God, and that He loves and affirms me every day. I have to say, though, it’s not always easy. We sensitive souls don’t necessarily do well with this type of thing. I am also taking more time today to be grateful for what I have – great health, wonderful friends, a beautiful daughter and loving husband, a very rewarding business, and a community of like-minded individuals that I am able to connect with through The Naturopathic Mama. My life is rich and full.

So friends, thank you from the bottom of my heart for those of you who have been and continue to be supportive. Today The Naturopathic Mama page passed 5000 “likes” on Facebook, so that feels like quite an achievement in the six months since I launched it. My goal is to make a positive impact on the world, so share what I’ve learned, and to help families improve their health. I look forward to continuing that journey with you and hope that you are blessed with health, happiness and the resilience to face the challenges that you encounter in your own life.