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Child of a Hoarder

“There was that moment when she smeared and separated the edges of that yellow bag of Lays potato chips, the puff of nurturing smells of satisfaction permeating our common olfactory space. She reached in and took out the first one, the perfectly formed big one that you always grab, to open up the events of the devour. I nearly imbibed the salt, as I imagined the chip melting on her tongue, I could even taste real potatoes. It was the 2nd grade and I’ll never forget the way I wanted that potato chip. It was full of all things that I wanted in life, a measure of success and satisfaction for many years to come. I stave off the guilt as I flash back to my own lunch, hastily thrown together, that I dumped in the garbage way before I arrived at school. Growing up as a child of Hoarder was not something you spoke about, not ever, unless you never wanted to get invited to the lunch table again.”

I share my own story as an offering of our commitment at GrooveMD to create an authentic safe place for all healers at the table of medicine. Physicians, like all humans, silently carry shame from a myriad of etiologies . Regardless of the source, it has an effect which may be in a blind spot affecting your work, home and self in ways you probably don't like. It's often thought that doctors have an unlimited supply of care, service, and empathy with limitless capacity to offer treatment. In fact, more than 50 percent of American and 80% of British physicians are currently reporting burnout. This is commonly measured by Maslach’s triad of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a sense of reduced personal accomplishment. In case you too are born as "Child of Something- an Alcoholic, Survivor of Neglect, Divorce, Gambling. . . , please be welcome, with my compassionate partner Jennifer Tam, MD ,to share your story and get in the conversation with Us. As all of us, you have a right to be here, we see the beauty in you and appreciate the arduous journey you endured to be here.

With the help of Eric Koester and the team at the Creator Institute I'm hard at work researching "Wounds of Women Healers", and taking a deeper dive into Equity , exploring what keeps bias and microaggressions in play. This led me to attend a workshop: Self Compassion: An Antidote to Shame, ( check this out on our GrooveMD events page) led by Christopher K. Germer PhD, who partners with researcher Kristin Neff PhD, who spoke of techniques like “The Compassionate U-Turn”. If something like that gets you, sign up and get educated. Let's get excited to make this conversation, about the importance of our mental health, the same merit as our patient's blood pressure. We are up to big things! Come get in the conversation. #empathy #mentalhealthawareness #healthandwellbeing #physicianburnout #equitydiversityinclusion #selfcompassion #compassionatecare Jennifer Tam, MD

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