Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Practicing shame resilience

I walked my dog while listening to "The Gifts of Imperfection" this morning, and the part I'm on is titled "cultivating self-compassion." Good stuff. After dog walking I went to Target to get:

1. Things Tucker needs for his Beauty and the Beast costume
2. Something for our family for Christmas (shhhh!)
3. Snacks and community service project stuff for Girls on the Run today

I got a phone call in the store, and decided to answer, although I didn't recognize the number.

The call was from the nurse who is going to evaluate my mom for PERS long-term care coverage. We had scheduled an appointment for this Thursday, and I needed to change the date and time. But since I couldn't find his number (although I thought I'd put it down somewhere), I had to call PERS directly yesterday to have them ask him to call me.

He started by identifying himself, and then said, "Yeah, PERS wants to know why I'm not in touch with my clients directly. They were surprised that you had to call them to get in touch with me, and must be thinking "what's going on with the nurses in California?"" I told him I'd misplaced his number, and then asked if we could change the date for the evaluation. He wanted to keep it on the same day, and I told him I needed to do the next week if possible. He said, "They really want to get this evaluation done soon, so I don't know that pushing it to next week is such a great idea."

So while we're having this conversation, my mood is plummeting, because all I can hear in my mind is, "You always screw things up. You ALWAYS screw things up!" And when he said rescheduling wasn't a good idea, I countered with "I think I'll just withdraw the claim if it's causing so many problems for everyone." (This was said seriously and with a ton of discouragement, not sarcastically. I don't get mad; I get sad.)

Then he backpedaled, becoming more open to options. I explained that my best times are morning and early afternoon, but my mom doesn't get up till noon or 1:00. I didn't add that I have clients 2 days a week (in the afternoons), Girls on the Run 2 days a week (also afternoons), and that WE'VE ALREADY DONE THIS EVALUATION, SO WHILE I GET THAT I HAVE TO DO IT, I DON'T REALLY WANT TO! So finding a time that I can get to Sacramento and have her evaluated is difficult logistically.

We agreed to next Thursday at 11:00. And said goodbye. That's when the shame started washing over me. I was in the middle of Target with nothing in my basket (but still with the list of what needed getting) and just wanting to cry. Leaving without shopping wasn't an option, so I started pushing the cart. I felt awful for putting Bill the nurse in a bad situation. And I know that my husband would never have lost the phone number. Now the very familiar refrain of "I try so hard, and it's still never good enough" started up. But then I started thinking about the "practicing self-compassion" stuff I'd heard this morning. I also thought about just doing "what's inside my hula hoop." And I considered asking the question, "What's the truth here?' Here's what I came up with:

1. It is perfectly reasonable to change an appointment.
2. Sometimes people misplace phone numbers.
3. Bill's job or how he's perceived is not my responsibility.

That is my experience with practicing shame resilience today.

4 comments:

Diana said...

If you ask me, Bill did a horrible job. Being in the health care industry, the patient is always first. Just because you having to rearrange your appointment may have disrupted his life-that's too bad, it's his job to treat your appointment as if it was his only one.
It's a shame that we now are so connected in this day of technology, a few years ago, when cell phones didn't run our lives, you could have thoroughly enjoyed that trip to Target without that nasty phone call. You should not feel any shame on your part....

Brit-Man said...

You're human, so you shouldn't feel like a failure, because you're NOT a failure.

A failure is someone in prison, or someone who abuses people, or someone who develops an illegal drug addiction and becomes a junkie.

Heck even people whose small businesses fail and it puts their homes and families at risk, aren't failures, if he public just don't want to have what they offer.

If you're a failure, than there's millions of us who are failures and I'll be comiserating with you right now, but we both don't need to comiserate with ourselves or anybody else :-).

Sometimes things don't happen the way you like, but that's life, you just adapt to what happens and try to make do.

You're a really, really good, kind human and capable person. You actually did a figure contest, ran marathons, set up your own business, helped to keep a successful marriage going and raised great kids and despite a long time ago having an issue with alcohol, you have overcome that as well and beaten something tough and controlling and overpowered any weakness that put you in that situation in the first place, to prove you could be so much stronger than that :-).

You are not a failure Leslie you are a SUCCESS, an absolutely triumphant success and you should be rightly proud of yourself, because you've lived a very colourful 50 years, but despite a few negatives and one or two regrets, you are nothing close to a failure, because you are living proof, of what a real, good and honest person can be and what a rolemodel you can be for the older female and an inspiration to the younger female and indeed to some males as well.

Your Mother is lucky to call you her child and the world is lucky to call you one of its own. I have never felt prouder, to see just how amazing someone like you continues to be and how much someone like you continues to live, flourish and grow as a person.

WELL DONE and don't be hard on yourself okay :-). You can still do so much to help your Mother and one little foible shouldn't stop you from doing the best you ARE capable of, so chin up, keep smiling and GOOD LUCK dealing with a clearly difficult situation and GOOD LUCK to your Mother too. I'm sure she will find whatever happens tough to deal with, but at least it will be a bit easier, with you to provide that little something extra to help get her through.

I hope everything works out for you, because you deserve it and YES you absolutely ARE a 24 carat SUCCESS.

:-) :-).

Matt

Irene said...

You're being too hard on yourself. I work for a doctor and people change their appointments ALL THE TIME. Life happens and schedules conflict. A lot of people just don't show up for their appointments, which is not cool. You had the courtesy to call, and it sounds like they tried to be accommodating, at least they finally were accomodating.

leslie said...

Thank you, everyone! I feel understood and valued.
Is it Leonardo da Vinci who said "Anchoro Impario" (I am still learning)? I certainly am still learning!