Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saying It Makes It Real

I am definitively telling each patient I see that I will be leaving at the end of June and that I will be transferring their care to someone else. I have had to make a conscious effort, and I have struggled. Most are fine with it, some are hesitant, many are dismayed. I reassure them, telling them that they will be well taken care of. And of course they will be, I am replaceable, their care will not be interrupted.

I have found myself putting off this inevitable step, suddenly realizing that I have only three months left to end my practice. My identity is tied to my work and my relationships with my patients, I feel close and connected to many of them and I will miss seeing them regularly and catching up with their lives. It is a curious relationship, that of a patient and a psychiatrist.

So I am finally really saying my goodbyes to each patient, transferring their care to new therapists and doctors, making this move more real. Telling someone of my plans every hour or half-hour makes it real over and over again. Tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, I will be repeating the same story.

I am avoiding preparing the house for sale. I wonder if I was ill Sunday as a way to prevent contact with the real estate agent this week. Talking to her is another step in making this move more real again. I am resistant to this change even if I want to move and start this new life of ours. On the other hand, I feel we have started our move and that our hearts are in Ecuador already and we are just taking care of necessary details.

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