Connection Is Essential

In 2015, I started an important and life-changing journey that would complement every aspect of my being. I had arrived, in 2015, at a point in my life that was unmanageable and almost unbearable. Finding balance in being a husband, being a father, being a healthcare professional, being a business owner, managing staff, managing the schedule, caring for our patients, and trying to care for me in the time left seemed impossible. I found myself in the routine starting my day with a cup of coffee; then I proceeded to put out the first fire of the day and continue the firefighting until early evening when I could “numb” the stress from the day with a drink or a pill so I could get up the next day and do it all again. This routine had consumed my life for years, and something had to give! I was spiritually and emotionally emptied, sick, and burned out!

By the grace of God, I was strongly encouraged by someone I trusted to contact the CDP for help. My first reaction was visceral. The thought and shame that came with someone finding out the poor shape I was in was painful. My stomach knotted up, and my face and ears turned red as the conversation continued. He knew the poor shape I was in before I sat down to talk to him. Others had to know. After some self-realization, I pushed past the shame and drove home that night and told my wife I needed help, and with my family’s support, I called the CDP and left a message.  I received a call the next day from Nancy Davis, the Executive Director of the CDP. I expected the call to be punitive, but it was just the opposite. Nancy commended me for the strength it took to call and reassured me that the CDP was there to help me. That call and the help from the CDP prompted the life-changing journey that has restored balance, joy, and productivity to my life. The work that I have done over the past few years has given me an understanding of how essential maintaining the balance in my life is to the connection to God, my family, myself, my friends, my staff, and my patients. The connection is a healthy, meaningful, and productive relationship. Those connections are my lifelines!

Today I am blessed to be able to look back at how the CDP has enriched my life. I have used what I learned, the life balance and connections, to navigate through a very uncertain year of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has brought challenges that we have yet to deal with in our lifetimes. Maintaining healthy, meaningful relationships took more effort than ever. We have had to ask for help from each other and give help to others more than ever. We have had to face fear and uncertainty more than ever. Working hard to find balance and staying connected is truly essential.  The extra effort will pay dividends. 

The only regret I have is that I wish I had learned these lessons earlier, but life is a process, so I embrace that! I am eternally grateful for the seeds the CDP program, Nancy, Bill, Susan, and my support group have planted in my life. My family thanks you!  It’s my hope that I can give that back when God provides the opportunity.

Submitted by: A Grateful Recovering Dentist