Tuesday, February 5, 2019

I Feel Things...

I'm  back! Thanks to the many people in my life for their support and encouragement upon my returning--you know who you are! Please feel free to repost, share my return, and visit my archive!

Well, well, well...hello my long, lost friends. I missed you!

It seems like a long, long time since I have written a post for my blog, StorytellERdoc, and I am excited, nervous and humbled to be reentering your lives while returning to my baby.

What started as a small adventure and challenge from my writing group, with my first posting on November 19, 2009, turned into quite an amazing ride throughout the literary and social media world. The number of friends I met was staggering. I received recognition and awards. I won prizes. I was interviewed and contacted for my opinions. I got over a million hits. All of these things, though, were secondary to my intent. I simply wanted to pull you into my world, through my words, to focus on obscure life and ER moments that possessed a level of rawness and realness that connected you and I as fellow human beings. I wanted my words to be a reminder that choosing empathy and compassion over cynicism and sarcasm was possible.

On this journey, I posted 150 essays about life, patient encounters, and magnificent small moments--writings that to this day I can still read and feel the array of emotions I poured into my words. These writings made my heart swell, my eyes tear, and my smile broaden. They still do. My last post, on March 16, 2015, was not a planned exit from writing for my blog but, unfortunately, life happens and I needed to take some time to gather the bits of myself that became brittle and crumbled over the years. I had life lessons I needed to absorb. I had experiences I needed to process. I had to refocus my energy and passions and love onto the things and people that deserved my attention.

I am human and I have flaws. My life isn't perfect. Not even close. Now, though, it's in a much better place, thanks to a lot of internal work and introspection. I have more clarity.

I am back and stronger than ever. Personally, I look forward to sharing with you my journey. I hope to entwine my life experiences into my writings. Professionally, I still smile when I go to work, which is all I really need to say about that, right? The emergency department where I have worked for 22 years as an ER physician is busier than it's ever been. We are treating everything from devastating traumas to irritating hang nails. Among the 90,000 patients that we treat yearly, you can imagine the numerous interactions and situations that exist, simply waiting to be witnessed and observed.

I hope to be that witness, that observer. I hope to bring to you, through my storytelling, a perspective that is unique and intriguing in the way it unfolds the the human spirit with the laughter, the tears, the triumphs, and the pain of an encounter. Some stories will be personal, some will be professional, but all of them will be heartfelt.

In many ways, I am still the same person you got to know through my essays over the past few years. If you revisit these essays (visit the archive or try Gigi or The Witness), you will still capture my essence. As before, I still love my three amazing kids and my big forestry family. I still miss hearing my mother's voice. I still wear my heart on my sleeve. I still love my diverse friends and music and books and the gym and laughing and a good meal and sleeping in. I still love the privileges of my job--I continue to meet, accompany and treat some pretty amazing and memorable patients and their families during their stressful ER journeys.

In other ways, though, I have changed immensely. These changes will be revealed slowly, with time.

At this very moment, as I sit here in front of my computer screen, I am very nervous but grateful for the chance to enter your life with my stories. I offer my warmest thanks for your patience and time as I begin to expose my layers to you, once again.

While recently deciding to pursue this journey again, I signed into my ignored email account and was surprised to find many unopened emails from the past few years. They were wonderful, supportive, and encouraging. Some correspondences took the time to share their personal experiences and connections to my essays, and these emails made my decision to return even easier.

Let me share..."I don't remember what prompted it, but I ended up over at your blog the other day. What I thought would be a quick trip is turning into a multi-day journey back through all of the posts I read years ago. Once again, I was amazed at your gifted storytelling, your attention to detail and the way they're all seamlessly woven throughout, and the gentle, inspirational way you share with us readers perspectives we will otherwise never be able to see. Katie"

Again..."Thanks for the beautiful stories and insight from the physician's perspective. Please keep the stories coming. I look forward to each and every one. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. They touch our hearts and many times make us smile and feel uplifted if only for but a while. Shirley"

And again..."Yours is not the first ER blog that I've read but there is an obvious difference. You don't seem to have the customary judgmental bitterness. I've been thinking about it and what makes you different from another doctor. I think part of it is that you are not afraid to feel things. Most of us spend our whole lives trying to get away from the bad/uncomfortable feelings. After a break up you stay busy and party with friends to avoid those feelings of sadness, etc. I think many ER doctors have shut themselves off from the feelings of their patients. Their goal is to become immune to the suffering by reason of self-preservation. You, on the other hand, seem to see that it's ok to be sad about something sad. You are not afraid to experience your feelings but you also don't live in them, either. I think this is why you've kept your humanity. Anyways, thank you very much for your writing. Jennifer"

So all my mumblings above come down to this...

I feel things...

I hope I can make you feel things, too...

Until next time...

As always, big thanks for reading. To all my faithful readers--hello, friends! Thank you for returning. To my new friends, thank you for giving me a chance. I look forward to sharing this incredible new journey with all of you!

Jim

12 comments:

Unknown said...

Welcome back, friend! Looking forward to reading your blog. Thank you for being you. You make my heart smile.

Katie said...

I'm so excited that you're back writing, Jim. :)

The lines about gathering bits that had become brittle and crumbled and coming out stronger... that gives me so much hope!

Katie

jimbo26 said...

* In many ways, I am still the same person you got to know through my essays over the past few years. *

Wit respect , you are now a different person , and you will continue to change as you go along .

Welcome back , and have a great time with us

Jim - in the UK .

Unknown said...

Welcome back JimmyK

ATP said...

Glad to read a new post. Thanks for sharing.

Lydia said...

Hurray! So excited to follow the journey. Welcome back. Hugs always :)

GrumpyRN said...

Welcome back.

Unknown said...

I've so missed your posts! Glad to see you take up the torch!

Creativeyogi315 said...

Looking forward to witnessing your beautiful journey through your heartfelt writings ... you inspire me to keep moving forward with gratitude and I’m excited for what’s to come!

G-31 Toastmasters said...

I nearly fell out of my chair with surprise & delight to see new posts. I have been wondering (&, frankly, worrying) for years. Grateful to read you again.

Stefano de Peppo said...

Your stories are really beautiful!. So heartfelt, gracious, intense and engaging. Congratulations!!

Shannon Murphy said...

I'm selfishly glad you're back. We all need to step away for a while. May your return here be a joyous one.