Monday, February 7, 2011

Mourning the Loss of a Dream

Grief tightens my throat and tenses the back of my neck.  My belly aches; my eyes are hot with unshed tears.  Three times I have started the journey to become a doctor, moving my family across state lines to go to school, demanding sacrifices of my husband and children to my dream.  And three times, life has thrown me violently off that track.  I have wanted to be a doctor since I was five years old.  Twice I was in the process of pre-naturopathy prerequisites and, most recently, I was attending a homeopathic medical school with the intention of rolling into their doctoral program as it became available (it is still stuck in the planning stages, however).  Even after the homeopathy school fizzled, I looked into naturopathy again but was too sick to think about pursuing it. 

Today, I stopped by the Naturopathic Medical Center to pick up a remedy.  I haven’t been back there since before I even began to recognize the pattern that destiny was drawing in my life, since the last time I was applying there.  At least seven years.  The place has really grown up in the intervening years: a big new medical center to house the clinics and labs and the oh-so-pharmacy-looking medicinary.  I parked next to Physician Only parking spaces.  I walked past doctors and students in their white coats and intense expressions. 

In the medicinary, the clerk questioned my remedy request.  Their in-house policy (exceeding state and federal law) requires a prescription for high-potency remedies.  Since I lack their credential, I couldn’t buy the potency I wanted in my own name; they would only sell me a lower potency “suitable” for the uneducated layperson.

I bought the lower potency but walked back to my car with my mouth working hard and a harsh gnawing in my chest.  Why?  Why couldn’t I have completed this dream?  I could be one of those white-coated authorized people by now.  I could park in the best spots and order any damn thing in the pharmacy.  I could be someone my kids could brag about again the way they did when I was in school.  Best of all, I could be someone I would have been proud to be.  I fought long and hard with myself to believe I was even capable of medical school and I was so immensely gratified to find that I did very well in my classes. 

Obviously, destiny has another plan for me.  Each time I attempt to pursue medicine, I come closer to dying with the ferocity that Life requires to derail me.  I’ve been sick for three and half years; I may never fully recover from this last attempt. 

In memory of a dream that will forever remain a fantasy, here is my excerpted admissions essay to the homeopathic college.  It is still as true for me today as it was when I wrote it five years ago.

When I was five years old, I decided to be a doctor.  After a deep gash on my knee, which I was left to attend alone with only a wet cloth and a bandage, I discovered beneath the flowing blood and assorted gore a hard gleaming white thing that I decided must be my knee bone.  This sight, an inner mystery of the body revealed, awoke in me a fascination with how the body works that has never left me, although it has deepened and broadened to include the mysteries of the whole of Being—body, mind, and soul.  I decided then and there, in the attic of my grandmother’s house, that I must study medicine and be a doctor; I must bring this fascination with healing mysteries to the world.

Thirty-five years later, I still have a scar across my knee and I still feel that breathless awe in the presence of the healing work.  My family culture, learning differences I had not yet accommodated, and just plain life intervened and I never made it to medical school, but I have never stopped being fascinated by the healing process, by health and wellness, and by the myriad ways to affect it. I have been studying this process informally although seriously since my early teens. 

I discovered nutrition as a way to affect health as a teenager and began a never-ending, always-something-new experiment with foods, eating habits, and supplementation.  I continue to learn the food/health connections today with my family and my healing clients.  How we nourish ourselves through food, physically and spiritually, is the foundation upon which we daily create ourselves. 

Also in high school, I was introduced to psychology—the inner mysteries of the mind—and learned to observe.  I continued formal study of psychology through a Bachelor’s Degree, to the offering of a place in a doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Although I didn’t continue the credentialing process, I have never stopped observing, analyzing the patterns of the workings of people’s inner selves.  The incredible drive for wellness and wholeness in all that is alive is astounding.

Not quite ten years later, after dabbling with a few alternative health ideas, I entered a struggle with fertility that finalized my break with conventional medicine. Doctors ignored my plight, my midwife was not trained in miscarriage prevention, and I was left to find my own cure.  For three years in the mid 1990’s, I researched reproductive endocrinology and alternative therapies, diagnosed my own problems and prescribed my own treatments.  My midwife was my connection to therapies to which I had no access.  Her trust in my work and willingness to learn as I learned was the first indication that I had something to offer the world through medicine.  Her suggestion that I become a doctor made me realize that I had forgotten my childhood dream.

First, though, we had the joy of homebirthing my first daughter.  Homebirth pushed me firmly into the alternative health world—as if I had that far to go! But it was during my pregnancy that I realized the power of homeopathy: Sepia 200C saved my marriage and my sanity during my second trimester. My midwife gave me some of her own personal supply, which worked the miracle.  I still have that little bottle of Sepia grains and for years turned to it in times of need.

Since then, I have devoted my life to mothering and the study and practice of holistic healing methods. I have raised my children exclusively with vibrational medicine. In addition to homeopathy, other modalities I use are kinesiology, flower remedies, aromatherapy, botanical medicine and direct resonance healing.

So why, now that I have the space in my family life to consider medical school, am I wanting to study homeopathy? I have become more fascinated with the facilitation of healing through working directly with vibrational energy.  Of all the modalities of vibrational healing, homeopathy seems the most inclusive of the body, mind, and soul in equal measure.

Homeopathy is a study of the whole human Being:  from the physics, to the psyche, to the soul, acknowledging that there is no body without soul, nor mind without body. Homeopathy is poetry and science, psychology and theatre, cosmology and philosophy, and all at once.

And, lastly, I choose the homeopathic path because the formal study and credential will allow me to be what I already am—teacher, mentor, healer, parent—in a deeper, more profound way.  As a Wholistic Kinesiologist, I am fairly certain to select a healing remedy if I have a sufficient pharmacy from which to choose but, without a thorough education in homeopathy, I don’t know why it will work or why it is the right remedy.  I want to understand the homeopathic paradigm of disease and healing.  Without that understanding, I am still only able to offer superficial knowledge to others and that is neither sufficient for me nor for those whom I seek to help.


  1. Oh sometimes life hurts. I think you'd make a wonderful doctor.

  2. Not sure what can be said to that, but offering hugs... :)

  3. thank you all for your comfort. I don't actually regret leaving the medical school track (again!) but I do grieve. I have another blog post I've been trying to write for nearly two months on what is replacing that dream but it is slow going.