Hey Friends, I’m Ericka! Like many of you, I was a little girl that dreamed of one day, becoming a veterinarian. I worked hard, got good grades and hallelujah, I got into vet school. The day I graduated from vet school was one of the happiest days of my life. I had achieved my childhood dream! And then, reality quickly set in.
My first few years as a vet I struggled.
I suffered greatly from impostor syndrome, self-doubt and had terrible case anxiety. I considered leaving the profession completely but somehow I kept finding my way back into the exam room.
Slowly but surely my skills as a veterinarian improved but the self-doubt and case anxiety lingered.
I had been a vet for 10 years when my daughter Leila was born. She was a struggle to conceive (taking 2 years of tests, medications, hope, and a lot of disappointment) and she was a struggle to bring into this world (24 hours of labor that ended in an emergency c-section). And quite honestly, the struggle didn’t stop there.
My love-hate relationship with my profession took a nose dive towards hate after Leila was born.
Now, work was something that took me away from my daughter. And it was still hard work for me. I still struggled with difficult conversations, I despised conflict with clients and hadn’t yet learned the importance of setting healthy boundaries and so, I had none. To make matters worse my practice made the leap to offer 24/7 care which meant that I was pulling overnight shifts with a baby at home and 12-hour weekend ER shifts which were exhausting to an already sleep-deprived new mom. Figuring out how to juggle being a mom and a vet did not come naturally to me and I felt so confused and alone.
Before I knew it the migraines started.
I had never had a migraine before in my life and I swore my eye was trying to explode inside my head. I was convinced I had a brain tumor or an aneurysm that was about to blow. The migraines were debilitating. I left work early to go to urgent care and was quickly sent to imaging for a CT scan. When the CT scan came back normal I was sent for an MRI.
Staring up into the tube of the MRI was a sobering experience. I began to realize that my life at that point in time was sucking big time. I wasn’t happy at work, I was exhausted due to severe sleep deprivation, I had completely stopped taking care of myself as I became obsessed with taking care of Leila, and I had been ignoring my marriage so much that there was no one waiting for me when I was done with my MRI.
I had lost myself in the martyrdom of motherhood and I had become someone I didn’t even recognize
Medications for the migraines dulled them to a dull daily headache that was unrelenting and the medications had unpleasant side effects which made me foggy and slow. When each progressive medication failed to give me any relief I fell into a deep and dark depression. I became someone who found no joy in anything. I was crabby, easily irritated and perpetually tired. I was simply existing and going through the motions of living. I considered escaping the pain permanently.
But who would take care of Leila?
So I continued to exist until help came to me in the most unusual form. It was an email sent to me from my parenting coach, Amy McCready. She was recommending a relationship coaching program led by relationship expert, Stacey Martino. At that point in time, my relationship with my husband was so neglected that there was constant bickering and tension in the house. I resented his ability to sleep undisturbed and heaven forbid if he ever uttered the words “I’m tired”. So I took a leap of faith and signed up for her group program.
And my world began to change.
It didn’t happen all at once. It happened one book at a time, one program at a time, one mentor at a time. I filled countless books with notes and exercises and breakthroughs that helped shift my perspective on life.
Have you ever had a breakthrough moment? A moment where you learned something that completely changed the way you see yourself or the world? It is a mind-blowing feeling, isn’t it?
As my perspective changed, my mindset changed. My ability to foster gratitude and compassion grew. My ability to find personal responsibility in my life flourished and from there, I was able to begin making lasting change in how I showed up in this world. I was able to recognize when I was in judgment and blame and began laying those coping mechanisms down more and more.
I found and embraced the person that I had forgotten to be and opened to a world where I was no longer living in protection and scarcity.
And the headaches went away. And I found myself again. My marriage flourished, my relationship with my daughter deepened, and I fell back in love with my profession and my life.
And now I’m working every day towards building the life of my dreams. A life by design. A life of purpose.
Only now my purpose has shifted. Now my purpose involves you. Teaching you how to do this too. Because I look around at our profession and it makes my heart hurt. I see so much pain and suffering. And I know deep down in my heart that it is absolutely unnecessary.
This is not your fault.
We were never taught the skills we needed to thrive. This profession is hard. It is hard and it has the power to break us. If we let it. Only we don’t have to. There is a way. Like everything else we have been taught, it is a skill set. And it can be learned. It has taken me 17 years, thousands of dollars, countless sleepless nights, a year of headaches and many many tears to figure this out. But I’ve done it. And now I’m here, offering you a short cut to mastering this vet life of ours. Because I’ve been where you are. I’ve lived through the soul-crushing heartbreak that we have to live through day in and day out and I know, that it hurts. And I know with every fiber in my being that there is a better way.
Let me show you how.