La Coop P.A.- General and Forensic Psychiatry - Boutique-Private Psychiatric and Forensic Practice in Tampa-Clearwater-Florida


October 2016 - Grieving The Loss Of A Dream


First off, I want to apologize for not being as present on the newsletters. I know that all of you know that life gets in the way and I have a lot going on. I wanted to add a little pic of me and the girls so you all could see how big they have gotten! They will be 2 years old next month and I am amazed by them daily. What a gift they have been to me and my husband.

As I was seeing my patient this morning and talking with her, the running theme of several of my recent sessions with many patients have all been surrounding the topic of loss. My patients, who are all bright and thoughtful wonder why they were getting so devastated over something seemingly so small. To make matters worse, others around them are also telling them how small these things are. I am the first to say, that NONE of these things are small.

This newsletter is going to be about how and why things that seem to be small effect us all so significantly sometimes. The reason is that these "little" things symbolize something much larger. As you all know, my husband I have been struggling with infertility. I am not someone who gives up easily on a dream. But there are sometimes we are faced with things that we cannot will to happen. My husband has jokingly called it my "quest" to have a large family and to continue to be a mother. I guess it is somewhat of a quest. But, to feel a loss like that and to want something so badly and when your body doesn't give you something that your mind and your soul wants - it can be devastating. Why is it so devastating when one seems to have "it all'? Because that's not all that their mind can see. It's not all their soul can feel.

I hope all of you continue to push for a different version of the dream, or a variation of the dream. NEVER GIVE UP!!

Until next time!

Dr. L


I took a class when I was in my Master's at Texas A&M which was called, "On Death and Dying." I am really glad I took that class. At face value, it's not the kind of class I would've taken because I typically don't like downers, but this particular class just took us through all of the stages of grief as defined by Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross. The 5 stages of grief and loss are: Denial and isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

What I like about this book (the class was designed from her 1969 book of the same name), is that it rationally talks about this very emotion laden topic. This book was written about the stages of grief that one goes through when facing known death or grieving the loss of someone very close to us.

The topic that I am writing about today, is the loss of a DREAM. Most people don't think of that as the same thing as the loss of a person. The dream really didn't exist, right? What I am trying to get you to see that people DO see the dream as a reality, a person, something they think about on a daily basis. Something that inspires them at the end of a tough day. Something that drives them day to day to be more than they can be. Something that keeps them up when they are down. Something that is within them with every breath they take. All of us can look at our lives and see that. A DREAM is something, someone, a career choice, a way of life...something that could have been there someone's entire adult life. Or even more, it could be something that has been there since they could form a solid thought - from childhood.

People always think they have time. What happens when time stops - whether it's a medical condition or a person that has YET to come into our lives when we've been willing for that to happen. A marriage that hasn't happened yet, though we thought that we have FINALLY found the ONE. What happens when time stands still? The dream of getting into that school, or having that career (doctor, lawyer, Nurse Practitioner, Artist). What about when time seems to go backward on our dreams. WHAT NEXT?!


I recently gained an insight from a very wise person (See, I don't think I know it all in spite of what many of you may think ;)). She told me that,

"when you invest heavily in one method, you will feel deeply devastated when it doesn't work out. SO you have options - either don't worry too much and know that it will happen when some way doesn't work out, or just know that about yourself and remind yourself that when you are devastated that doesn't mean it's the end it's just a reflection of your investment."

I think of a patient of mine right now who has wanted to be in the health care professions for so long. She worked on it in the traditional way. Went through college, went through the sciences (didn't do so great all of the time), and then just didn't get into her professional school of choice. She then went the corporate route, and didn't get very far there when she realized that's not how she wanted to get there (and doors also were getting shut in her face left and right). She persevered and tried another way. Now, she's on her way (her plan D of F) to becoming a Nurse after such a grueling set of obstacles were set in her way. The point is, she didn't give up. She continued to pursue a different way when one after another was a dead end to her.

I think of another patient that I know I have cited as a success story because it is, but it wasn't his dream (becoming a college professor). Once he had a family, he realized that his dream was to support them financially. This opened up a new set of dreams - a different set. One that required a LOT more money to support!!! So, he now has his own real estate company which is a success to many, but not to him. Now, this gaining of a dream (financial freedom) may have lead him to a cross roads - can I do something against who I am as a person to achieve this dream of extreme wealth? Just as he thought that he captured his dream - it went away in one session with me. Not that the dream is gone, but can he do what he needs to to make that dream truly a reality? Or does he need to use his skill set to obtain his dream in a different field? I'll keep you posted on that one!

I have so many of these stories. This newsletter is here to remind you that:

  • You are NOT alone.
  • The loss of a dream is worthy of grief.
  • You may still be able to attain a dream worthy of your thoughts, but you may need to take a different path to get there.

I hope all of you have a lovely holiday, and I will send all of you a pic of us on HALLOWEEN!!! You all know it's my favorite holiday!!!

Take good care.

Dr. L

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