A friend of mine once told me that true vulnerability is revealing your troubles while you have them, and not after you’ve triumphed the storm. So here goes nothing:
It’s 12:25pm, and I’m barely mid-way through my Tuesday. Final exam is happening in 3 days. This lemon pepper tilapia and broccoli I made for lunch is delicious. I have an intense migraine that comes and goes in my left lobe, right above my ear. And I’ve already stress-eaten four chocolate chip Panera cookies. The past four hours of lecture came and went and destroyed my sense of hope that I’d have everything down by Friday 8am. I’m rambling and dismissing the need for proper transitions because my brain cannot handle creativity and misplaced effort at the moment. I got 3 hours of sleep last night.
Yesterday I spent a few evening hours working out, grocery shopping, and making dinner for the week (because I suppose I need to live and do basic human activities every now and then), but I felt guilty when I realized it was 12am and I had 4 more Powerpoint decks to review to stay on task. This morning at 10:22am I thought “it’s not humanly possible to learn all this information in just a few days.” At 11:01am, “maybe this just isn’t in the cards for me.” And for the last 1hr and 7min of the final presentation, I focused nothing on GI cancer pathology and everything on why I won’t be able to learn this and all the blasphemous things I wish I could I say to the universe that decided learning medicine at 23 years old meant sitting in a dark classroom, wishing you were anywhere else. Doing anything else. Not absorbing a damn thing. Tears literally on the verge of pouring down my face. In a classroom full of people.
If you’re wondering how I’m doing (currently, in the moment, at this very second), that’s how I’m feeling. I’m upset, and exhausted, and empty, and sad, and worried, and just plain ol’ tired. I’d lie to you if I said I never considered dropping this whole thing and living off mommy and daddy for a little while. I don’t want your pity, or comfort, or sympathy. Writing this out is comfort enough—and a much more acceptable way to blow off steam than some other methods I’ve considered.
I’ll get through it. I’m sure I will. It’s been done before. The world keeps turning despite my breakdowns or breakthroughs. People continue to get sick. Physicianship will remain. My 2nd year will pass. My training will continue.
This isn’t to discourage anyone who has their eyes set on medicine. Fight the good fight and keep pushing until you get where you want (and need) to be. But if I am to be honest about the beautiful things I’ve experienced, so must I reveal the tragedy.
It’s now 12:47pm. I have another lecture at 1. My right eyelid has started twitching—a sign of stress. (Fun fact, my body is pretty in tune with my psychological state. It’s predictable– eye twitching, loss of appetite, chills, and abdominal discomfort are the ways my body tells me to take a chill pill and woosah).
12:57pm: I’m a bit relieved I’ll admit. Still stressed lol, but relieved. Next lecturer is preparing to start. Gotta go.
1pm: (lecturer hasn’t started yet, so I’m not being disrespectful but: ) I was going to title this post “Vulnerability” until I went on Twitter (shout out to my daily news source) and learned that today is World Mental Health Day. Would you look at that. I hear you, God.
P.S. A necessary reminder, courtesy of my Twitter timeline:
P.S.S: In the world of social media and the world wide web, everyone wants to convince you that shit is sweet. Well sometimes, it’s not. Sometimes shit is…shitty. And that’s okay too.