Unquiet

I felt terrible today, so I only managed to do two things today. I finished reading a book, and I tried (and failed miserably) to paint. I’ll first talk about the painting stint.

Like every other time I paint, I was hoping something decent would come of it. And like most of the times I paint, nothing decent came of it this time around. My process for painting, if you could call it that, is to find a song that sets my mind in an inspirational high, put it on repeat, and paint. But this time around I didn’t find a song, and I wasn’t feeling anything really. So I just ended up making a mess on the canvas with all the paint I had put on my palette, just to use it up and not feel guilty that I wasted away some paint.

*Sigh* But it’s so terribly frustrating, really. I’m out of practice since I began medical school, and on top of that, depression has taken away my artistic inspiration. *double sigh*

As for the book…

When I was doing my psychiatry rotation we had an assignment for bonus points that consisted of writing an essay about how mental illness has affected you or someone close to you. I took a chance and wrote it about my struggles with depression. The rotation coordinator messaged me, thanking me for my honesty and giving me some pointers on how to keep depression at bay. She also recommended I read Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind.

So, I got the book and started reading it but left if halfway through after Christmas vacations. I decided to begin reading it again after being discharged from hospital, and I finished it today. A ridiculously short summary: it’s about a professor of medicine, a clinical psychologist, who has bipolar disorder. I liked it. A lot. It made me feel that there is some hope of me becoming a kick-ass psychiatrist despite my depression and BPD.

I marked different phrases and parts throughout the book that really got to me, but there is one sentence that I want to highlight here. It reads:

Ironically, it is usually those doctors who are the most competent and conscientious who feel the most sense of failure and pain. 

The context in which she said this has nothing to do with how I interpreted it, but it still really struck me. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a ridiculously insecure person, and more so when it comes to my career. Most of the time what I feel is literally, a sense of failure. But it really got to me, having a respected researcher, clinician, writer, person, imply that those of us who doubt ourselves the most are the ones most competent for the job.

I don’t know…it makes me feel positive. And positive is something I’m not used to experiencing.

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