The last thing you lose is hope

I’m having a bit of an identity crisis.

Actually, “a bit” is a terrible understatement. This last week has been pretty difficult. I can even notice a change in my diary entries. And I’m very stressed, which isn’t helping at all. Actually, I feel very down today.

For some reason the idea of being a doctor feels so foreign to me right now. I’ve thought maybe it’s because I’m currently studying for the ObGyn test re-take, and I hate ObGyn. But it freaks me out to think that it might be something deeper than that.

When I was younger, late in high school and during college, I felt that I had purpose in life. I had dreams, goals, plans for the future….but now I have none of that. I don’t see myself being anything, having any career. I know this sounds ridiculous, especially since a few days ago I was thinking I wanted to be a psychiatrist, but now it all seems so distant. I don’t imagine myself being anything, honestly.

Maybe I’m just having a bad day, maybe depression is beating me up today. I don’t know. I just know that it’s proving ridiculously difficult to write this post, I’m trying not to cry, and what I’m feeling is very, very, very intense.

Before, I used to be “the skinny one”, “the smart one”, “the straight-A student”, and most recently “the medical student”. But now I have none of that. So, I’m left literally feeling like “nothing”. I feel so empty it hurts. It’s a slow torture. It makes me feel like death is my only option.

I feel so far away from everything and everyone, immersed in my own little self-deprecating world. I had a bit of respite from my negative thoughts for a few days there, but now they’re back. I haven’t shared my thoughts with my family or close friends, because I feel they won’t understand and I’ll just be a weight on their shoulders. But it hurts so much to keep this all to myself and feel so alone. M would want me to branch out to other people, but how can I, knowing that none of what others say will help make me feel better? I mean, my own sister has told me she doesn’t know what else to say to me anymore, so why would I bother telling her or anyone else anything??

I feel everything is out of my control. My weight, my “career”, my emotions, my day-to-day life…everything is out of my control. This terrible limbo is killing me. I can’t deal with this uncertainty. I need facts, goals, a future. But I have none of that. I’m completely hopeless today, and it makes me feel death is the only option. I see no escape from this misery. Everywhere I go I carry it like a thorny backpack sewed on to my shoulders.

I know a lot of this would be less painful if I started “believing in myself”. But I don’t remember when was the last time I did that. Does “myself” even exist anymore? I don’t think so.

I am in so much pain. I am hurting. I can’t deal.

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8 comments
  1. Anonymous said:

    Sorry I haven't commented lately–I've been reading but haven't written anything as it's been pretty hectic. One thing that helps me when I'm feeling like that is scheduling my day because I seem to do much better with structured time. Even if it's just something like going to a support group or an exercise class. When I have too much unstructured time it seems to give my mind too much of a chance to wander into negative thought territory. Or maybe it makes me feel more in control. Anyway, I'm reading, so please continue to write! – Azure

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  2. My Dear, I feel like this all the time, even when I HAVE a purpose (which is supposed to be med school). I feel lost, useless, unfulfilled, with nothing to look forward to. I can't get out of bed in the morning. I wonder why I want to live if there is nothing in the foreseeable future that will make me happy. Those are dark times.

    I know it doesn't seem like much, but my therapist told me to write down goals and things I used to look forward to and keep them beside my bed in case I ever woke up feeling this way. And something I also do is to write down everything I've accomplished at the end of the day. It really makes me feel a lot less useless – even if it's just errands or chores, they are things that have to be done and accomplishing them is very useful.

    I know it seems like you have no goal right now, but you absolutely do. You have many. They are:

    -to get better (focus on coping mechanisms you learned in therapy, read some books on BPD. I would recommend that book that I mentioned)
    -to decide what career options are most desirable to you (you could research options and read blogs of people who are in the careers you are curious about – one of my med school friends did that to help her decide what specialty to do into)
    -to get back in shape and exercise (create a new exercise routine to stick to)
    -to eat healthily
    -to be more mentally stable (I find reading self-help books and positive psychology books helps ground me and gives me hope that one day I can be a happier, more balanced person)

    I also agree that scheduling one or two goals/activities each day really helps and makes you feel productive. In CBT it's called Activity Scheduling (yes, very creative). Please try it, no matter how mundane the activity.

    Sending you lots of love,
    K

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  3. Anonymous said:

    Well, you sound like shit. Truly awful and in pain. I can't know how you feel, but I think I can understand what you're trying to say. I know you've probably looked up the DSM-5 criteria for diagnosis with BPD and can see how many of the symptoms you currently exhibit. Feeling out of control, fear and uncertainty at the upcoming loss of M, loss of sense of self, and feeling like your family doesn't understand or care about your illness, loss of direction or even caring about your future. Actually, apparently family with insight into BPD often feel angry and helpless as far as dealing with the affected person and this leaves pts. feeling alienated from them. But remember, you are not alone. There's me and others out here (wherever here is) who read your writings and genuinely care about you. My only advice is to print out a copy of the above blog entry, call today for an emergency appt. with M or G and hand it to them to read. I believe it would help them understand how you really feel and give them insight into how it feels to be you. Keep writing. We're listening. Doc.

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  4. Hey Azure,

    I think scheduling my days will definitely help. Going from 100% scheduled time to 0% scheduled time from one day to another (like I did) was bound to catch up on me. So, definitely will do that 🙂 And as always, thank you for listening!

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  5. Anonymous said:

    Feeling pit bottom, down and out about your identity and existence, it's really a terrible feeling 😦 The worst thing is that you can't help feeling that way. Dear, I know it's hard to remember this now and take it in, but when you're feeling a bit better, I hope that you'll remember to give yourself a pat on the back and tell yourself to calm down, and say, “you are being too hard on yourself again. Relax dear. Calm down.” You don't need to restrict who you are by having certain traits or having a designated position/career. They don't define you. What defines us really? Honestly I don't know, and I don't really like that idea. If I have to.. When I look at myself, and other humans, we are all people who are uniquely our own selves, each to our own. You are not nothing, dear. You are someone who's breathing, you are someone with feelings, loves and dislikes, and these belong only to you. If you share them with the people around you, that's even better. Sometimes we get too caught up on wanting to be someone, preferably with a label. There's always a pressure to be doing something, preferably productive. I really loathe that. It drives me crazy. Then I started thinking, what you're feeling inside, who you are, that's what matters. Idk. Everything else is trivial. Like being a doctor, being something is no big deal. When I thought of that, I felt a bit lighter. That's the ultimate goal for me. When I look at people are happy with themselves, comfortable with their strengths and weaknesses, I think, that's who I want to be. Not a student or doctor, but myself, and how I feel about myself. You are yourself, someone who is very valuable. You, and what you feel about yourself, are important. Having a clear goal and purpose may help in later steps, but for now, take a breather, and take your time. It's difficult. What you're writing, many of us feel the same way at times too, you are not alone and we are listening. It's incredibly difficult, but I hope you can pull through. You're a fighter my dear.

    There's this Korean drama “Good Doctor” that I've recently started on. I felt as if I was about to lapse into severe depression again and it doesn't help that I've been suffering from vertigo which has rendered me bed-bound for 3 days. After looking for something else to distract me and stop me from going downhill, I started watching that drama.. And it made me feel really revitalized. Less empty. Less of a monster, a little more human. Bawled a lot during the two episodes I've watched, which was liberating.. Idk. :') Not sure whether you'll give it a try, but if you do, hope it helps. (You can watch it on gooddrama.net with subtitles) Take care dear.

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  6. K,

    Thank you for reminding me about all these things. I let my mind run wild all the time, and I really have to put in more effort into controlling my thoughts and using positive coping mechanisms like the ones you suggested. This week was kind of weird, but in spite of that I took your advice of activity scheduling. Definitely makes me feel better and more accomplished at the end of the day 🙂

    Take care!

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  7. Doc,

    Thank you so much for reminding me that you and others are here listening. You really have no idea how much it means to me. You definitely understood how I was feeling when I wrote this post (now I'm feeling better). You know, I haven't told my parents about my BPD because it's more of a difficult diagnosis to deal with than depression. I feel they would feel powerless and wouldn't know how to help me, and I don't want them to feel like that. Plus, I'm not really looking forward to telling them I have a diagnosis that encompasses frequent suicidal thoughts as one of it's criteria.

    So really, thank you for listening, but most of all, thank you for understanding and for taking the time to let me know, friend. And do remember that myself and others are also here to listen to you 😉

    Take care!

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  8. Anon,

    I couldn't agree with you more. I too want to be one of those people who are just comfortable with who they are, not with a label or a title. That is really my ultimate goal. A lot of times I just let my mind run wild and the result is what you read in this post. It's just so difficult at times, but I know I have to put in more effort into controlling these thoughts. And like you said, I have to stop being so hard on myself. I'm trying to change that because it's really doing me no good in life, and I know I'm much too young to be bringing myself down constantly. *sigh* Like I said, it's my ultimate goal in life to reach that point of enlightenment.

    Thank you for reading and commenting, I appreciate it a lot. And I'm glad you can identify with the things I write about. It's always great when you feel less alone in the world 🙂

    Take care!

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