Times of trouble

Today was no different. Until now.

I’ve been extremely irritable and constantly angry for at least two weeks. Up until now, in my journey with depression, I had never really experienced such marked irritability and anger. I mean, I’ve always been a ball of angst. However, I always thought it was more of a personality thing. So, this constant rage I’m feeling now on top of that baseline angst, is new to me. As a result, I’ve been treating my family like shit, and beating myself up for it because I know I’m being the horrible person my mind so wants me to believe I am.

Mainly, I’m just angry at myself and my issues. I’ll enumerate them: I feel rage…

  1. …because I have to live with this fucking illness (for lack of a better word), something that until now I had simply accepted reluctantly. 
  2. …because I have no identity, which I already knew, but didn’t really internalize until now that I’m out of medical school and don’t have the distracting factor that was my studies.
  3. …because I HATE myself (and my body) but at the same time hate how horribly mean I am to myself.
  4. …because all I feel is negative: self-hate, pain, sadness, anxiety, borderline paranoia.
  5. …because every day that goes by I feel more pain at being alive and seeing how I slowly become precisely what I feared becoming.
  6. …because at the moment I’m not doing much to get better. 
  7. …because I can’t enjoy the things I once did.
  8. …because I can’t do much on my own, and every time I’m out in public places all I feel is anxiety (at having people look at me, at whatever people are thinking of me, at finding myself face-to-face with my Ex/his wife/his daughter).
  9. …because I take my meds and go to therapy, but most of what M or G say goes in one ear and out the other. 
  10. …because for once in my life I want to have a real relationship. 
  11. …because things aren’t turning out the way I hoped they would.
  12. …because I keep thinking back to what I used to be like and how I’m just a shadow of that nowadays, instead of looking ahead at what I want to be like now as a pseudo-adult and making it happen.
  13. …because I won’t (or don’t want to) take responsibility for my life.
  14. …because I can’t (or don’t want to) love myself.

Unfortunately, it’s way more complicated than what the list makes it look like, but that sums it up.

Anyway, like I said, today was no different until now. I was feeling incredible rage at all those things, especially #1. At one point during the day I was sitting in my bed, internally eating away at myself and feeling terribly desperate. I heard my mom passing by and called her. She stood by me and instantly could tell there was something wrong with me, so she said, for some reason, that I had to let things go. She said: “Like the Beatles’ song: let it be.

At that moment I didn’t give it much thought. It wasn’t until now, after feeling absolutely dreadful the whole day, that I finally grabbed my ipod to listen to that song. When I’m feeling like shit that song always brings me to tears, and this time was no exception.

“There will be an answer, let it be…”

Will there, really? Please let it be true, because I really need it. 

“And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be…”

I fear getting tired of all this and having that light die out. I thought I had finally gotten to that point, but I guess I was wrong, because I’m still here, writing this post.

That light is all I have left to hold on to.

  1. Anonymous said:

    Hi there,
    was feeling pretty down myself today, and read a few of your entries, and it seemed to be pretty on point to how i feel these days. i'm getting by, but i'm not focused, i'm don't have that curiosity and interest to learn like i would have if i weren't feeling so empty. a significant part of this depression could be related to the fact that my fiance left me. but enough time has passed, that i don't think that's the source of my depression. i just always feel almost scared and inadequate. scared i'm going to screw up on rotations, misdiagnose a patient, not be the doctor i want to be. scared that after school when everyone moves on to their individual lives, i'll be back at square one, and feel extremely isolated and alone. i just feel tired and anxious all the time. it's exhausting, and such a major handicap in this field where everyone's suppose to be upbeat and brilliant and socially compotent. instead of quiet and awkward and unconfident. i don't know how i got here. I'm getting older, and would like to meet my husband soon. but the lack of ppl i can see myself getting along with is making me feel is a freak of nature. i ramble. and i think i lost my point somewhere along the way. i worry my mental state is going to mess up my career if not now then later. and that's just depressing. anyways… yeah, i definetly lost my point. lol. but comments are never a bad thing right?


  2. Hey Anon,

    Don't worry about rambling, it's always good to get things off your chest. And comments are definitely never a bad thing. I always welcome comments on this blog, so ramble away!

    I can relate to every single thing you mention. It's actually very normal to feel scared and inadequate, especially during the pre-clinical years (I'm assuming you aren't yet in third year?). Once you get to do your rotations that fear kind of calms down a bit, but I think it's never really going to leave you. I mean, it's natural to be worried about misdiagnosing a patient, etc and I'm sure this only gets better until you're a very very senior doctor. So, don't feel bad for that because it's completely natural and valid. Also, remember that your peers feel the same, they just don't say it or show it.

    I too worry about leaving behind my med school friends once it's over 😦 And now that I'll be graduating with the class of 2016 instead of 2015, that fear of losing the closest friends I've ever made in my 24 years of life has increased a lot. I guess the way I think of it is that I may be awkward and shy, and it's probably going to be very difficult for me to make friends at first (now and in residency), but with time it will get better. Also, there's always someone who's more outspoken and reaches out, so at least that can be a starting point for new friendships. It's definitely scary, but I don't have a doubt that it gets better with time.

    As for feeling tired and anxious all the time, boy can I relate to that 😦 The way I made it through rotations was faking it 'til I made it. Also, you really don't have to be a ray of sunshine all the time. What's important is that you show empathy with your patients, listen, and do your work as best you can. If you happen to be upbeat on any given day, then that's just a bonus. But I can relate to you 100% on the being quiet, awkward and unconfident part. Like I said, make sure you're respectful and empathic…no one needs to know what's going on inside your head and most of the time you're probably doing a better job than you think (I've had patients and doctors tell me I did a great job and didn't look at all nervous when I confess to them that I was internally freaking out).

    I know none of this is easy, and if it helps just know that you're not alone. My psychologist suggested I make a daily mantra, something like “I can do this”. I think that can help you a lot when it comes to being confident. It's going to feel fake and ridiculous at first, but she assures me that with time you start believing it (I haven't done it yet… I'm a shitty patient).

    Finally, if you feel your mental state is suffering, do get help. If you get help now you can acquire the necessary tools to keep treading on if you find trouble down the road. Like I said, it's always good to get things off your chest. Make an investment in yourself 😉


  3. Anonymous said:

    Thanks for the response/support. I've realized at this age, I'm many years older than you and most of my peers, that I am just very different from most ppl. My energy level, my personality, and while I can pretend like I'm happy and somewhat energetic, i just never feel like I am remotely like everyone else in this field, i've come to accept that. hopefully, it'll get better, and my brain won't be so tired, unfocused, and disorganized to learn the material i need to learn. I see you're taking some time off. I hope it helps you recover. When i had the few weeks off over the summer after step 1, i felt so much better. to not have to worry or stress and just do whatever i wanted to, even if it was in isolation and loneliness, it still felt liberating and peaceful. I try to tell myself when i feel down now that it will pass. like everything else passes, good or bad.


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