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Anxiety

Eh.

Took a hiatus. I’m sorry. But hopefully I’m back. Making no promises with my crappy schedule. But here I am. As I told one of my patients yesterday: let’s take it day by day, ok?

So. I did 2 months of psychiatry. I loved it, the hospital, the patients (mostly), the staff, everything. I felt stupid at first, then got the hang of it. Then on my last day I did an impromptu half hour teaching session about psychopharmacology with the medical students and I thought: well, I actually know more than I do. And that was awesome obviously.

But then I started medicine. A month of it. It’s been a week. Let’s just say I’ve found myself teary eyed in the bathroom or when I’m alone in the work room at random times. Yeah, it’s that bad.

And it’s not the team I’m working with. The team is great (except the attending, more on that below). It’s the fucking schedule. Minimum 12 hour shifts (that mostly turn to 13 or 14), 6 days a week. I bet you can guess which day of the week I have off, judging by the date on this post….and how frequent my potential posts will be.

The attending I started off with was good. He was chill and relaxed. The attending I have now is an overachiever. And I don’t bode well with that. I’m the chill type of person, by doctor standards, that is. No wonder I ended up in psychiatry, it’s the chill people specialty. I did enough overachieving during my teens. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I feel stupid 24/7 and it’s taking a toll on me. Last time I did medicine was a year ago. “Rusty” is an understatement for my current status. It’s like I never went to med school and need a refresher course on everything. At least during my 2 months of psychiatry I felt marginally stupid but knew some things. Here it’s just straight up embarrassing every time I have to round on patients in front of the team, especially the attending.

My attending gave me feedback yesterday. He said nothing I didn’t know already, about my performance anxiety apparently having no reason to be as I seem more sure of myself, about how I should brush up on what my patients have to refresh my memory….but what really hit me was him saying “study on those topics even if it’s 2 minutes”.

Haha! Dude. SERIOUSLY?! I have no time to take my trash out in a whole week and my apartment stinks, let alone study. And let’s be honest, I don’t care about the topics. As terrible as that sounds. I just want to be done with these four weeks and marginally pass, setting the bar as low as possible so that the next psychiatry cointern that comes around doesn’t get treated like shit. I just want to know the basics so I’ll know when to recognize a medical problem in my psychiatry patients in the future.

Dude: just tell me what to do. And I’ll do it. Don’t expect me to be interested, though.

He did, however, reiterate something my program director has told me a few times before and something I’m proud of: that it shows I have good rapport with my patients. And really, as long as I know the basics and have good rapport with my patients, I’ll be set. No need for me to overachieve. It’s not like I have the time for it, either way. I’ll worry about studying for real when I get back to psychiatry and neurology rotations (and I’ll have the time for it).

So, medicine…it sucks and I would rather do 10 batches of laundry in a single day than do this for a prolonged amount of time (and trust me, I HATE doing laundry).

Yesterday I couldn’t take it anymore. A patient started masturbating as I was interviewing him. Yes, you read that right. Hello, trigger! Hello, feeling disgusted and used! And of course, nobody in the team gave a shit except the females. Then another patient’s family was driving me nuts with wanting special treatment for the patient.

And already my head had gone over to dark places because another patient was irritated with me when I went to talk to her. I found myself thinking about suicide, yes, solidly for the first time in a while.

I was able to manage the thoughts. But yesterday I couldn’t take it anymore. I got to my apartment at 9:30pm and just started bawling. How can anyone live through this? Why is this necessary? I just want to help people and lead a balanced life. Is that too hard to ask for?

I texted the Russian. And he got worried. He came over. Cuddled and held me while I cried like a baby and just let everything out of my chest. Everything including our current crappy relationship situation, or whatever it is, because both of us have shitty schedules and barely interact. Started crying even harder after I told him I didn’t want to get depressed again (he knows I’ve been depressed, although not in detail….I’ll get around to that when things are more stable between us).

And I guess I just needed a good cry and a day off, because today I feel better. I was able to finally clean my apartment.

I’m not depressed. Not yet. And I hope not ever again. But I know myself better than anyone else, and I know that if I don’t get enough sleep or enough balance in my life, I will fall down that slippery slope quick. And medicine is exactly the type of environment that depression festers in.

No wonder there’s so much physician suicide. But that’s nothing new to me, really. It’s just more tangible when you’re no longer a student and are actually in the front lines. I honestly think it’s unnecessary for one to work 14 hours straight, 6 days a week, and expect to be ON all those hours…sometimes having to skip breakfast or lunch. Nobody gets a sticker for toughing it out. What’s the point, then? My attending went so far as to make the medical students rotating with us come to hospital tomorrow, on a holiday. His reason? “Well, in my day, when I was a medical student…” Seriously dude? Times a-change. Get over it. I have to go because it’s my work, but the med students? Come on.

And…I’ve gotten more shit from my medicine patients in one week than I did from my psychiatry patients in 2 months. Oh the irony. Especially since people think psychiatry patients are “the difficult patients”. Pfffffft. Sure.

I try my best. I really do. And my intentions are good. But it’s difficult not to have your morale eroded quickly with so much crap going on.

And that, my friends, is my current “life”, for lack of a better word. Everyone keeps telling me it will be over soon, but soon isn’t soon enough. I want it to be over now.

And because I like to finish things on a lighter note: it seems things with the Russian are turning more solid/stable every day. His schedule is going to be better now, apparently. Can’t say the same for me, unfortunately. We’ll see what happens.

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So…I have a license to practice medicine as a resident physician in my state.

That was a huge relief off my shoulders. However, the experience was incredibly unpleasant and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. The licensing board holds doctors to such ridiculous superhuman standards. And they’re incredibly rude, to top it all off.

Annnnnyway….now that’s over…well, the day after I got the wonderful news, actually….I had my first day of psychiatry residency: July 1st.

It was quite the overwhelming experience. Nothing bad happened, I was just an overall anxious clutz who didn’t know the ropes at the hospital and didn’t know what to do with herself. But I’m pretty sure everyone feels like that the first day of residency.

Except when your attending asks you to present a patient in front of the whole team and you pipe up “Sorry doctor, I didn’t see that patient with you”, and she says “really? I was sure you did…” and you insist, “No, I didn’t, sorry”. So, then, she presents the patient and 30 seconds in you try to not morph your facial expression into one of horror as you realize you did indeed see that patient with her.

Yeah. I did that.

First day as a doctor and I can’t even remember my patients. Shit.

But that was the biggest blunder. I think. There were also a bunch of I don’t know’s answering her questions. Simple questions to top it all off. She was probably thinking I was an idiot. And she wasn’t far from the truth if that was the case. It was my first day. Right?

I still can’t get used to being called “doctor” and that it’s actually true. Was kinda mindblown when I read my name next to the words Faculty/resident. Transitioning from the role of medical student to that of resident was harder than I thought. I told my attending. And I also told her that I was sorry for being nervous and awkward. It was my first day.

And at the end of the day, she said “You did a great job.”

I think she was just trying to be nice. But that’s fine. I’ll get the hang of this.

Eventually.

 

Ah, this week has been an emotional roller coaster. But I’m glad to say I feel great right now. Currently. At this moment.

The licensing issues had me freaking out and horribly anxious about 2 days ago. However, my program directors dissuaded that fear after having a meeting with me. They’ve been super supportive at my program and it makes me happy that I chose them. They’re confident things will resolve and that definitely calmed me down a lot. So, we’ll see what happens this coming week.

Really, all I want is to be a psychiatrist and help people. Is that too much?

So after all that mess, I decided to try and calm down. Been laying low the weekend, just adulting and doing chores in my apartment. Basically, nesting. Also, feeling slightly better about my appearance since my previous post. Just trying to be patient with my face and the time it will take to heal…trying to not pick, etc.

I recently received my long white coat *eek!*. That’s quite the milestone. It means you’re a doctor. It means you made it after so much work and sacrifice. Funny enough, I have a love-hate relationship with the white coat. I like how it’s a sort of uniform and gives an official tone to things. However, I’m not a fan of it because it creates distance with patients in a field like psychiatry. It’s one thing to talk to someone with a white coat about your infectious diarrhea, it’s another to talk about your past trauma and hallucinations. One doesn’t require the patient to feel *that* comfortable, the other requires as much comfort as possible.

Annnnnyway…none of that will happen if I don’t have a license to practice medicine. But we’ll see. I have faith in whatever that this will resolve.

Patience. I need lots of it right now.

And a bit of luck and good wishes wouldn’t hurt either.

 

I feel so fugly.

I feel so fugly I don’t want to go out. And I haven’t during the whole day.

My skin is breaking out like crazy and of course I haven’t made it any better by constantly picking. I don’t remember when was the last time I felt so consistently ugly for so many weeks in a row. 2016 is a good year so far…except beauty-wise.

I feel so ugly it makes me anxious. I don’t want to go out unless I wear truckloads of makeup and even if I do I’m constantly self-conscious about people looking at me and thinking my face is too caked over.

Thoughts like “He’s probably thinking I’m a ‘butterface'” cross my mind constantly. And the worst part is: right now I wholeheartedly believe I’m a “butterface”.

I’m even afraid of the Russian thinking I look nasty or something, or that whenever he looks at me or kisses me he can see the amount of cake I have on.

My skin was moderately bad as a teenager, then I got some respite during medical school, and now I’m back to being a spotty fugly-ball. What the hell happened?

I just want it to be over already. For someone who was badly scarred by bullying there’s nothing worse than having the cause of your bullying turn on you a second time around. What did I do to deserve this?

Why can’t I just be pretty? Why can’t my face just be…normal?

It’s been quite a day. I’ve been locked up in the hotel room, heartbroken and feeling overwhelmed over having to move to the city that I adore in June.

It probably wasn’t a good idea to browse studio apartments and try to figure out a first month and moving budget in my current emotional state. But whatever, at least I did something productive in spite of the shit.

I feel overwhelmed now. I got so stressed I’m nauseous. I confess: I’ve never adulted in such a way. I don’t know how to adult. Really, no one probably knows how to. But I literally have no clue. I mean, I just barely get by and pretend to know what I’m doing, then freak out when I realize I don’t. Is that adulting?

How am I supposed to figure out a budget when I’ve never lived alone or earned a respectable amount of money (aka: more than zero dollars)? How am I supposed to apartment hunt when I live so far away from the city that I adore and will probably have to choose blindly? How am I supposed to relocate and pay off so much shit, including student loans, if half of my salary will end up going into rent expenses? How am I supposed to do anything when everything costs money and I really don’t have much of that?

Is there anyone out there I can ask these stupid and embarrassing questions? Nobody taught me this shit. Is there like some Adulting Advisor out there who won’t snort and laugh when I say I haven’t ever paid taxes and I’m in my late 20’s? If so, let me know.

Either way, I tried to figure stuff out. It seems I have just enough to travel a wee bit before I become a slave doctor, make the big move, and live in the city that I adore for a month while I get my first check before I max out my savings account. I could also take out a small loan for relocation and my parents are willing to help during that first month, but really I’d like to avoid that. I already have some debt from student loans and I really don’t want to continue living off my parents. Makes me feel like a leech. And to think, I actually have it easy in that department.

I don’t know. I just feel a bit miserable because the excitement has suddenly died out. The last time I saw a patient was back in October and I feel stupid and useless. I forgot why I wanted to be a doctor, let alone a psychiatrist. Rationally, I know big changes are around the bend, but my heart is still sitting on its comfy ass at home.

And on top of that I’m heartbroken now. I hate everything today. And I feel so crappy I’m even regretting having decided to travel now and in May. I should have saved up my money for future rent and adult crap like that.

But then, they always say it can’t be all work and no play. Why do I feel so guilty for treating myself?

Oh wait, because treating myself totally backfired and now I’m heartbroken and completely alone in a place far away from home. I could be one of those badass women who says another one bites the dust, fuck it then, I’ll just enjoy the city on my own.

But no. I’m pathetic and I isolate in a hotel room instead.

I kinda want to die right now. Or sleep and not have to deal with the world. To my twisted mind, those are both the same thing. And yes, I’m throwing the phrase “I want to die” around loosely. Deal with it.

I’m still away from home. I scheduled a trip with a close friend to the city where Pizza Guy lives. It was convenient, surprisingly cheap, and since the opportunity to travel young and responsibility-less won’t come around again in life I said “why not?”. Plus, it happens to be the same city where my most recent dating interest lives.

And yet, it was a bit of a mistake and I can’t wait to get back home. I’ve barely spent time with my friend because she’s busy doing adult things and basically I’ve been locked up in the hotel and mostly sleeping by choice. And why locked up? Because my anxiety is very high right now. And why is my anxiety very high? Because I got my heart broken on only my second day here.

The most recent dating interest is no more and I am pretty devastated. Another one bites the dust. I’m glad I didn’t give him a name on the blog and I’m glad my sole traveling purpose wasn’t him. But still. We were sort-of-almost-dating and just going with the flow. But on Friday he confessed via text that after a full 3 months he’s finally accepted that we’re not a good match.

And you know what’s the funny thing? I rejected him after our first date. I told him I thought there were girls who were more compatible with him than me. He said “ok, but I believe in second chances”. We continued texting daily. He grew on me. We went out quite a couple of times when we coincided geographically. I started liking him. And then finally I was really into him.

But I guess it was the other way around for him. He thought we were a good match at first…but then he got to know me better. Granted, at least he wasn’t a douche like The Russian and actually told me what he felt. But still…

Can’t help but feel men only like me for my physical attributes and sex (yes, low-self-esteem-me is actually feeling that). However, once they get to know me they discover I have no personality and am something to run away from. They all say how beautiful I amĀ  at first and as time goes by they just drift away slowly, hoping I don’t notice.

But Dana, there’s other fish in the sea.

But Dana, that’s not true! You’re a great person! You’ve got an awesome personality in addition to being beautiful!

But I wanted that fucking fish. And I wanted it (him) now.

There’s a backstory to him. He’s been my platonic crush for all of 9 years now. I couldn’t believe I was semi-dating him. I felt so lucky to be semi-dating such an amazing guy. But no. After 3 months I get my heart broken by no less than my platonic crush. You’ve gotta be kidding me…

I’m fucking sad. Very much so. He wants to stay friends. I told him me too, but that he has to give me time to recover. But right now I don’t want to recover, I just want to see him and be with him. And knowing that I’m in the same city as him and we haven’t spoken since Friday is killing me.

Then yesterday I saw Pizza Guy. Nothing remotely sexual, I just wanted some good friendly company and to get out of the hotel. It was good to see him. It allowed me to solidify our current relationship status as friends. I told him about my heartbreak. And again…

There are more fish in the sea.

Dating fucking sucks.

Some new person will come around when you least expect it.

And that’s fine, sure, if I had the fucking certainty that I will actually meet someone or a few people who will be Mr. Right at the right time. But guess what? Some people actually live alone in this life. And that could well be me. What if my fear of ending up alone and without a significant other becomes a reality? Anything’s possible.

Meanwhile, my close friend met up with someone last night and is meeting up with him again today. I love her to bits but I can’t help but feel like an utter piece of shit next to her. I’ve always felt like the ugly best friend when I’m with her and I’m just so jealous of her meeting up with this guy. In summary: here I am, feeling ugly, personality-less, lonely, and heartbroken, while she’s out there meeting awesome guy after awesome guy after awesome guy…in an awesome city.

Why couldn’t I have this one awesome fish with me? What didn’t he like about me? What made him think we’re not a good match?

There’s only one common factor to all the guys I’ve dated or been interested in: me. So, it follows that I’m the problem, right?

I’m always the fucking problem. Maybe I should just fucking drown in a vat of coconut oil.

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