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Ah, I think I’m depressed again. Though I don’t want to call it that. I’m feeling shitty. Yeah, that feels just about right.

It just so happens that I’ve been kind of crappy with my Prozac since I left home to visit the Russian in October. And I haven’t had therapy in who knows how  the fuck long. G and R? I don’t know who they are anymore. I also haven’t been writing as much and today and yesterday I tried to sketch but I couldn’t even doodle. Sigh.

And I know what triggered it all. In addition to the obvious (the Russian, interview season, thinking about my goddamn future on a daily basis…) I’ve been back home for a few days now. It was like turning on a switch.

I’m back in the noise and with my parents, but most of all back to this tired old place where I’m from and which I’m so sick and tired of. It doesn’t change. It literally does not change. If you visited this place 50 years from now you’d find the same people, the same conversations, the same problems. I’ve always been an outcast here, and having the joy of pretending I was a nomad across the different states for a month now made me forget just how much I don’t fit in here.

Also, not helping my depression is the fact that I need a fucking car to get anywhere interesting here. Sounds stupid, but it’s much easier for me to balance my emotions when I know I can just pick up my two legs and go somewhere within 5 minutes without having to turn on a car and think about gas, traffic, or road rage. So, I lock myself in my room because it’s just fucking easier and it’s my comfort zone…hence the isolation and falling into depression again.

And then there’s my parents. The same old tired crap that drags me down again and again. I love them to bits but my god, I cannot live with them anymore. Anything they do or say sends me spinning into bitch-mode.

I’ll be leaving for another interview in a few days. Then I’ll be a tourist somewhere else for a few more days. Then I have to come back and study for Step 2 CS. Oh the excitement…

And the Russian. Nothing there, obviously. Texted him today because he has a pair of earrings that I adore and left in his apartment. I refuse to leave them there. I suggested he ship them or we meet up quick when I’m back in the city that I adore in January for an interview. I was crossing my fingers he’d say meet-up, but was expecting having to text him my address. No answer. No nothing. Texted him again, nicely, asking him if he had any preference. Again, nothing.

I’m so fucking heartbroken you guys. I want to be angry at him and I know it’s what I should be, because he’s the one avoiding me and not showing face. But I can’t help but think that I was just wrong in sending him that angry text (which wasn’t even insulting, by the way, it was firm and angry but not indecent). I keep thinking about the small things we shared before it all went downhill…the conversations, the uncanny coincidences in things we liked and just the things we talked about, the movies we liked and joked about, the conversations about medicine and philosophical stuff, him saying “I love listening to you ramble”, the kisses, the intimacy, the jokes we shared, the places we went together, that cute smile of his, and that fucking geeky laugh he has that makes me weak in the knees because it makes his tough exterior melt away for just the teeniest second…..

I miss him you guys. And there’s no getting him back. There’s no fucking getting him back (ah, hello tears…they’re starting to well up). I fucking ruined it.

And of course that sends me on a tailspin of thinking: Oh I don’t want to be a doctor anymore, fuck I don’t want to be a psychiatrist, why am I even interviewing for residency?, I’m a good for nothing idiot, I’m fat and pathetic, can’t even hold onto a great guy who was interested, I just want to crawl in a fucking hole and wither away and die in my own fucking shit.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I can’t sleep anymore. The noise in this house and this fucking neighborhood just don’t let me sleep. The noise in my head, thinking about interviews and the teeniest details about what I answered, what I did wrong here and there, how I would rank the programs, where I would be willing to compromise where I not to match in my #1 program (which is very possible)….it’s all keeping me awake at night.

And then come the thoughts of wanting to die, the suicidal thoughts that never come to fruition because fuck, if I’ve made it this far I’m not just going to kill myself on a whim (in my case, I know it’s “on a whim”…I know myself well enough to know that the thoughts will wither away after a while, doesn’t mean it’s “on a whim” for others though).

And then, by fucking g-d….I wake up in this fucking good-for-nothing place that offers me, you guessed it: NOTHING. This place offers me zero opportunities, zero life, zero happiness. The only things I find here are my parents and siblings, my friends, and my dogs. Nothing else.

So I wake up. Go back to sleep. Wake up. Go back to sleep. Dream about the Russian never coming back home from work. Wake up. Go back to sleep. Dream about the Russian avoiding me during an interview day where we coincided. Wake up. Can’t go back to sleep. Hate myself. Sit on the bed. Get up. Open the blinds….and fuck, I’m still in this shitty place they call my hometown. I’m here again. Stuck again.

I go through the day. I eat dinner. Hate myself for it. Purge a bit. Feel the high. Alone.

No Russian. No new interview invites. No new adventures. No place to grow. It all withers away the moment I start to get comfortable. Hurting so much.

(And yes, I’m crying.)

 

My mom has a bit of a hoarding problem. My grandmother also had a hoarding problem.

I refuse to have a hoarding problem.

She carries so much weight with her. She hoards not only objects, but memories, regrets, and dead dreams. She lives in the past. And for what? Where has that gotten her? Nowhere. If anywhere, it’s gotten her more miserable than she already is.

I have a feeling she wasn’t like this when I was a child. I have a feeling she’s gotten worse over the years, but that’s just my impression. However, I can’t ignore the fact that the garage and my dad’s office area are filled with a bunch of unnecessary crap and it wasn’t as bad before as it is now. I don’t know if dad’s the same. I think he’s just careless and doesn’t clean up his act. But mom? No, she cares too much.

I’ve been home alone this whole week and I felt incredibly light, incredibly free (in spite of my ongoing problems). It gave me a few clues as to why I should leave this place for residency. Today my parents are back and I can already feel IT growing inside me: the ball of useless crap, of negativity, pessimism surreptitiously passed as realism, and the noise. The useless sludge of toxicity is taking over my mind and soul. But I can’t let it.

At one point I decided to throw away a bunch of old crap I had in my room. It’s a bunch of stuff that I’m supposed to look at every year or so and think back to happier times, but mainly they just leave me feeling bitter and heavy. Souvenirs of the past, basically. And some of them I do like, and I kept; but a whole other bunch I’ve just kept over the years because my mom doesn’t let me get rid of them or makes me feel guilty for considering throwing them away. I guess she doesn’t understand the incredible high I get whenever I throw useless crap in the trash bin, especially useless crap that makes me feel bad about myself or my life. Who needs that, really? Throwing shit out and feeling light makes me feel good about myself. I don’t think she can say the same about her hoarding.

I like to travel light in life, with only the essentials. And “the essentials” doesn’t encompass a bunch of crap from when I was in school, like useless participation certificates from useless clubs (The Geography club! The Spelling club!….and many more). “The essentials” also doesn’t encompass a bunch of crap from senior year of high school and documents signed by backstabbing teachers who “adored me” but then treated me like shit when I most needed the help of an adult (during the relationshiT). Finally, “the essentials” doesn’t encompass a picture of a random group of smiling eighth graders, myself included, which was simply taken to be put on display on the class bulletin board. Especially if said picture includes people who made my life a living hell.

So, I was trying to throw away all this crap without my mom noticing, and I was feeling awesome about it. But at one point she suddenly opened the door to my room and saw what I was doing. I instantly saw it in her face, the guilt-tripping that was about to come my way in full force. She sat on my bed and we talked for a few minutes until what I knew was coming came.

“Are you going to throw away that picture?”

“Yes,” I said decisively without looking at her.

“Don’t do it.”

“Why?”

“Just…don’t do it. Don’t throw it away.” It was almost a plea, but the whole time she kept a level tone.

“Why not?” I said, anger boiling inside.

“You shouldn’t throw away that stuff. Dana, don’t throw that away.” And she didn’t say it, but I saw it playing peek-a-boo along the lines of her lips: You’ll regret it later. 

And she left.

But why do I have to keep it if I don’t want to? Why do I have to keep something that makes me overflow with wretched memories? What got me throwing away stuff in the first place was something MM told me. She said: A friend of mine once told me: I’ve never missed any of the things I’ve thrown away before. 

And she’s right. I’ve never missed any of the crap I’ve gotten rid of. I never regret any of my throwing-crap-away binges. If anything, I’ve always thought: why didn’t I get rid of it earlier?

Finally, mom didn’t succeed in her guilt-tripping. I threw the picture away, and I didn’t just throw it away. I cut out eighth-grade-me from the picture and kept it, while I also cut out an asshole who made my life miserable during that time…for an art project. A productive way of dealing with the anger eighth-grade-me couldn’t express.

Still, my mom’s hoarding problem affects me to the point where I had to go to the trash bin while she was taking a nap. I can’t let her see me throw the crap away because she’ll try and stop me in my tracks. And for maximum security, I made not one knot on the plastic bag containing all that crap, but four. I’ve thrown away stuff before that comes back to haunt me because she snatches it from the trash bin and decides to keep it for herself….disregarding the fact that I don’t want it around. It’s an undercover mission.

Do I regret it? Not one bit. I plan on continuing the throwing-crap-away binges little by little.

I have enough problems as it is. I don’t need to keep dragging all that SHIT with me.

Today was my last appointment with M.

Strangely enough, I feel ok. I feel calm. But not “bad” calm….”good” calm. I still feel like crying, but not an inconsolable cry like I had last night while finding the right words to write her goodbye/thank you card. Somehow, I feel an incredible hope and a sense that things will be alright.

That last hour with her was completely bittersweet. I went in her office, and once she sat down I could feel an air of change. It wasn’t as smooth sailing as I thought it would be, but it was still a good last hour with her.

She asked me how things had gone this week. I told her I would tell her in a second, and proceeded to take out a small gift for her. I’ve been painting a lot lately because I was brainstorming something to give to M as a thank you gift. Finally, a while ago I was able to come up with something special, but was still afraid she wouldn’t accept it or wouldn’t like it.

She asked if she could open it. I said yes, but that she had to read the card I enclosed after opening the gift or else she wouldn’t understand what I had written. She opened it.

And she loved it. She genuinely loved it.

Then she asked if she could read the card with me there. I was a bit hesitant, but said yes. She read it, smiled, commented on the lighter parts, and was pensive and quiet on the more serious parts.

She said that I, too, will hold a special place in her heart forever.

It was very difficult for me to talk during that hour, yet somehow I managed to pull through and tell her almost all the things I wanted to tell her. I told her I cried right after our appointment on Monday, and that I continued crying during the week. I told her that the notebook she gave me meant a lot to me. We discussed my seeing her as a mother figure, and how it’s strengthened my relationship with my mom. She said her supervisor at one point told her that one of the goals was for me to see both the good and the bad in my mom. I told her I had made a great deal of progress with that, but that I still have some work to do. She said she would tell her supervisor, and I told her to thank her for me.

I asked her if she had anything else to say about the moment of enlightenment that I told her about on Monday, how it was, in my opinion, the most important thing that had happened between us (remember that other moment I mentioned in this post? Yes, I’m finally telling you about it). On Monday I read her the following portion from my diary entry on the 22nd of July:

At the end of the session we spent five minutes talking about miscellaneous things, such as my medication, how many appointments were left, about G, and I also asked her whether she already knew what she would be doing after leaving. I was surprised at the effect those 5 minutes had on me. I think it was the fact that I saw more of what she felt than what she usually shows. Hearing her say that she, too, was worried about the future, that she was glad we now had G to continue our work, perceiving a bit of sadness when she said there were 4 appointments left….well, it made me see her human side, and somehow it was a small window into what she feels. It surprised a lot, how much she showed in that short amount of time. I felt somehow she trusted me and that maybe I don’t make her feel as uncomfortable as I sometimes think I do. Honestly, I felt weird but privileged, because she allowed me to see her human side, and not just her role as psychiatrist. Maybe it was a weak moment for her as a doctor, a small slip…but it meant a lot to me, although she probably didn’t feel it that way. Surely, there have been moments like that before. Actually, I know there have been moments like that before, constantly. Maybe I’m paying more attention nowadays, after more than 2 years. It seems that what I most wanted to know was right in front of me all along. And I will definitely never forget it.

[…]

I hope I didn’t come across as a creep. What I meant was not that I had somehow satisfied my morbid curiosity about her personal life, but that I had finally understood that she is just as human as I am and that she truly cares about me as a patient and person. That I make her feel something, react, and think to a certain point, just as she makes me feel, react, and think. The key is that I don’t know it now because she explicitly told me, but because she showed it with simple gestures. For some reason I don’t think it was simply because of her responsibility as a doctor, but because she genuinely feels it. And so, I think, that I have always, in every relationship, been in search of that genuine feeling that I matter at least a little to the other person. But this time, for the first time, I don’t have that worry in my heart. She, who has no obligation toward me as a family member or acquaintance, made me feel perfect in spite of my being completely imperfect. With a string of small gestures she inspired in me a genuine feeling that I am worth a lot just the way I am. I had never, in my whole life, felt that before. Basically in those few minutes she made me question the ingrained belief that I am disgusting and worth nothing.

It’s a relationship of unequal power, a doctor-patient relationship, whatever name they want to give it…at the end of the day I know I put her on a pedestal, but now I know that I am just as human and “perfect” as she is. 

Of course, I hope this feeling lasts, but if I ever split her again into black, at least I can go back to this entry and know that this was indeed real, and not just my perception. 

And M said: “You are important to me.”

She said the goal all along has been for me to get better, and that she’s glad I could see a human side to her, because that was another goal. She rambled a bit at that point, of which I don’t remember much honestly. (I’ve always thought she does that when she gets nervous.) She did say, however, that it’s normal to have that curiosity about your therapist’s personal life, but that in the end it’s all about you, not them, which is why, she said, she sometimes said random things about her job or life, but never anything further. She then said her daily life is just as un-interesting as anyone else’s, what with driving, cooking, cleaning, leaving work for the last minute, having to study for tests…at which I couldn’t help but laugh with her (I had a fleeting mental picture of M cooking). But either way, her point got across: that we are always in search of being validated and inspiring love in others, and she was glad that happened with me.

I then asked her why I was initially assigned to her back in 2012, since by that time she was close to finishing her outpatient psychiatry service rotation. She said it might have happened by mistake, because usually they don’t get assigned new patients when they’re close to finishing a rotation. “It ended up being a good mistake,” I said. She agreed.

I asked her what she thought about my progress, and she said she was very satisfied with it and very happy that we were able to achieve so much together. That she was proud of me, and that I had been the one who did all the work, because if I hadn’t been so diligent about my appointments and so dedicated to getting better even when I had lost all hope, then it wouldn’t have had the same result. And then I asked her what she felt during this process, and what she feels now. Unfortunately, I don’t remember exactly what she said, but it was something along the lines of it being full of ups and downs, but that she was glad things ended on a high note.

And, of course, she said my journey has not ended yet, but will merely continue with another person, and that we might actually end up meeting again sometime in the future, considering my interest in psychiatry. She said she knows I will be able to achieve all my goals. And she laughed when I told her that if ever I pass her by and I don’t say hi, to please not take it personally because I’m always very lost in thought when walking.

We talked about a few more things, we laughed a lot, and I almost cried but stopped myself. She asked me what was wrong with my crying, and I told her I didn’t want to feel sad. But really, I just didn’t want our last time together spent on wiping away tears and snot, when in reality what I felt at that moment was sad because she was leaving, mixed with happiness because of all we shared in these 2 and a half years, and hope for the future.

At one point I was at a loss for words. I told her: “I don’t want to say goodbye. This is the worst goodbye of my life.” Then I promised her I was going to be ok, and she said she didn’t doubt it one bit and it was all she ever wanted for me.

I didn’t cry during the whole hour, but my eyes did well up with tears a few times. I don’t know if I was seeing things, but I do think her eyes watered a bit too. She mentioned she cried with another patient’s mother earlier, which I have to admit made me a bit jealous. At one point I wished we’d cried together, but then I realized there was really no need to share a good cry and a mutual suffering. I think it was best having her see me for the last time with hope in my eyes, not tears.

And then it was over. She sat straight and I looked at my watch instinctively, knowing that’s what she does when time’s up. And evidently, it was 12:00 o’clock.

We stood up. We hugged. I almost cried yet again.

In the waiting area I waved a feeble goodbye at her. She smiled and she said, again, that I’ll be ok.

Right outside her office I had told her half jokingly-half true, that I was probably going to sit in the car and cry, and she said: “Oh no!” In the end that’s exactly what I ended up doing, but I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would. Again, I felt a relative calm. I felt ok. I feel ok. And I will be ok, in spite of maybe crying like a baby the next few days.

Goodbye, M. You scarred me for life, but in such a good way. I will never know your favorite color, like I once told you, but I will always know the goodness of your heart.

*******


Dr. —-,

I don’t know if you remember the first time I showed you some of my paintings. I mentioned that I was very overprotective of my work and that something absolutely extraordinary had to happen in order for me to sell them or give them as gifts. I have to confess I didn’t just say that casually; I said it intentionally in your presence. 

Cherry blossoms are, in Japanese culture, a symbol of the cycle of life and death, and how this cycle is fleeting, yet beautiful. That is why I decided to paint you these flowers, and their cycle of blossoming to withering. Let me explain…when we met in 2012 I felt completely dead, but thanks to you I have come back to life. At the same time, this journey we had together unfortunately has come to an end. However, I feel there has been beauty in this whole fleeting cycle: from the moment I was dead and our relationship was barely blossoming, all the way to today, that I feel alive but the relationship has come to its end. So, yes, something absolutely extraordinary happened. And it was all thanks to you (even though I know you’d say: “You did all the work”). 

Shortly before the hospitalization in I wrote: “I thought about doing it by cutting myself, and for a minute I thought about pills…and I almost did it. But I suddenly lost the anger and courage I felt. And then I thought about the doctor, with whom I had an appointment today….yet again, the doctor saved my life.” Yes, M, you’ve literally saved me, more than once, both physically and spiritually. There really are no words for how much gratitude I feel.

You were my guide during this whole journey. If there is a recurrent theme in my diaries, it’s the fear of having you abandon me halfway through it. You never did, and what’s more, you always gave the best of yourself. Thank you for believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you for letting me know that you did care about me each of the one thousand times I asked you (and even when I didn’t ask you). Thank you for giving me the joy of finding my self-worth for the first time. Thank you for helping me understand myself, forgive myself, and for giving me back hope whenever there seemed to be no light at the end. And, finally, thank you for being you, for giving me your unconditional support, your time, your dedication, your patience, and your wisdom. 

You will forever hold a special place in my heart, because you truly are a special person. You were my doctor, but I will always see you as a friend. 

So, it is with a great pain in my heart that I am saying goodbye, yet I feel fortunate for having met you and for having your lessons with me forever. I am happy for having been a part of your training as a psychiatrist. If someday you doubt yourself and your capacity as a person, just remember that at some point you gave back happiness and hope to a little girl who cried out of all the pain she felt. I wish you nothing but the best in your own journey. 

Until we meet again,
———

This is going to be a long one. Brace yourselves.

I’ve had a few important things happen these past two weeks. There was that double epiphany I had with M (I might post about the second one this week. It’s pretty important.). There’s the process of closure/termination that’s happening with M and all the important things we’ve discussed lately. Also, the past two appointments with G have been pretty good. I’ve also had some important conversations with MM. Apparently, I finally decided for the 100th time that medicine is my thing (and that probably psychiatry is “it”). I will be working in research soon. Still looking for a new psychiatrist. Been taking the time to paint most days. Finally, I reached my initial goal weight a few days ago.

In spite of all that, I feel pretty numb. I have a few sparks of emotion fly at random moments, but most of the time I feel as alive as a cardboard box (especially this past week). Unfortunately, the sparks of emotion are usually when I’m experiencing negative emotions, like anger. I think I’m in a state of emotional shock, or something.

Anyways, like I said in my previous post, I finally realized (and accepted) why therapy with M is so important to me, and why her leaving is affecting me so much. I fear not being able to create that genuine bond with G and the new psychiatrist (whoever that may be). I’m just…afraid. That’s what it all boils down to: fear.

I’m still looking for a new psychiatrist. I still have three candidates from the list M gave me originally. Unfortunately, none of them accept my insurance. My dad is willing to cover the expense. He says he does anything for my health. But it pisses me off and makes me feel so guilty. I just wish I didn’t have to depend on my parents to pay my bills. Makes me feel utterly useless and like some nasty leech.

But the point is, that I’m trying to keep myself to those three candidates for now simply because I trust M’s judgement. She says those are the best she can recommend to work with me, and I think it’s way better than shopping among random people who accept my insurance. I trust her, but I’m afraid of the expense. So, I really hope she’s right.

However, the problem is this: those 3 candidates are 2 women and 1 man, and it’s very possible I’m going to have to choose the male psychiatrist. Like I explained in this post, I have a weird relationship with men who are older than me. I don’t want to end up with the male psychiatrist because with older men I go into what I call “Lolita-mode” and start acting in very subtly seductive ways. I know, it sounds dirty and wrong (and it’s pretty difficult for me to admit this in public). I really don’t know why I do this. I have yet to initiate the topic in therapy. But the point is this: I’ll be alone in a room with a man, talking about personal stuff. I don’t trust myself to not go into “Lolita-mode” and it reminds me too much of how things started developing between me and my Ex (who was, of course, an older man).

But whatever. I’ll make sure to discuss my concerns with G in case I have to choose the male psychiatrist. I need some insight on the issue, and I’m really sick of acting that way with older men. It needs to stop.

Research. I have a lot of research experience. Specifically in psychiatry. I have to accept I like it. That’s why I emailed that psychiatry professor this week. That is, after having MM cheer for me for about an hour and finally convince me to write her. She answered and said that of course I could work with her. I’m supposed to meet up with her one of these days to discuss what I can work in.

I’m excited. But I’m even more excited at the prospect of having something that I can call “work”. As you know, I’ve been struggling with that feeling of uselessness during the leave of absence until now. Hopefully, research will help calm down those feelings. In addition, it was in my initial plan of things to do during the leave of absence that would help raise my self-esteem. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.

Painting. I’ve been forcing myself to paint most days lately. The reality is that I’m out of practice and mostly uninspired. I’ve been practicing so much because I’m working on a little project. I’ll be posting about that sometime soon, I don’t want to spoil the idea/surprise. That is, if things turn out the way I want them to. Anyways, it’s been helping me relax I guess.

Weight. Fucking weight. When I got out of hospital I could only fantasize about reaching the weight I reached 3 days ago. I’ve probably gained 2-3lbs. those past 3 days because I’ve behaved like a cow. However, the number I saw on the scale on Thursday is engraved in my memory. The problem is…I still feel disgusting.

I was very aware of the fact that this would happen. However, I still had some false hope that I would feel great about my body. I don’t feel absolutely terrible about it like I did back in April, but I keep thinking “if I reached this weight, why do I have to stop now?”. Sometimes I have fleeting thoughts of “I look acceptable”, but 98% of the time I think I look disgusting.

So, I had a decision to make: do I stop now or keep going? I think you can tell which one I chose.

You see, I have this twisted thought that if I’m not the pretty one then at least I’m the skinny one. Since I was a kid, I’ve held onto my low weight as a thing that defines me and gives me identity when my looks were not special in any way.

I’ve had many moments of “danger” before, when I thought I would lose my skinny-ness and thus, lose my identity and become an average ugly girl/woman. I think the first time I thought I was fat was maybe around 8-9 years old. Back then it was because I was beginning puberty and my best friend was still a tiny little kid, while I was gaining weight. After that, the thoughts became even more consolidated in my mind around 12 years old when MM started losing a lot of weight and I became afraid that I would stop being “the skinny one” in the family. Most recently, I became terribly triggered right before being hospitalized, when my childhood friend came to visit me and commented on my “ass” and how I looked fuller. At that moment, just like when I was 8-9 years old, I became afraid that she would somehow steal my “skinny” crown. 

In addition to that, I’ve also had a funky relationship with food and my body because of my dad’s obesity. It has always made me angry that he has never been too serious about losing weight and leading a more healthy lifestyle food-wise. Mainly, this is because I am afraid of losing him at a young age due to his obesity. I am terribly afraid of not having him see me graduate medical school or become an independent adult, something I want to share with him. And of course, he’s my dad and I love him and don’t want to lose him.

In reaction to all this, ever since I can remember, I’ve had an internal battle between eating all the unhealthy stuff at home and feeling fat just so he won’t eat it, or remaining skinny and letting him eat what he wants…potentially losing him to his unhealthy ways. I have a whole other set of things I do so as to avoid having him eat in excess, like not eating when he’s in the kitchen, or standing up from the dinner table when he’s not paying attention to avoid having him eat my leftovers.

I knew I thought all these things and did all these things, I just hadn’t formally pieced them together in my head until now. So, in a nutshell, that’s why I have a funky relationship with food and my weight. Lately, the way this has been reflecting in me is by feeling utter disgust and strangely nauseous when I’m full.

Finally, I think that’s mainly what’s been inside my head lately, in addition to my previous posts. I don’t know if I explained myself very well. I hope so. The point I’m trying to make in the end is this: there’s a mess inside my head right now.

But my emotions are pretty much nowhere to be found. And it scares me, because that’s never good….because I know sooner than later they’ll explode.

PS: It’s really late! I”ll be responding to your comments tomorrow. Sorry for the delay!

My 2 previous posts were pretty random. My mind is all over the place, as usual. I think the denial of having M leaving in 2 weeks (!!!) is keeping me in a sort of trance-like state. So, I’m really sorry if I come across as cold or distant.

This week has been pretty interesting. My emotions, just as they have been lately, went from one extreme to another constantly. But I guess the positive side to it is that I only feel seriously depressed moments at a time. It’s not constant anymore, thankfully.

On Tuesday I saw M. I wasted her time, honestly. I was completely blocked, in denial of her leaving, and acting like an idiot. I told her my bottled up emotions will probably explode when she leaves, when it’s too late. She said that’s exactly what we want to avoid. And for some reason I can’t recall, at that point she asked me what therapy means to me.

I couldn’t answer. I wasn’t thinking, at all. I honestly don’t know where my mind was during those 45 minutes with her. I wasn’t able to answer that question until the next day, after having an “almost-argument” with mom that left me crying like a baby and being consoled by MM.

What does therapy mean to me? A time to receive and feel things that my mom (and other people) have not given me in my short life (for whatever reason) or that I haven’t allowed myself to feel. Obviously, with the goal of replicating that in the “real” world.

But then I thought about what therapy with M means to me. And it means: a time to interact with the person that I have inevitably ended up seeing as a mother figure. The things that my mom did not give me or that I didn’t know I was missing in life are supplied by M during therapy. She patches up the holes, basically.

And the reason I couldn’t say this to M on Tuesday was because I didn’t want to accept it and was afraid of how she’d react. About a month after I started seeing her in 2012 I broke down crying and told her I didn’t want to become attached to her. But at that time I didn’t know myself enough to understand why I didn’t want to become attached to her. Now I know it’s because I didn’t want to get abandoned and so I didn’t want to trust her. I tried to avoid getting attached these two years, but in the end I failed.

Anyways, the funny part is that when I saw G on Wednesday and told her about the “pregnant-M dream” she agreed with me, saying that M is the mother figure that provides the things my own mother didn’t give me. It was creepy having her repeat exactly what I had thought without my saying it. Am I really that easy to figure out?

During both sessions with M and G, I felt like crying at some point (especially with G). But I didn’t allow myself to cry. I hate it when I do that. I should’ve just allowed myself to bawl my eyes out in front of them. Maybe then it will get through my thick head that I’m not exactly ok.

I think my problem these past few days has been precisely that I’m not allowing myself to just feel. So, it all spills out as anger and sometimes random bouts of crying. What’s the problem with feeling, really? I don’t know. I guess I just can’t stand how extreme my emotions can be, so in the end I mute them. It’s all really black or white, all or none. *sigh*

So, yeah, my last appointment with M is on the 15th of August. Fuck my life. And I have yet to find a new psychiatrist. Double fuck my life. At least I have G. But that doesn’t give me much comfort (yet).

On a lighter note, I recently came to the conclusion that I really do like medicine. I like medical school, I like pretending to be a doctor, I really do like it more than I thought I did. I’m just so damn insecure that it clouds my judgement. Of course, this is all subject to my random bouts of black and white thinking, so maybe in my next post I’ll be saying I hate medicine (but I’m pretty confident this time around that that won’t be the case).

I’m still kind of wobbly on the whole “deciding to be a psychiatrist or not” issue. Again, my insecurities get in the way. But it’s really the specialty I like the most and find most fascinating.

Oh, and finally, I decided to write that email to the psychiatry professor at my school to do research with her (with the help of MM). I’ll post more on that later on, but the point is that I might start to work on psychiatry research soon-ish. (I have to admit I’m excited deep down, but for some reason none of that is showing today.)

Ah! And finally finally, I’m trying to paint almost every day. But nothing good has come out. Yet.

Finally finally finally (yikes) I reached my initial “goal weight” yesterday. I have mixed feelings. More on that later.

I’ll keep you posted.

I don’t remember these past four days very well. I guess I’ve been very emotionally detached, for some reason. However, a lot has happened.

So I saw M on Wednesday. It was a good appointment and I cried a bit, yet if I hadn’t been so mentally blocked I would have been bawling. Lately it’s becoming harder and harder to speak to M. I hate it because I end up feeling like I’m wasting her time and that I’m keeping a lot of things to myself.

Then I finally got around to writing down those positive message post-its that G told me to do. I put them in my room but I have yet to force myself to read them every day. But at least they’re there, and I put one foot forward towards being positive.

I enrolled in painting classes a few weeks ago, and on Thursday I had my second class. Strangely enough, I don’t look forward to Thursdays. I guess it’s probably because I have no inspiration…yet.

I had the strangest thing happen to me on Wednesday. I was going to take a picture with my phone and when I turned on the camera I realized it was set on the front camera. But before changing it to the camera on the back of the phone I stopped and noticed my face in the screen. I didn’t have any makeup on and my hair was all tied back, yet I had this sudden thought: “I’m pretty.”

Wait…me? Thinking I’m…pretty? I don’t even remember when was the last time I looked at myself and didn’t have a single thing to criticize.

The rest of the day I kept thinking I was “pretty”, and I looked at old pictures of myself and thought that maybe my body isn’t all that bad…that maybe those 15 extra pounds look better on me than I think.

However, these feelings were only fleeting. On Thursday I started getting anxious out of the anticipation of going to the beach with a close friend the next day. This friend is stick thin, which I was back in the day, so looking at her is always a trigger…because inevitably I’ll always look heavier than her. I didn’t know whether to wear a bikini or a one-piece swimsuit I have (that I love). The last time I wore a bikini was in August of last year.

Finally, when I was getting ready yesterday morning, I settled on a bikini. But I felt disgusting. And when I took off my pants and shirt at the beach I couldn’t help but feel like a whale. And, I kept looking sideways at my friend, comparing myself. I wanted to cover myself up so bad.

So today I’m back to feeling like a disgusting fat ass and trying a bit to control my eating. *Sigh*

I’ve also been getting a lot of death-related fantasies/suicidal thoughts these days. Nothing serious, just the fleeting sort of thoughts I’ve always had to deal with. They got pretty strong on Thursday when at one point I was lying naked on the floor of my bedroom, feeling very sad and alone. I started thinking about how I would like to be in a relationship. I feel so lonely these days.

Also, I’ve been struggling with this feeling of not having serious responsibilities at the moment and not studying. It feels so weird and foreign to me. I don’t like it, yet I’m afraid of getting used to it. It’s scary how far from medicine I’ve felt lately, which brings me to the conclusion that maybe I like it more than I think I do. (Which is a welcome thought, by the way.)

It’s really strange how I feel…like a shadow of me, like I’m just floating in the air and somehow this body has kept doing my day-to-day things. It’s unpleasant. I want to feel like I’m actually living.

Oh! I also went out with friends yesterday night…to actual bars…to actually drink. It’s embarrassing to admit that was the first time in my life I’d ever gone out to bars with friends. I mean, I’d done it before, just…not with friends, or in a completely different context that was not just having fun on a night out. I am so developmentally behind when it comes to social things…it’s actually quite sad.

Then today, my sister MM, left Country X and came back to the US on a one-way ticket. But the one thing that really surprised me was that as soon as I hugged her at the airport I could feel a change in my personality that I didn’t like. Like an even more serious version of myself.

I don’t know, like I said before, I’ve been feeling weird. Sorry this post was all over the place.

I’ll leave you with the list of post-it quotes I have for now. Each one has a different meaning to me and applies to different aspects of my life:

  • “Just remember, you can do anything you set your mind to. But it takes action, perseverance, and facing your fears.”
  • “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
  • “Is there a reason for what you are doing?”
  • “Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone.”
  • “If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success.”
  • “We all first have to find a passion, to do something for no other reason than because we love it.”
  • “The changes we dread most may contain our salvation.”
  • “I am strong. I have made it through a lot in the past year alone. I can make it through this too. I can make it through anything.”
  • “Sun can’t shine every goddamn day.”
  • “Someday, you will look back and know exactly why it had to happen.”
  • “You did a terrible thing. It doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person.”
  • “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
  • “There is still fire in your soul. There is still life in your dreams.”
  • “Ironically, it is usually those doctors who are the most competent and conscientious who feel the most sense of failure and pain.”
  • “Don’t give up what you want most, for what you want now.”
  • “I will believe in you even if no one else does. Even if you don’t believe in yourself.” (This one reminds me of something M said in this week’s appointment that inevitably made me cry.)
  • “The greatest revenge is to accomplish what others say you cannot do. So go out and do it.”
  • And, my personal favorite… “I am enough”

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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