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Medical School

Finally, finally, FINALLY, I can post again!

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So much to say. So many things that have happened. Here goes…

I traveled with one of my best friends and had the time of my life. It hurt my pockets, but it was so worth it both for me as an individual and as a bonding experience. Also, it was an awesome self-gift with the money I don’t have, since…

I GRADUATED MEDICAL SCHOOL!

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I’m a doctor now. Still can’t believe it. I freeze over when people call me “doctor”, when I see the MD after my name, or when I have to state my job is “physician” (say what?!). You guys have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to change the description of this blog to “Part-time doctor, full-time patient”. Betcha didn’t notice that!

My graduation ceremony went great and my parents were so proud. I was so happy to see them like that, and I was so happy for myself…after all that’s happened I’m finally here. Couldn’t stop smiling that day.

And then I moved to the city that I adore. Yeesh, everything’s happened so fast. So far I haven’t gotten terribly homesick, but it’s bound to come (although I do feel a knot in my stomach whenever I think of my dogs). I love my apartment so far. It’s tiny, old, has its problems, and it’s rough around the edges, but it’s mine (rented, though) and I couldn’t love the location more.

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Bittersweet celebrations

The first weekend was the toughest. I always have trouble those first few days anxiety-wise when I’m in a new place. So much that I’m afraid of going out or even leaving the windows open (I’ve posted about this before, it happens a lot). However, when I’m hungry enough to pass out (because I’m too anxious to even get food), I usually go out because I have no choice. That’s when the anxiety starts going down. I’ve still got a bit of a way to go but I’m not afraid of going out on my own anymore. It’s always this way, a slow process. Eventually it’ll go.

I also began orientation for my program these past few days, and so far no red flags have popped up and I’m glad I chose the heart-mindblown program. The place feels like a good fit. We’ll see how it goes.

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She probably knows more about what’s to come than me

Also, I met my co-interns! I like them a lot so far. I think we’ll make great colleagues and if friendships arise then even better.

Meanwhile, my love life…always have to post about that, right? I’m actually in a good place right now. (Sorry for the TMI that’s coming…) I had a fuckbuddy for a while there back home. I know, me? A fuckbuddy? I never saw that coming. But it was actually a positive experience because there was only desire on both parts and it was quite clear that’s all we wanted and there was no chemistry other than sexual. Why was that good, you may ask? Because it helped me understand what it feels like to “like” someone, versus just feeling lust. Now I know the difference.

Which brings me to….The Russian. He’s back. I was expecting it to happen since we were texting for about a month and a half and I was moving to the city that I adore. What I wasn’t expecting was for it to happen so fast. And by “it” I’m not saying we’re dating. We’ve seen each other a handful of times so far and agreed we just want to see how things flow. Problem is, so far they’ve flowed all too well (…that’s not really a problem, though).

I won’t go into details here, but we’ve had one or two frank discussions where he’s been surprisingly vulnerable with me and I chose to believe him. He’s single now. However, I’m still testing the waters. He is too. No commitments for now, just proceeding cautiously. I’m well informed of the risk I’m taking. If things backfire, then I’ll learn my lesson and hopefully it won’t be disastrous.

But we’re both surprised about how smoothly things have gone and how there seems to be a certain chemistry that wasn’t there the first time around due to circumstances beyond ourselves (it was all uncertain, I was living back home, etc). I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad. Then again, many things in life just “are”. I’ll go with that.

He’s actually helped me so far a lot with this transition. Having him invite me out the first week helped with my anxiety because it forced me to go out and about. And I told him about it, so he’s not completely clueless. Also I’ve encountered some unexpected issues that might delay my beginning residency as scheduled, and he helped me see another side to the problem and not take it personally (which is something I have trouble with). It calmed me down.

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He’s crazy. I’m crazy. It’s a perfect match!

So, this issue with beginning residency has to do with my obtaining a license to practice in the state. My program coordinator suspects it might have to do with some letters that got slightly delayed, but I’m paranoid and afraid it might be related to my taking a leave of absence in med school due to depression. I already provided a letter from my school, my own explanation, and a letter from G explaining that I’m good to go and doing wonderful…what more do they want from me?!

But that’s all I’m going to say about that. No need to spoil all the goodness with something that is far beyond my control. I figured: I matched, so I’m legally obligated to sign my contract (already did), I’m already here, and as far as situations go things could be much worse. So, hopefully, it’s all gonna fall into place. Better late than never.

And so, I’ve been doing a lot of adulting here. I’m at that point where “going out” means going to the bank to run errands.

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Adulting like a pro

And now the obligatory question: since I’m beginning a new stage, what’s happening to the blog?

Short answer: it stays.

Long answer: I’m beginning residency, which really isn’t a game changer. I’m still weirdo me, except I’ve got the title MD now after my name. Depression-wise I’m in a good place right now…and hopefully it’ll stay that way, if not forever, for a very loooooong ass time. Food-wise I’m kind of in a gray zone. Anxiety-wise, there’s so many things to obsess about irrationally right now. So, you can guess what my posts will focus more from now on when it comes to mental illness.

But I’m still here. Except this is all so new to me.

Grab the popcorn.

 

PS: I’m sorry if my comment replies are short and sweet. They piled up after so much time. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them just the same!

 

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I know, I know, I’ve been a terrible blogger these last few weeks.

I’m back home already, but I took an unexpected hiatus from blogging.

The next few days are chaos for me as I’m moving to the city that I adore on Friday. As such, I won’t promise any new posts until I get there.

In spite of everything I’m ok. So far, at least.

By the way…

I’m a doctor now.

Yeah. I’m still waiting for it to sink in…

Holy shitballs…I’M A DOCTOR.

I’ve continued texting and talking with the Russian from afar. I know, I know, I’m terrible.

We spoke on the phone recently. I asked him to call me so I could clear some stuff up. But the Russian has this goddamn ability to make me laugh even if it’s a serious conversation. And I hate that I like that about him (most of the time). So, sandwiched between stupid little laughs I told him that I was being serious in saying I hadn’t forgiven him, that he had to sort his relationship status on his own first before scrambling to catch me again, that I had no reason to give him a second chance and can find myself whoever I want in the city that I adore….and that I’d like to give him a second chance but he has to do something grand to earn that, that is, if his relevance in my life lasts all the way until I move for residency. But because we were giggling non-stop I had to make sure he was listening and say repeatedly “I’m being serious”.

Anyways…I took a plane to travel a bit, like I said. I know the best I can do is forget about him while I’m traveling (either way, we won’t be able to talk unless there’s wi-fi on my part). But! You know that’s not easy for me! Ugh. He’s managed to worm himself into my head again. I can’t just delete him like that yet again!

And to top it all off, he sent me a funny selfie two days ago. Ugh. I was thankful I didn’t have any recent picture references of how he looks nowadays…until he sent that picture. Now I know he’s still his geeky dorky hot self that I initially fell for. Ugh. Not helping!

I’ve tried re-focusing my thoughts away from him. Whenever I think of him I try to think about my apartment in the city that I adore and how excited I am to make it mine. Also about psychiatry, and residency, and oh-crap-I’m-gonna-be-a-doctor….but mostly about my apartment. Denial? Maybe a little.

Geez. I have to focus on this bit of vacation I have. If the Russian survives past that then that’s something to consider. If not, then I’ll be forced to say so long and goodbye to him.

Edit: I forgot to say….I effed up my no eating disordered behavior streak. Purged two days in a row because I kinda binged a bit. It’s very rare for me to experience loss of control while eating, and while it wasn’t severe I still hated myself for it. Sigh. Getting back up again now…

Last night I realized I have about four weeks left here in my hometown (aka: the place I’ve been living in the past 21+ years).

Panic ensued.

Because…I’m moving away from here???

I’ve never known anything else. I mean, yes, I’ve lived in other places for a maximum of 2 months, but there was always a return date scheduled. And now I only have to buy a one-way plane ticket? No return? Nothing? Shit.

I’m not saying I don’t want it. I’m just saying I’m afraid. And I’m so afraid I don’t know what I want right now.

What have I gotten myself into??? Why wasn’t I a good girl and just stayed here to do my residency? Grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side complex, that’s why. That and wanting to do big things with my life…things I can’t do by staying here forever.

My med school BF told me: “About time you panicked. I’m surprised you hadn’t done so already.” I guess it’s good I’m panicking late in the game? Less time to get cold feet? But I know myself too well to know that even if I had only one day to mull it over, I would still get cold feet at some point. It’s a given with me.

So, this is natural, perfectly normal.

But god it feels horrible yikes!

Every time I look at my dogs my heart breaks. I don’t know when I’m going to see them again after June. And my parents? Geez. I’ve never lived without my parents. As much as I might complain about them and they might be downers for my mood, I still love them to infinity.

I’m going to live alone…..a…..l……o…..n…..e………

Double “shit”. No. Triple”shit”.

I mean, like I said, I’ve lived alone before. It always just had an expiration date on it. But now? Now it’s for realsies. Now there’s no turning back. Now it’s…

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Ok, I’ll stop now. That’s too much pressure. (But it’s the truth! *squeak*)

On a more serious note…I’m afraid for my parents. They’re not getting any younger. And I’m leaving now, just when they’re starting to show a decline in health (specifically my dad). I feel like I’m abandoning them, like the worst daughter ever. I’ve always lived with them and have always had them just…there….with me. And I’m afraid of….you know….leaving, and…stuff….happening to them while I’m gone…

And my dogs…oh my god…how am I going to live without my dogs?! No, seriously, they’ve been key in keeping me away from depression one too many times. I love them to bits.

I’m afraid of falling again into the depression hole. It’s a lot of changes. I’m afraid. Period. I’ve been excited and looking forward to having my new life, but I guess I hadn’t really *really* realized that I’ll be alone and my life and everything I know will be hitting a 180.

Crap. No wonder my face is looking like shit these days.

Gosh, all that residency paperwork got me going crazy. Didn’t mean to take a week off of posting there. Finally I have a decent break to write.

Well, I’m back home. That in and of itself helped a bunch in feeling better. It hurt to be in the same city as the most recent dude and not hear a word from him (I’ll call him Platonic dude from now on). So near yet so far, you know? But at home that’s the least of my worries since he’s far away and I can’t control that.

And so, I’ve kept myself busy by filling out paper after paper having to do with residency. I’ve also been busy apartment hunting from afar, although I wouldn’t exactly call it hunting since I’m so ridiculously easy to please and my only must-have requirements are appliances and good location. I already submitted my papers for a (really) teeny tiny apartment in exactly the place I want to live. I’ll be paying a shitload, but the city that I adore ain’t cheap and the apartment is EXACTLY where I want to live. Also, since my moods are very easily influenced by my environment that’s something I’m not willing to compromise in. All that’s left is receiving that “yay” or “nay” from the landlord. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, when it comes to food the past two weeks have been a crazy rollercoaster. I recently had an ear infection after a few days of back-to-back purging. I didn’t think much of it when it happened and I stopped purging for some days. But this past week I started purging again and now my other ear is infected. Odd, right?

However, I haven’t found any information on external ear infections and purging, only middle ear infections and vomiting (in toddlers). Either way, I don’t think it’s a coincidence. If there’s something eating disordered behaviors have taught me so far it’s that you always think what you’re doing to yourself isn’t “severe enough”. But oh how wrong we are…even the tiniest bit of purging or restricting wreaks havoc on our bodies. During the worst of my restricting in 2014 I had a kidney stone, then constipation and gastroparesis. Now that I’ve added purging to my behaviors both of my ears get infected out of the blue. Why else would an otherwise healthy twenty something female like myself have that happen to her?

Thankfully, I haven’t purged in 5 days. As soon as I started feeling the ear pain I’ve been more cautious of not reaching that point of no return where I feel full and want to purge. I’m not restricting, except maybe mildly. I’ve also been trying to be kind to myself and not body check as much. Also been keeping myself distracted. Trying to feel the love. Big things are a-coming in my life now.

I hope I’ll keep it up for as long as I can. I won’t count the days, though, that just makes me feel pressured.

Another thing that’s been helping is that I’ve kept my mind off men this week. I have to focus on me now and I know it. Plus, I have no prospects to look forward to here and I’m not remotely interested.

I spoke to Platonic dude the other day. I randomly texted him just to break the ice and make sure we’re on good terms, which we are. He confessed he was afraid of texting me in the aftermath and wanted to give me my space. I thanked him for being upfront about his feelings (or non-feelings) toward me. Also told him he’ll be my forever crush but I understand if he doesn’t feel we’re a match. It happens. He ended the conversation with “talk later”. But no, we haven’t. And we won’t. And I’m ok with that. It’s what I need.

I’m sure everyone who’s dated can relate to this, but it’s funny how after something doesn’t work out between you and someone you start noticing the itty bitty things that didn’t make you a good match. Platonic dude and I might seem like an incredibly amazing match on the surface, but it’s only after removing my head from the sand (or from somewhere else…) that I’ve accepted he’s right. It’s…details. Just details. Itty bitty details that make you go “crap, this won’t work”.

And the funny part? My gut felt this on the first date. I guess I let my brain get too much into it with time. That friggin’ gut feeling is always right.

I hope the gut is also right about the heart-mindblown program.

Yes. Yes it is. Let’s stay positive. It’s all a matter of how you see things.

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.

Yes, still in disbelief. The news of my moving away soon to begin a new life will apparently sink in slowly.

I was thinking yesterday…after so much effort I’m finally here. I’m practically done. I matched. All I have left is graduation and continuing the journey. After 4 years of undergrad, 5 years of medical school, 1 mental breakdown, at least 3 serious episodes of depression, 1 hospitalization, the explosion of eating disordered behaviors, realizing I was abused, a leave of absence, 2 psychologists, 2 psychiatrists, countless exams, a diagnosis of depression and borderline personality disorder, 3 USMLE exams, 4 years of therapy and medication, 9 interviews, considering quitting a million times, thousands spent on traveling expenses and a visiting rotation…after all that, I’m finally here.

And to think, I was so worried I wasn’t going to get interviews or even match because I took a leave of absence.

I guess there’s an upside to thinking about all the effort I’ve put in and all I’ve been through. And yet, part of me gets scared when thinking about all that. I guess it’s good to think about the past, but only to a certain point.

Last night I got a bit scared thinking about whether or not I made the right decision. Having my friend match into the top program obviously got to me a bit because it made me think It could have been me. I could have had (insert Ivy league name) and all it has to offer,  plus the name on my diploma. It was inevitable. I mean, I had the choice of ranking the top program #1, but I chose the heart-mindblown program instead. Hopefully it will finally feel right once I start working. I guess I’ll just have to continue trusting my gut in the coming weeks. I mean, there’s no turning back now.

Either way, I’m incredibly excited. Yesterday I was google-searching what my white coat will look like at the heart-mindblown program and looking at the program website again. I was also taking a look at studio apartments for rent in the neighborhood I want to live in. I can’t believe I’m going to live the dream. And I certainly hope it doesn’t turn out to be a nightmare.

Meanwhile, my parents have been great about it all so far. They were incredibly happy and excited for me when I got the news and they’ve been supportive. Sad, but supportive. I saw a few tears well up here and there, but they celebrated with me and have made it clear that they are very happy for me. I just hope it lasts after the initial excitement wears off. That’s exactly what I need right now: their love and support.

Gosh, I’m in disbelief. I really hope other people get to read this and see that it is possible after all. Like I’ve always said, I have my ups and downs, but it’s still very possible to live the dream. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. “Borderline”, “depression”, “anorexia”, “anxiety”, and anybody else I’m missing….they’re labels that serve a purpose, but they don’t define you or your future. Soon I’ll be a 100% doctor, but also a full-time patient. Yes, it’s possible.

My mind is all over the place right now. I’m thinking about so many things and still stunned at the same time. I can’t seem to organize anything, not even my posts.

Sorry! I’ll hopefully get back to my (usually) coherent self soon.

 

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