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I’ve had a nasty flu for the past few days. Had to miss out on dance class today because of that, ugh.

Yesterday I finally received word on that teeny tiny apartment I was meaning to rent blindly. My application was accepted. All that’s missing now is my signing the lease forms and such. So it seems, I almost have a place to live in the city that I adore. That took a huge weight off my shoulders. For some reason I’d been working myself up so much over this apartment. It wasn’t letting me sleep.

In addition to that, yesterday I had the LEEP performed. It was quick and everything was fine. And hopefully it took care of everything and I won’t have to deal with this again. Hopefully the HPV infection won’t persist. But only time will tell.

I also saw R yesterday. It went well. It was kind of a farewell session, it being my next-to-last appointment with her. It was weird because I felt I didn’t have much to say. Back when I was in the hole, I always had something to say. But nowadays I sometimes feel I’m just narrating my day-to-day to G and R. And that’s really good, actually, because it means I’m managing on my own mostly and need less help from them. That’s progress. Lots of it.

So I spent part of the session reminiscing about how when I started seeing her everything was so different. I was terribly vulnerable, crushed, and needed help. R said she was proud of me and that she has no doubt in her mind about my excelling at whatever life brings me from now on.

We spoke about treatment, what I want to do and what she recommends. We agreed I’ve been in remission for quite a while now and could stop my Prozac. However, she recommends I should keep it up during this transition time going into residency and stop it 6 months after I’ve felt stable and well in the city that I adore. I agree and that’s what I’ll do. Stopping Prozac now is simply not an option.

In addition, R also said she wants me to keep going to therapy in the city that I adore. She said having the added support is not a bad idea during the transition time and that while training as a psychiatrist I will be faced with difficult situations that will potentially trigger me. She thinks having my own therapist will help not only me but my patients, as I can deal with countertransference issues with my new therapist. Plus, having my own therapeutic process is important if I’m interested in doing psychotherapy in the future. I agree with her 100%.

It’s weird, knowing my next appointment with her is my last. And it’s weird to think I’ll be going through the same thing with G at the same time. But I feel I’ll be ok. We’ll see what happens.

Well, enough rambling for today. I’m kind of out of it with this flu.

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On Monday I received some VERY good news: I matched.

But 15 minutes later I received some bad news.

Recently, I posted about some physical health issue but I didn’t elaborate on it. I was hesitant to post about this for fear of being TMI. I decided to go ahead and do it for completion’s sake. It hasn’t been an awesome week for me and I’d be lying if I said my mind is focused only on the Match and the good news.

I was waiting in my gynecologist’s exam room when I received the email from the NRMP stating I had matched. I was happy, obviously. But then she came in and gave me the bad news: I have severe dysplasia in my cervix. In other words: there are precancerous lesions in my cervix.

Long story short, I got infected with HPV probably thanks to the Russian or Pizza guy and in the span of about 3-4 short months I have developed severe cervical dysplasia. My doctor told me I’m the first patient she’s ever had who has a perfectly normal pap smear and then in 3 months has severe dysplasia in there. I won’t go into details, but I had a second pap smear done by another doctor by mere chance, really. But if it hadn’t been for that, my doctor wouldn’t have screened me for another 3-5 years, which is what she is supposed to do in accordance with the screening guidelines. I shudder to think of what would have happened in that case…

So, I receive the news that I matched and then I get this bucket of ice cold water thrown on me in less than half an hour. My doctor was great about the news, though. She was patient and answered all my questions. I’m going to miss her when I leave for residency.

What follows is getting the cells removed by way of a procedure called LEEP. It’s done in the office, thankfully. Then close follow-up after that.

I don’t know what I feel. I’m kind of all over the place and stunned, I guess. I’m more focused on the Match, though, so I guess that’s good.

I don’t have cancer. But, you know, even as an almost-doctor, when the words “severe dysplasia” and “precancerous lesions” get thrown at you, you automatically think about cancer and death. I’m human after all. My reaction was actually textbook for any patient’s reaction: doesn’t matter your level of education you’re still going to go completely numb and blank when bad news get thrown at you. In my stunned state I actually had to ask my doctor to explain things twice to me even though I knew what she was talking about.

I won’t deny the fact that on Monday I was enveloped by irrational thoughts of: I’m going to be a psychiatrist….unless I die of cancer first. I’ve tried to rationalize by thinking: At least I’m young, it was caught on time, the odds are in my favor…But the thoughts are still there.

Then yesterday I saw G and we obviously talked about this. And during the session I had an aha moment where I realized that if there’s one thing I can thank depression for, it’s that I’ve become more comfortable with my own mortality. Thanks to that, I’ve been a bit more calm. The reality is, I have no way of knowing when I’ll die. Like G told me: the truth is, I could die 3 or 40 years from now of cervical cancer, or I could die today in a car crash. We will never know when our time will come. So, why focus on those bad news? I’m taking the right steps toward taking care of this sudden problem. I’m doing the “right” thing.

I’m taking care of what I can control. The rest is to be determined by life itself.

So, for now, I guess it’s best to just focus on the Match, on things to come, on the future that awaits. And, as corny as it sounds, make the most of the present moment and what I do have now: life.

 

PS: WordPress is getting on my nerves and randomly disabling comments on my posts. If ever you can’t comment, please email me and let me know.

I saw G this past week. It went great. Hadn’t seen her in quite a while.

She was happy to see me in such a good mood and said that I seem to be doing great. She said she was proud of me. I love making her and R proud 🙂

Mostly we talked about men. About the Russian and C. She told me that she thinks I am moving too quickly once I meet a new guy. In other words, I jump into bed too fast. She said I should take the time to get to know guys better because for all intents and purposes any new guy could be the man of my dreams or an asshole. So, it’s better to get to know them than to get so involved initially and then get hurt after only a month or two have passed (like the Russian).

And, she said, I have to be very clear on what exactly it is that I want out of a guy. If it’s just sex, then fine. If it’s a relationship, then fine. Just as long as I am clear that that’s what I want, nothing more or less.

At first I felt taken aback and terribly embarrassed. I thought she was calling me a s**t, which was triggering because the Ex’s wife called me that a few times. I even emailed her afterward because I was triggered.

I mean, is it wrong for me to explore my sexuality as a single twentysomething who’s only beginning to enter the dating scene? Is it wrong for me to explore what I like and enjoy about sex on my own terms after being abused for 5 years? I was horrified. I couldn’t understand why G, who had never seemed particularly conservative to me, was disagreeing with me.

But then I asked my friends, got their input, and I finally understood what it was that she wanted to say.

She wasn’t calling me a s**t. She was merely looking out for me. What she was trying to tell me was that I have to be more careful who I open myself up to (figuratively and literally, ha!) so that I don’t get hurt. I have to protect myself emotionally. She just wants me to think things through before I let myself get carried away. She’s not disagreeing with my exploring my sexuality, quite the contrary, she knows that means I’ve progressed.

But she also knows I’m sensitive and naive when it comes to dating, and I can get hurt easily. She knows I can easily get triggered into thinking about the Ex if any random asshole hurts me in the smallest possible way.

She’s trying to protect me.

And that means so much to me.

Being alone in so many new cities during interview season has opened my eyes to who I could be. When I’m alone and far away from my home city I’m so confident about myself, my body…you’d be surprised to see how I carry myself. I have almost no fear regarding dating and meeting men because I feel good enough for most anyone. It’s crazy!

But I know I’ve taken that newfound confidence and gotten a bit carried away with it. It’s good to know I have it in me in spite of all my issues, but I have to be a bit more careful with it. It’s like discovering some magical power you didn’t know you had. I have to learn how to manage it now, I guess.

So there’s that. Going to try and take it slower with the guys now. I think it’s best.

 

 

This week I had my last interview. Wherever I match will be far away from here. Good. IF I match…

Depression has been gone for a while now. I hope it never comes back again, but I’d be naive to think I won’t have another episode in my lifetime. The recent months have given me a lot of insight as to why I might not have had an episode in a long time. It’s weird, considering I’ve barely seen R and G since September. But I have my theories.

In addition to all the progress I’ve done since 2011, these past months have been an incredible distraction for me. That alone has been enough to fend off falling in the hole again. I’ve been so busy thinking about where I’m traveling next, where I’ll be staying the next day, hoping I have a place to sleep at least overnight, worrying about money, about interviews….there really hasn’t been any space for me to think much about my problems.

And then there’s the fact that I’ve been mainly outside of my home, with friends or by myself in random cities. I saw G last week, and she agrees with my line of thinking: a big contributor to my feeling depressed is my home environment. Once you take that away, I’m better able to manage my thoughts and emotions.

Like I’ve said before, I love my parents to bits, but their stress and their own problems affect me a lot.

So, if I match, I’ll be away from my home environment.

IF I match…

This whole process is tiresome. I just want it all to be over. It’s interesting, and it’s an adventure, but it gets to the point where it’s just painful and frustrating. I just want to know if I’ll have a job for the next 4 years, if I’ll be able to be a doctor, if all these years of effort, pain, and money were wasted away or not….I mean, a lot hangs on the news I’ll be getting on Match Week. And it seriously sucks.

Yesterday the program that blew me away asked if I’d taken Step 2 CS already. I did, a while ago, but my result won’t come around for another few weeks. So, now I’m scared, because if I didn’t pass Step 2 CS well….my chances of matching would be null in such a case, probably.

I mean, the pass-rate is around 97% I believe, so the odds are in my favor. But I know me. I get really nervous in practical tests, I didn’t study as much as I wanted to, and I feel I had a lot of wtf moments during the test with a lot of faulty physical exams, differential diagnoses, and crappy notes. Everyone keeps telling me: “You’ll be fine, you’ll pass. If you showed empathy you’ll be ok. You’re smart,” blah blah blah. But there’s this little nagging voice in the back of my mind that says: You didn’t pass. You won’t match. You won’t be a psychiatrist. You’re screwed.

I’m scared.

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.)

 

A few minutes after my previous post I got an interview invite. And not just any interview invite, you guys. I got an interview invite to a renowned program in this city. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought they’d do anything but toss my application into the bin. I’m still in shock. I was almost happy crying yesterday after getting the email, and I never happy cry.

And what does that mean? It means the same thing I have confirmed over and over again during my short life: that for every down there’s an up and all shitty things launch you into something better. So, the program I had my sights set on, where I did the elective for a month, sent me a rejection, but this top-notch program sent me an interview invite. Of course, it’s not an acceptance into their program (I’d be very surprised if I match there, let alone like it when I interview), but the mere fact they actually invited me to interview is a much needed self-esteem boost for me.

So, that’s that. I’m even more scared shitless for the interview trail now, since it’s going to be my second interview. Advice is still very welcome.

Meanwhile, my time with the Russian here has been great so far. Getting to know him and his quirks is great, the things I like about him and the things I like less.

When we first met I remember him telling me that he wanted to get to know me slowly, like peeling off layers one by one. Meanwhile, I get pretty desperate to know every little detail about him right away. It all has to do with my not wanting nasty surprises down the line that will leave me hurting in a bad way. And when I say nasty surprises, I mean stuff like abuse, violence, or just on the whole being dishonest. I flat out told him honesty is a turn-on for me and that if he’s just himself and is honest with me then he’ll have me in the bag.

These two days that I’ve spent with him I’ve actually liked getting to know him slowly, peeling those layers patiently. I guess it’s a matter of trust. I have no choice but to trust this guy and how he presents himself. Likewise, he can only trust what I have shown him so far. The uncertainty about what I might find down the road scares the shit out of me, but you can’t magically know everything about a person in just a few meetings now, can you? So, we’ll see how all of this goes. I know we both have our dark sides, like any other person.

I saw both G and R this past week. G worked her magic with me and put me back on track like she always does. I don’t remember much of what we discussed, unfortunately.

Meanwhile, with R we talked about the Russian. I told him how I was afraid of him lying to me about being single, how I don’t mind that much if we’re not exclusive at this point where we’re just getting to know each other, but how I would be very incredibly hurt if it turned out he lied to me after I asked him three times already whether he’s truly single. That would set me a few steps back in terms of my progress recovering from the relationshiT.

R asked how I would react if that happened and I told her: “I would tell him to go to hell and fuck off, because I warned him more than once about not wanting to get hurt….and then I’d go cry in a corner.” She responded my reaction is most definitely not the one I had with the Ex back in the day, and the mere fact that I’ve worked so hard at my recovery will protect me from falling into the same trap twice. She said she was proud of my having that reaction if that ever happened.

And, like I mentioned above, she also said that there’s no way for me to know right now whether or not he’s truly single. She said the only option I have for now is to trust what he says. If, down the road, things go sour, then that’s not my fault because he’d be the dishonest one not me.

Trust. Ugh. I have a difficult relationship with trust. Trusting men. Trusting residency admissions committees. I’m expected to trust so many things right now…

I saw G this week. I realized I didn’t really miss her or R that very much during the past month. It wasn’t until I had her in front of me that I actually missed her, and missed our therapy sessions. I freaked out a bit when I realized that; however, I know it’s not really pseudo-adult-me who’s thinking that but the abandoned little girl in me that remains attached to her therapists.

It’s ok to not miss them, I keep telling myself. It means progress. And progress means no depression. And when I remember what my depressions are like…I forget wanting to self-sabotage. I don’t wish that pain upon anyone.

She told me I looked great, and that she was proud of me. Part of me is glad I’m ok, but another part of me is just worried when the next episode will be. I know the odds are against me. “There is a 50% recurrence rate after the first episode, a 70% recurrence rate after the second episode, and a 90% recurrence after the third episode.” That’s what my pocket psychiatry book says. I skip a breath whenever I read that sentence. But, whatever, I’ll enjoy what I have now and not worry about that, because then I wouldn’t do anything ever.

My borderline traits made a reappearance the other day after I felt terribly abandoned and lonely. I emailed G so I wouldn’t do something impulsive or stupid. She was worried and told me she didn’t want me to take steps back progress-wise, and that she felt really happy after seeing that I was in a good place during our appointment. I assured her having her support meant everything to me and not to worry, because it was just one bad day. And I pulled through. I remember my old posts from when I first began the blog and can’t help but think: “Holy crap, who would’ve thought that borderline girl who would cry and cut after a canceled appointment would get this far????!!!”

Yep. It’s possible guys. If I can do it, you can too.

Food-wise: meh. It’s always ‘meh’. My behaviors and thoughts go up and down with the tides. I’m eating lately. Too much for my own comfort, but not healthy at all, though. The past month was a good refresher for me because being alone actually helps me respond to my hunger cues more appropriately. Also, if I want to skip meals and simply “don’t feel like fucking eating” (as happens a lot with me), then I can just feel free to do what I please. I guess it has to do with my feeling comfortable to eat when I want or what I want without someone judging or asking (my parents). I only purged once while away, yet I purged the same day I got home after feeling too full for my comfort. I restrict here and there, skip a breakfast or dinner every other day or whatever.

The day I emailed G I pretty much lost it after my dad saw me eating McDonald’s and triggered me to hell and back. He had just gotten home and saw mom and I in the kitchen eating. As per usual, his entire focus went instantly toward our (gross-ass) junk food. He wanted a bite. He commented on what he wanted to cook that night, and joked that we wouldn’t be having dinner because we were getting full off junk food. He kept going on and on about food. And then he said it: “Holy crap Dana, you’re going to gain 20 pounds eating that!”

Holy. Fucking. Shit. Needless to say I was devastated and my head started overflowing with thoughts of SEE, YOU’RE JUST AS FAT AS HE IS! YOU’RE A DISGUSTING PIECE OF SHIT! STOP EATING OR YOU’LL GET FATTER THAN YOU ALREADY ARE, YOU FUCKING COW! HAHAHA YOU’RE A JOKE! 

And so, of course, being back home has caused my food issues to come back to the surface. But I’m managing for now.

Still feel fat. I think I’ll always feel fat to some extent. I’ve come to embrace what I can change and what I simply can’t.

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