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Validation

I’ve had a good two weeks working at hospital. Well, actually, this week was much better than the first, but you get the gist of it. I’m finally starting to get the hang of it again.

I’m working at a psychiatric inpatient unit. So far I like it a lot. My attending has given me good feedback, at least for having been only my first two weeks. We’ll see if I can keep it up.

I had three patients thank me this week, which felt great. Then I had a patient get significantly better. He said his symptoms were the mildest they had ever been for the past 3 to 4 years. And he thanked me profusely, even said his mood was “excellent”. And guess who changed his medications? Me (with my attending’s approval of course).

I still don’t feel quite like a doctor, but I’ll get there. My attending keeps reminding me to present myself as DOCTOR Dana. I keep forgetting the doctor part, haha.

And I still feel like an idiot frequently, but less so this week at least.

I have a lot in my head regarding my work so far. My feelings and thoughts are very convoluted. I’ll post more about that this weekend.

As for my own mental health… I’m in a very good place right now. Been able to keep it up. No extreme homesickness so far. However, I’ve been terribly crappy at taking my Prozac. I forget every other day, practically. And then I go to hospital and make sure my patients take their medications so they get better and reach some stability. Geez, can’t even do that for myself.

But I’m OK…right now. I’m just worried about this becoming a slippery slope. I don’t have a psychiatrist or therapist yet in the city that I adore, and I’m starting to get worried. It’s not that I need one right now (although I am running out of meds…shit), it’s that I don’t want to fall in the hole and then be forced to look for one. I’d rather prevent all that from even beginning to happen.

But I’m so lazy you guys! Right now I have time to see a psychiatrist or therapist, but I’m so friggin’ lazy to go and do it. I’m so tired by the end of the workday (and my workday really isn’t that long, to be honest), I have no energy for doctors’ appointments. My work in the unit seems simple, but the truth is I’m always moving and always doing something.

There’s never a dull moment or no work to do. I didn’t think I’d get physically tired so easily at first, but oh how wrong I was…

 

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!

 

A few minutes ago I saw a video of a hot model just strutting his stuff (Travis DesLaurier if you’re curious).

Somehow, I went from thinking he was pretty darn hot to getting excited about finding a man in my future who will only have eyes for me and smile when he sees me, the way DesLaurier does in the videos (unf).

I don’t know why that got me so excited. It was a strange feeling. And in part I felt excited because this man that I envisioned was new and unknown to me.

He wasn’t the Russian. I think that’s why I liked it so much. The Russian hasn’t earned a second chance, so whenever I envision myself with him at our current human “relationship” status I feel trapped. But this other dream dude that hopefully exists…he doesn’t make me feel trapped. He makes me feel free. He’s handsome (or at least he is to me), he isn’t afraid of opening up to me, he’s his crazy self, and he loves me and thinks the sun shines out of my ass even when I just woke up and have bad breath.

He could be the Russian (if he earns his second chance), but I currently think that’s highly unlikely. This dream dude is unlike anyone I’ve ever dated. He’s fascinatingly new. Mindblowing.

This is all pretty far away from where I was this morning. I was angry…because I had a dream with the Ex in it. And I was enjoying my time with him. Ugh. I’m sure I’m not the only abuse survivor who’s had these unpleasant dreams.

The worst part was I was happy. And that’s horrible because it messes with my head and what I know to be reality. It makes me think: Did I make it all up? Am I a liar? Am I a lying hypocrite instead of the victim/survivor I’ve been playing out all this time?

It makes me feel disgusting, in summary. It makes me ask the eternal question abuse survivors face: did I actually enjoy being abused?

So, I’m glad I had that ephemeral gust of happiness a few minutes ago. This dream dude doesn’t make me feel disgusting. He knows all about my past and he defends me to no end. Actually, this dream dude makes me forget the dark spots in my past. He makes me feel mine again.

Will it happen? I certainly hope so.

To those of you who know what a queef is, as you can tell, this post will be slightly TMI near the end. To those of you who don’t, google it, then decide if you’ll proceed reading. I promise there’s a silver lining in spite of the TMI, though.

Well, guess who took the express lane to the very front seat of my frontal lobe, yet again?

Yes. The Russian.

On Wednesday he texted me: “Did you find a place in (the city that I adore)?”

I ignored him for a few minutes and he texted again. Due to this uncharacteristic insistence, I answered: “Russian, why are you texting me?”

Ensue the age-old trap: “You were on my mind.”

Fuck. It always works. Although it didn’t work immediately.

He went on in detail as to why he was thinking of me. And again, due to this uncharacteristic wordiness on his part, I answered. I told him: “I used to think of those things too”. And then I said: “But you disappeared and acted like I wasn’t worth even a goodbye. Plus, you have a girlfriend now. I have no place in your life right now even if I wanted to. You hurt me. You never apologized. I’m not interested in someone who treats me like that.”

Burn.

Again to my surprise, he continued the conversation. In summary, I gave him a piece of my mind, what I felt and what happened from my point of view. He was kind of douchey at first, said I was using the word “girlfriend” too sparingly, but that he did indeed “see someone for some time”, and he gave an incredibly half-assed apology that he recognized sounded like a lame excuse (maybe because it was?). In the end, he called me and I didn’t answer. He said “K. Got it.” I got pissed and said: “If you want to talk to me I will call you on MY time.”

Problem is, I’m a person of my word. And since I said I would call him on my time, I did. The next day, that is. Curiosity killed the cat, basically.

And the conversation was pretty pointless, because although I rehashed in my head time and time again all the things that I wanted to say and ask him, after more than 6 months since we first met he still manages to turn me into a stuttering idiot whenever I hear his voice. The only important bit was that near the end I think he finally realized just how much he hurt me and he said goodbye by retreating slowly like a dog with its tail between its legs.

After I hung up I texted him: “I liked you a lot, but I’m sorry to say you screwed up pretty bad. I’ll only give you a second chance if you earn it.”

Unfortunately, the Russian knows my Achilles. The next day he texts me a link to the soundtrack of a movie we both love (and which, has strangely been a recurring theme in our “relationship” since day one). Ensue conversation where we ended up exchanging youtube clips. And it felt weird in a good way, unfortunately, because it was just like old times.

Then today he texts again. Again conversation just like old times. Again, he always knows my goddamn Achilles.

So, what’s up? What’s going through my head?

He hasn’t earned a second chance. The problem is, I want to give him a second chance. I have decided to proceed with caution. First: he hurt me, and he hasn’t given a satisfying apology for that. Second, I’m not 100% sure he’s single and I refuse to be his rebound that he’ll ghost a second time around. And third, I’m about to begin a new life in a new city and there’s no reason whatsoever for me to tie myself to any particular man, especially a particular man who at some point hurt me. I’m well aware I can catch any damn hot guy I want at the city that I adore (hello, newfound confidence).

However, as is customary with matters of the heart, it’s not that simple. I like the Russian. It’s no secret. And although I might not have posted much about that the past few months, I still think about him almost daily in spite of the hurt (confession!). But, since my head isn’t entirely up my ass right now, I’m trying to just let it flow.

If he earns his second chance then great, and if not, then that’s that. But I’m trying to focus more on what’s happening with me right now.

And so, finally, I get to the part about queefs (I know that’s the sole reason you’re reading this post, don’t deny it).

I was talking to my med school BF today. I told her that “it” happened with Platonic dude the last time I was with him. He didn’t know what queefs were, and I had to awkwardly explain it to him. He was awkwardly disgusted. Something about that always bothered me, but I could never really pinpoint exactly what it was. And then it hit me: it bothered me because first, he’s a doctor, so he should know better, and second…I felt somehow restrained in how bubbly or random I could be with him, something I didn’t feel with the Russian (or Pizza guy). Platonic dude was unexpectedly uptight about things that are all too human, and I’m quite obviously not like that.

And then I thought, the Russian didn’t mind when “it” happened once with him. He said “that’s ok baby” and sex continued like nothing ever happened. He also didn’t mind when I accidentally stained his sheets because I was spotting, something Platonic dude was also disgusted by.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is: if I can be my gross, quirky, and random self with the Russian, then it must mean something.

Granted, in spite of this “queef test”, as my friend jokingly decided to call it, the Russian hasn’t earned his second chance. I still don’t know him enough to give him a full-on second chance.

But it doesn’t stop me from getting to know him. And that’s a start.

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.

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.

 

Well, I am still in disbelief.

I mean, I matched at my #1 choice. I’m going to live 4 years in the city that I adore doing what I want to do: becoming a psychiatrist. I mean, I’ve been dreaming of this for 7 years.

And to think, this program waitlisted me initially! If I have something to thank the Russian for, it’s his insistence at my emailing the programs during interview season. Had it not been for that, maybe the heart-mindblown program wouldn’t have thought I was that interested and might have thrown my application in the bin.

Is this real life? Is this really happening?? Oh my god…it is.

Yesterday was a great day for me, obviously. But also for my friends, and I am so happy because of that. We all ended up in our top choices. A friend of mine actually matched at the top/brain-mindblown program. It was her #1 choice and I think it’s a good fit for her. We were both so happy and in disbelief. And we both agreed that we hoped this was the right decision for us. So many hugs ensued.

I texted G during the match activity my school had. She was so proud of me. I told her I couldn’t have done it without her and obviously she said I did all the work and she was just there to give me a little push. Then she said I’ll have new challenges in this new life I’ll be having, and I can’t let the past ruin the present…to push all those negative thoughts aside. I felt a little tear welling up.

Then later in the day R called me after I texted her. She was also so proud of me, of course.

And guess who made a reappearance? The Russian. I’m guessing he saw my facebook posts announcing I matched and he texted me “congrats!”. I considered not answering, but decided to just say “thank you” as I like to think of myself as a decent human being. Then he texted “you’re going to live in (the city that I adore)!”. That I did not answer. I’ll acknowledge his congratulating me but that’s where I draw the line. Hopefully my silence came across as a big “thank you, but fuck you”.

I celebrated by going to dinner with my parents at a fancy restaurant. Unfortunately it ended in a not so pretty way, with me purging at home as soon as we got back. Then I went out with friends for a while, but I was so exhausted by that time that I just wanted to go to sleep and celebrate alone. The introvert in me was drained.

Then today all the happiness kind of went to hell. It wasn’t a great day and I’m pretty sure it had to do with my not sleeping well in spite of having matched. I’m just so used to the stress by now. Ugh. My brain and body still can’t believe it’s fucking finally over.

I purged a little while ago too. Not good. I tried to avoid it but the nausea and fatness was too much. And I think I had a small binge before purging? Lately I’ve been suspecting that I might not have severe binges but do have milder versions of it. Double ugh.

Now that I think of it, this post pretty much captures what I’m feeling: all over the place. I’m happy, I’m nervous, I’m worried, I’m stressed, I’m in shock….but I’m also still struggling food-wise…and I’ll always have to fight off the depression demons on a daily basis.

I guess I’m just content with having matched. I’ll focus on the happy for now.

 

 

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