Crossing a Scary Pond

I have been trying to avoid talking about myself as such lately.  It’s just too much.  I haven’t been depressed, not like before.  I suppose the meds are working.  [insert excited exclamation]

But I am reluctant to admit that I’m feeling better.  Because I’m scared.  This happens… my mood lifts one day, but soon I’m in the bottom of the pit again.  I can’t allow myself to build my hopes up.  It is too dangerous.

I dropped out from my medical internship almost 3 months ago.  If I hadn’t I would have graduated already, and I would be a MD, ready to do general practice or go into a residency.  Not only it was the fact that my depression worsened and I couldn’t handle doing the most basic things anymore, but I have never been too certain when it comes to my career choice either.  If I wasn’t even able to do things that I usually liked to do, much less things that I didn’t.   But then I don’t do anything about it either, I don’t quit for good, I don’t study something else.  I have nowhere to go.  A friend keeps telling me that no one really likes to be in medical school because it’s too fucking exhausting, but they do it anyway and they feel rewarded later.

For some reason I don’t think this is the case with me.   They try to motivate with the prospect of money, and I don’t even care.   And I do want money, because I want to travel.   Travelling needs money.   If I had teleporting powers, and an endless supply of coca cola, I would not want money really.  I’m very low maintenance.

But life isn’t magical, and I have already decided in different moments and under different moods, that what I need to do is to finish.  Just graduate and see what happens next.  So that’s the plan.   For reasons out of my control I cannot prolong my break any longer even if I don’t think I’m quite ready to go back yet.

I start again tomorrow.

I’m really scared.  My self confidence is in the floor.  I don’t doubt my knowledge, I doubt my mental strength.   I probably will be able to handle one day, two days… what happens after the first shift?  Sleep deprivation is extremelly damaging for me.   It’s like my neurotransmiters deplete and my brain turns off.  What happens after two or three shifts and after the exhaustion builds up again.   These are the ingredients that have most often led me to morbid suicidal ideation.   What if I don’t really kill myself, but I can’t take it anymore and I drop out again?  To me that’d be worse.  There would be zero confidence to ever ride that boat again.  My self efficacy would be irreversibly dead.

And like I reasoned in my last post, when someone dies, it hurts, but the world keeps on spinning.   I am sure that if I die many people would be incredibly wounded, but it’s only a matter of time and future joys to get over me.  They WILL get over me.  That kinda gives me a green light.   And that is not good.

I’m supposed to start tomorrow and not flip out until Nov the 30th.   I’m supposed to graduate.  And I can’t see anything beyond that.   This is a pond I need to cross, but I feel like I didn’t bring any flippers or lifesavers.  It’s just me and the pond.  I’m not ready to swim, but i’m being throw in anyway.

I don’t know what’s going to happen.  But I’m terrified.

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12 thoughts on “Crossing a Scary Pond

  1. Hiya,
    do you like helping people?
    For you do not have to be a doctor for the money. The world needs good, honest and caring doctors, who will always give the best to their patients. There are not many around.

    You have successfully completed years of medical school, the few months of internship will go in a flash. It will be a few months of learning with a difference.

    In med school it was theoretical learning, from now on your learning will be through experience under the guidance of others who have been through the same only a few years before you. Get the most from their experience now, for somewhere in future you will be an independent practitioner. They are your scuba gear and the flippers.

    You are not expected to learn and know everything in the next few months.
    You have a lifetime to learn. As long as you are a doctor, you will be gathering experience minute by minute, patient by patient – and learning as you go on. Imbibing knowledge. Without even realising or making a conscious effort.

    Be honest to every patient you see or treat. That is what they will all expect from you.
    But above all be honest to yourself, make every minute of your internship count. There is an otherside to this ‘scary pond’. It will not go on for ever.

    You can do it.
    Many months from now, there will be people grateful that you did.

    Believe me, I have been there.
    Good luck.

  2. i’m really happy to hear you’re doing your internship again, scary as it is to you.

    Yes it is scary.

    do you like helping people?

    Well I’m not too fussed, really.

    For you do not have to be a doctor for the money.

    I’m not.

    In med school it was theoretical learning, from now on your learning will be through experience under the guidance of others who have been through the same only a few years before you. Get the most from their experience now, for somewhere in future you will be an independent practitioner.

    I know. I’ve had heaps of clinical practice already. I know what to do, and that’s kind of a bummer, because the rest it’s practice, practice, practice and nothing really new. It’s not too attractive.

    I wish I could look up to the big doctors and become jealous and say “ohh I wish I could be like them…” but I don’t really. There’s nothing attractive about that. No motivation whatsoever.

    Besides, like I said: I don’t doubt my knowledge, I doubt my mental strength. And the lack of motivation doesn’t really help. A lifetime as a doctor is an idea that depresses me deeply.

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