I find it ironic that I’m currently running my ongoing NaBloPoMo “quotation” project at a time when I am struggling more than ever. I have contemplated giving up on it a few times, because I feel like I’m not in the same frame of mind I was in when I set out to do it. For some reason, however, I don’t like to give up on something I’ve started.
This has been my worst week. I wish I could say I was getting better, or that 20+ weeks in my new life was long enough to accept it and move on. But sadly, it continues to be a challenge.
I made a mistake by going back “home” last weekend. I loved seeing everyone that I’ve missed by being away. I loved to catch up and let our kids play, and feel that, even for a few hours at a time, my life was back together again. (Those outings were the first time in 4 months that I have done something meaningful outside of work or home). Driving around the city was comfortable and soothing, and I could almost pretend that nothing had changed. Until I’d go “home” to someone else’s house, that is. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I don’t belong there anymore, no matter how badly I want to. It was glaringly obvious to me that everyone else’s life has continued on without a hiccup… And my old life is playing out without me there.
Not a day has gone by in this last week where I haven’t cried: Monday night I went for a walk with the friend I was staying with, and I sobbed behind the hood of my jacket. Tuesday we drove home, and I cried as silently as I could, because I know my husband just doesn’t want to hear it. Wednesday I couldn’t focus on rounds, and I excused myself to the washroom when I couldn’t hold it back. Later I asked my program director to be excused from half day because I wasn’t feeling well – and I cried in her office, too (even though I swore I wouldn’t). On call Thursday night, I cried alone in my call room as I realized that maybe I can’t handle this anymore. Friday I visited my psychologist, and there’s always crying there… Finally today, I came face-to-face with a reality that I wasn’t ready to accept: I’m not really everything I thought I was.
People say “this” will all be worth it when it’s over. However, I fear that everything important to me will no longer exist when residency is done. A long time ago, I questioned whether or not I was making the right choices in my life, and I thought I was. But now I think I was wrong. Every day that passes seems to prove that this whole upheaval of my life is God, or the universe, (or whatever force), nudging me and saying, “G, you made the wrong choice.” Maybe that’s the only way it makes sense.
I don’t even think anyone can say that I haven’t been trying, either: I started counselling right away, I started medications, I kept up my exercise regime fairly well, I’ve been working on mindfulness, I’ve been meeting with some resident friends when I can, I’ve been trying to reach out, and I’ve been putting one foot in front of the other. It just doesn’t seem to be enough (and so I’m reminded that all my years of hard work before this wasn’t enough either). No one should ever have to try this hard at something that is the right thing for them, right? Or am I Wrong?
Unfortunately, I don’t even have time to think about my options. I don’t even have a moment to consider if what I’m thinking and feeling is real or artifact. I thought about taking a bit of time off to think about it seriously, but I’m afraid that if I do that, I’ll be dangling one foot off of the cliff. What if I never go back?
I just want it all to be over. I want to be happy – I really do. I want to move on. I want to just forget about everything that makes it hard. Iwant to be strong, and hopeful, and even optimistic. But I’m burning out. I feel like I have nothing left.