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My Worst Week

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.

11 thoughts on “My Worst Week

    1. Thanks, Lisa. Maybe it was a wake-up call for me to stop imagining stuff that is never possible. It’s not possible for me to have a life there anymore. I have to make that here – I just wish I knew the best way to do that given my lifestyle right now.

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  1. I wish I had some words of wisdom or advice. Since I don’t, just know you have people here who care, though I know it is different. ((Hugs)) to you.

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    1. I usually believe that too. Unfortunately, I am having a difficult time sorting out which “decision” I am unhappy about… or if it was even a “decision” that I had any control over.

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  2. Things doesn’t change when residency is done. I made that mistake, thinking life will be easier, different, I will be more in control. Reality is, when training is finished, you just end up exchanging one set of problems for a greater load of responsibilities and stressors. I have now come to accept it having realised how naive I was. Finishing training definitely has not made me love my job more.
    If it really is that hard and you are that miserable, maybe it isn’t the right choice. It is better to realise this now (yes, maybe a little late) than never. At least you have given it a good go before changing your direction and if you make changes now, you won’t be writing about the same misery for all the years to come.
    I feel for you. I hope you find your way out. Some hugs coming your way to get you started…. xo

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    1. Thanks, Tiffany. There is so much going on in my life right now that most times I can’t even make sense of what exactly is making me miserable. I would be lying if I said that I feel discouraged by my program and it feels daunting and overwhelming, especially with how buried I feel right now. I’m scared that my difficulties are not really related to “residency” but just what residency has done to my life. If I change programs, and all the other stuff stays the same, will it make a difference? (but then again, other programs don’t all have the kinds of hours and call that O&G does).

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  3. I cannot speak to your job and whether it is right or wrong for you. I don’t know how the emotional issues of moving are affecting you at your job. But I can tell you, I have moved a couple of times, long distances, In my twenties, I moved from my lifelong city, with family and friends. In the new town I got into the best shape of my life, I was so bored and lonely, I exercised like crazy & was in fantastic physical condition. It was so difficult to find places to make new friends there & really, I did not make many friends until my kids started school and I could meet other Moms.
    We lived in that small town for many years & became very involved in the community, had a lovely life there, friends, family, etc. Then we moved again, 10+ years after that first move. Once again, it was difficult to make new friends, it really took me much longer than I expected to make new friends as most people in the new area already had their friend groups established.
    What I can tell you is that whilst I was lonely at first, I did not realise just how lonely I had been until I later made a nice core group of friends and then could look back and see how much more content I was on a daily basis. Now that our kids are gone, my husband speaks of moving again and I just want to enjoy having this lovely group of friends and neighbors here, for a while.
    Being so busy as a resident make it difficult to make friends, especially outside of your program, you have very little time to socialize. Being a wife & Mum makes it difficult, too, as you are so busy with all that, when can you socialize? Is your schedule at all regular? My daughter is a resident and her schedule changes all the time, but could you find any time to go to some sort of organized kid event-lessons, play time, etc., where you would see some other Moms over and over and eventually strike up a conversation with them?
    I would really try to find some non-medical friends, in the long term.
    My point it, whether your choice of becoming a doctor is right or wrong for you, any one moving from a community with a lovely support group to a new community is going to feel lonely. You are normal in feeling that way. You may not hear all your classmates expressing this, but they may not have been entrenched in the old community.
    I remember, too, going back to visit our old town and seeing that my spot had disappeared, everyone was coping just fine without me. Yes, we missed each other, but life went on and there was no longer an empty place there, where I used to be! But I had not yet made a place for myself in the new town, I felt a bit adrift.
    I just want you to know, that all of those feelings are oh so normal!

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    1. Thank-you. I think that’s the closest anyone has come to understanding how I’m feeling. I wish I had more time to figure out how to meet new people, but I just don’t. I hardly have enough time to spend with my kids. In fact, I am missing soccer practice tonight to go to a work thing… and We missed soccer on Saturday because of a work thing… Even if I could do something, it almost seems impossible.

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  4. I read your posts, I can tell the move is overwhelming and the lack of a local support system has to be contributing to that, even if it is just to vent to a girlfriend about some unimportant little thing that your husband or child did which is bugging you. It you cannot say it, the thoughts stay swirling in your head. I hope your blog gives some sense of relief.
    My sister and I have found that we can text or email a random vent and feel better just for having shared it, even if the recipient does not reply for hours or days.

    It is really really hard to make new friends, for most people, never again in life do you have the ability to choose from a huge pool of potential friends you see daily as happens in high school. All I can say is to keep trying.

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