Purple Forest

あけおめ、ことヨロ

So, this year lol.

Re-reading my old posts this year was so challenging, nearly impossible. I don't know if there was any year prior where every single post had a negative tone. But that is the essence of my year, negative inside and out.

First and foremost, as is the biggest news of the year, COVID-19. Definitely was not expecting anything close to the disaster we've seen this year. In the most significant way, many people have died or become incredibly ill, and in less significant ways, I have found myself isolated and unable to go to Japan as intended. In some ways, the forced isolation has been refreshing, as I am not expected to socialize. But in other ways, it has created a very dangerous enviroment for me.

This year for me was a year of diagnoses and medications. While I always knew I had depression and anxiety, I was never officially evaluated by a psychiatrist or diagnosed. I've been through hell and back trying different medications, and without rehashing those melancholic feelings, I think it's safe to say that my biggest accomplishment this year was staying alive. There were numerous times that I wanted to give up because none of this makes sense. In one of my favorite shows this year, there was a line that read, "God's gonna do something special with you, something new." And as much as I want to believe this, my resilience has been so brutally tested that I don't even think I want to see whatever this is that is special and new. As I wrote many times in my last post, I am just so tired. Every time I think about how tired I am, it makes me cry. And I spent some time thinking the other day, if I am merely here to make others happy and not to enjoy life myself. Because the number olauf times I have been told that I am a good person is numerous, but the number of times I have been complimented on my clinical accumen is next to nothing. And because of that, I feel like next to nothing. Being a good person will not ultimately make me a good doctor in and of itself. What am I to do with that?

My confidence and motivation this year hit rock bottom. Even today, I tell myself I want to be an ED doctor, but do I really? After weeks of extreme depression, I gradually began to re-learn Japanese. I did not reach N2 level as I had wanted to in my last year end post, but even getting to this point is a miracle given how I could barely peel myself out of bed some days. I still wonder what my end goal with this will be, given that I am trapped by $400,000 to be in a high-paying profession. I hope to at least make it back to Japan this year, as Japanese (and Netflix) is the only thing that brings me joy nowadays.

I internally laughed so hard at my last year end post, stating that I was so grateful for my roommate. Lo and behold I want nothing to do with this person or anyone else in her circle. This, on top of my family becoming ill with COVID, debt, wisdom teeth removal, crippling depression, etc made me question, why am I not allowed to be happy? Why is it that people who have brought so much pain (not just to me, but others) are so free to be happy, but the sufferers are not? I truly believed, and still believe, that I am being punished for something so terrible, because it just does not make sense. I am nonetheless grateful that I was able to have a fairly seamless move assisted by my parents in the same building with fairly so-so roommates, although one is a COVID cesspool.

PGY2 is unreasonable. The second I became a PGY2, I was thrown into this box of expectations that I could not meet, just because of my new title. I still do not think I am intelligent or fit to be a doctor, and I'm not sure I ever will. And on top of that, I have been newly diagnosed with ADHD, because why not throw on more issues to my assortment of problems. I will be shocked if I make it through residency, physically, mentally, emotionally. I think I accepted that I just can't do it.
Weight. I am still fat. Not dieting. Comfortable where I am because food is the only thing right now that makes me happy.

The ONLY good thing is that my family is safe and healthy, and that is the most important thing above all.

My song of the year, initially was going to be "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story." This song made me think about how I see myself, how others see me, my achievements (and lack thereof), and if/how I matter to the world. In continuing with my very depressing theme, my thoughts in this regard are largely negative, but I hope that changes for the better.

But instead, I'll chooe a more "upbeat," depressive song, "eight" by IU. I think it overall is an appropriate reflection of my feelings this year.

Normally I would post goals for the year, set my intentions. But I think for now, I will see how the year goes and go from there. For now, I just hope to stay alive.

では。
じゃ。


  • Current Music
    IU - eight
Purple Forest

寂しさ

Where to begin...

This post is probably going to end up very stream of consciousness, and I guess that's ok. This is my page after all.

This week was hard. Very hard. Not only because I am pretty certain that I failed my Step 3 exam, but also because pretty much the minute I left that exam (and even during it to be honest), I could not stop berating myself for failing what is supposed to be an exam with a 97% pass rate or something. Do I actually have evidence that I failed? No. Does the depressed side of me now have more amunition to bring me down nonetheless? Oh boy, it sure does. And it gives me so much anxiety and shame thinking about how irreparably devastated and embarassed I would feel if I failed, because everyone knew I was taking it.

Since Wednesday, I basically wake up, go through my day, and go to sleep, all the while thinking about how much I do not belong in any of my niches. How I not only don't deserve to be in them, but also what a terrible burden I am taking up space in these niches. And as I embark on a 3-week journey in the PICU on Monday where not only my intelligence and endurance will be tested (both of which I fervently believe I have none of), but I will also be with individuals who I also fervently believe are light-years more intelligent and competent and logical than I am.

To explain even further how cripping these emotions are, I had several nurses approach me in the middle of a shift to tell me how much they enjoyed working with me, above all other residents. Because apparently I bring such life and energy to floor, that I have been "such a good doctor" even in the middle of chaos. And despite such unexpected and heartfelt comments, I couldn't help think how they were all misguided and didn't realize how truly terrible a clinician and person I really am. And that the only reason I force myself to smile and laugh and feign composure is because I never want anyone else to feel the way I do. And that the minute I go home, I will most likely lay in bed, cry, overeat or undereat, go to bed, and wake up feeling like trash just as much as I did the day before.

I think I've spent at least a few minutes every day over the past 4 days perseverating about my perceived lack of worth. And fortunately there is a side of me who is rational and intermittently overcomes those thoughts and tries to do some self care, seeing friends, getting sleep, watching TV, listening to music, etc. But it's gotten hard to even motivate myself to do the mundane things that used to bring me joy. Even last night after going out with a friend and her co-workers, my entire feeling is that I am nothing compared to these people. I don't bring any joy or entertainment to the environment, why am I here taking up space when I could just be home alone crying? And then as always, that leads me down a path of despair, a path of everything I did (or thought I ever did) wrong in life, how none of my family or friends truly has a need or want for me, and at the end of the day, I never want to take up anyone's precious time or space, because I know how precious time and space is.

I saw a post on instagram the other day saying, "I never want to die, I just want to feel better" or something along those lines, and that's effectively how I always feels in these moments. It's hard knowing that I can't be "normal" without medications, since clearly CBT is so far only helping so much, and that even with medications this is a life-long disease that I have to endure. And while the depressed side of me definitely clearly sees negative options, the more frightening thing is that the rational side of me is also just so tired and hopeless.

I definitely did NOT want to spend my first day off in days crying and wanting to stay in bed all day, but alas.

では。
じゃ。
  • Current Mood
    sad sad
Purple Forest

心配な時しか・・・

For a second I thought, "dang why do I only post when I'm feeling down?" only to realize that very little has been good since my last post, so...

In happy news, coronavirus fortunately did not take down my family as I had feared. And I am hoping, praying that there won't be a second wind, and if so, my family has built up the immunologic defenses to fight off potential infection.

In neutral news, I still have not the slightest clue about whether or not I owe the $7600 that my insurance company refused to pay, and I am mentally and emotionally fed up and ready to accept having this go to collections if necessary.

In terrible news, as of today I am still very much so going to be homeless in a month or so. I have spent the last few days crying, irritable, vengeful, devastated, etc. because of this shitty situation. Unfortunately it is also a combination of my antidepressants taking some unfortunate toll on me as it reaches full efficacy. As much as I wish that my roommate could feel just an ounce of the pain and frustration I am feeling now, there is a very, very small part of me saying not to be vengeful, that I am better that this, and that somehow, someway it will all be ok. It has to be ok.

Otherwise not much of an update. I hope next time I will have more good news.

では。
じゃ。
  • Current Music
    Hoody - Adios
Purple Forest

(no subject)

I have to remind myself that I am so lucky. So lucky to live and breathe, in a city where some could not even imagine stepping foot for even a few moments. I am alive and healthy, and my family is alive (although my brother is not feeling well at the moment).

But there is just too much going on at the moment that I feel so overwhelmed and I need to get off my chest.

First and foremost, to add onto my other chronic stressors, I find out today that my roommate is effectively kicking me out for her boyfriend. After assuring me one year ago that she wanted to live together long-term, and had no interest in moving in with her boyfriend, she confirms without any concern for my best interest that her boyfriend is effectively canceling his lease to move in. Here. In my room. It's been a minute since I've felt so betrayed by another person that I unfortunately have resorted to the worst of name-calling and the worst side of me has emerged. And I do hope that I will ultimately be forgiven for this. But I have never experienced this degree of such a horrible trait in a human, and I feel disappointed in myself for being so vulnerable and blind-sided. And as much as I would like to fight it, I never want to speak to such vile people again.

My insurance company refuses to resolve this $7,000 medical bill for a procedure that took max total 30 minutes. And I have been fighting back and forth for months and no one wants to take ownership of this mess. And I'm terrified that in a few months this will go to collections and I will be shit out of luck very soon.

Coronavirus. That is all I can say. I am confined to my room, in an apartment with people that disgust me, with no escape. My brother and friends are ill and I can only pray that they get better. And again, I know I am in a much better position that many people. But still.

It is March of my intern year, and yet here I am still, with the skills and knowledge of a medical student. And yet in a few short months I am expected to be a senior. What jokes.

I am supposed to be preparing a proposal for a project that may or may not even happen.

I still haven't taken Step 3 yet.

I know it is counter-productive to list everything that is wrong in my life, but I can help it. I keep bottling all these emotions and I'm just about to burst at the seams. I hope to look back on this post in a happier point in my life, but I'm so overwhelmed. I'm just so overwhelmed.

では。
じゃ。
  • Current Mood
    stressed stressed
Purple Forest

あけおめ、ことヨロ

This is probably the earlier that I have ever started a year-end post, and likely will not become a habit, but alas.

It is always so amusing and interesting reading my previous year-end post. I am also amused that I made minimal goals last time because I clearly have a terrible time keeping up with them, and this time was no different. I gained weight, and I am still the same person I always was, awkward, uncomfortable, isolated, a loner, not very intelligent.

That being said, literally by God's grace and no other comprehensible reason, I achieved my two biggest life goals: I became a doctor, and I went to Japan.

I matched at an amazing, supportive program with sincere concern for my mental well-being (despite having a legitimately concerning breakdown a few weeks ago). I live in my favorite city in the world, and have a stunning apartment with a beautiful view, super close to where I work. I literally never could have imagined being in the exact spot I am in today. And despite some things needing to be balance, all in all I was matched with a roommate who has given me the encouragement to enjoy life a little bit more than my stiff personality usually allows. All in all, despite the hills and valleys, a remarkable start (? half-way point) of my first year of residency.

Going to Japan was equally life-changing. After applying to (and failing to acquire) various scholarships during college, I truly thought that I was not meant to go to Japan. And finally, after a life-changing Match Day, I was given the chance to spent 3 amazing weeks in the best country in the world. I loved (almost) everything about it, and there were many times that I regretted my career decision and wished I never had to leave. Getting on that ~13 hour flight back to Canada was one of the saddest flights because I knew it would be a while before I could come back. That being said, because I realized I loved it so much, I decided that I have literally no choice but to go back annually. Fingers crossed that I can go again this April.

And that being said (again), because I reached my two possibly biggest life goals, I am at this unfortunate point where I don't have any definitive goals. And for some people, it is freeing to not be confined to any particular path. But for me who is (again) incredibly rigid and goal-oriented, and for me who can get into a depressive, unmotivated mood without a goal, it's pretty hard not having a goal or plan.

I think for now, the best thing for me to do is have smaller, more immediately attainable goals, like ahem losing weight. One of the more healthy things I learned from a patient who unfortunately was challenged by an eating disorder, is that in order to achieve a goal you need to make small initiatives. And therefore, while I no longer have big goals, I want to make new, small goals.

I know I SUCK at keeping goals, but I'm going to make it my mission to lose 60 lbs by the end of March (~5 lbs a week which will allow my fatass to indulge once in a blue moon). I want to buy cute clothes when I go to Japan so we *need*to*make*this*happen*.

I want to be N2 level Japanese by the end of the year. I have very slowly been integrating Japanese back into my life with textbooks, YouTube, and Meetup groups where I have made great friends. I have been trying to do the AJATT method, but it gets a little tough with work and being constantly tired (which, lolz at me complaining last year that I was so tired at the beginning of MS4). I want to keep trying to AJATT as much as I can, doing flashcards, listening to more Japanese, and continuing to go to Meetups.

I want to be more outgoing, more friendly, more selfless, and less rigid. I admire people like my roommate who have such a close bond with friends and family, and is able to integrate bits of joy into her life daily despite working twice as much and twice as hard as I do. If she can do it, what is stopping me?

Most importantly, more important than any of the above, I need to not fuck up as a PGY2 senior. The imposter syndrome is rampant, mostly because my dumbass doesn't study and I get too tired after work to study. But I need to not be dumb. I'm not sure how to not be dumb, but I need to not be dumb. And naturally this being the most important goal, I have no legitimate ways at this time to achieve this initiative. Although I reinstituted my 5 minute rule and was able to go through a little bit of review today, so that was encouraging.

I think I am going to keep it at these goals for now. Can I achieve them? Not sure, but we will try.

And more important than ANY goal I will ever have, I want my family to be safe, happy, and healthy. I wish I had more of a substantial income to bring more joy to my family, and I wish that since I now live so much closer that the ~family time~ would expand, but I guess that will be baby steps as well.

That's all I can think of for now. I am eternally grateful for all the blessings bestowed on me. I don't know if I will ever feel worthy of having what I have, nor being where I am in life. But I hope to use these blessings for good, or at least make it worthwhile.

LAST but not least, there were many many many many great songs released this year, but the song I choose to represent this year is LOONA's Butterfly. I definitely overplayed this song a lot, probably not more than some others, but the meaning resonates with me, the MV is beautiful, and I hope my dreams/goals/etc can fly like a butterfly. This was a truly shitty year for K-Pop, probably the worst in recent memory, but this song was one of the lights that shown bright. That's it for me being cheezy.

では。
じゃ。

  • Current Music
    LOONA - Butterfly
Purple Forest

始まります!

Tomorrow is the first day of the career that has caused me endless amounts of stress, tears, anxiety, and depressive episodes.

I am still very much in denial, and very much feeling like a glorified 4th year medical student.

I feel like I accepted much too soon that I know nothing, and hope that this will not be a recipe for disaster.

Not sure what to feel, but I felt that it was important to document.

God be with me through these tumultuous 3 years of residency.

では。

じゃ。

  • Current Music
    Saay - ZGZG
Purple Forest

PRE-MATCH

So unfortunately tomorrow will not be just any typical Monday where I can exist aimlessly without anxiety or fear. Tomorrow is the day that I find out whether or not I was able to successfully swoon one of the 15 programs at which I interviewed for a residency position. And then if I am successful, I will find out Friday which program I was able to swoon.

I have this terrible habit of avoiding and ignoring imminent concerns, which probably explains why I did not perform very well in medical school (or school really ever). But I figured I should come to terms with my fate sooner rather than later. And this got me thinking about how I think this entire process is such utter bullshit. Let me explain my grievances.

Starting in undergrad, pre-meds and medical students have been compelled to get comfortable with waiting. Your MCAT score? 30 days. Step 1/2 scores? 30 days. Match Day? However many days since your last interview. The waiting is constant. I think it would be a much more forgiving process if it weren't for the the fact that all of this is computerized. If it takes a computer 30 days to complete an algorithm or to input a number into the system then that computer needs to be trashed. The waiting game does not build endurance; rather, it provides added, unnecessary stress to our bodies in an already stressful environment.

And God forbid a student fails one of their exams or does not match. I truly believe if there weren't so much pity surrounding these events that students would not only be less anxious preparing for these life-changing situations, but also there would be much less personal shame. I have become so accepting of failure that I almost always expect it by default. And when failure is not the outcome, I don't even know what to do with myself.

Regardless, the outcome on Friday will result in more anxiety and stress on the horizon, and I will continue to try to hold back my tears and take each day in stride without resorting to destructive means.

では。
じゃ。
  • Current Music
    LOONA - Butterfly
Purple Forest

明けおめことよろ

I think I might be starting a new trend of posting the day after NYE...

I think probably because this year, compared to other years, did not feel so significant? I boggles my mind to think that 1 year ago I was still completing my MS3 clerkships, still studying like crazy for those shelf exams, and slowly losing that fire that I went into year 3 with. A year ago I had to travel outside of my comfort zone (literally) to do my Family Medicine rotation, fucked that up, and then survived the rest of the year. And after a bit of deliberation I finally decided that Pediatrics was my calling.

I managed to pass Step 2 CS and somehow by God's grace I did substantially better on Step 2 CK than I did on Step 1. And I was wildly less depressed than I was when I was studying for CK.

And I was whisked off into my final year of med school. The first few months were a whirlwind, tears continued to be shed, anxiety levels off the chain, sleep was a luxury, and I nearly wanted to give up so many time.

Applying for residency was one of the most challenging parts of the latter half of the year, not because the process was difficult but because I did not (and still somewhat do not) feel worthy to be partaking in this process. At no point during my MS4 clerkships did I feel qualified to be applying to become a doctor and I couldn't imagine how hard it would be if an interviewer asked me, "Why should we pick you?" Because I did not have a good reason. And in fact, you probably shouldn't pick me.

Nonetheless I did what I had to do and got interview invitations from places I honestly couldn't have dreamed of. Stepping foot into some of the most prestigious institutions was surreal. And contrary to how probably everyone else, I somehow felt even smaller and more inadequate going to the places, rather than excited and full of hope. Imposter syndrome was rampant. There was a constant voice telling me that I did not deserve to be where I was. To this day I cannot imagine what part of my application inspired these programs to spend their time on me, other than the color of my skin.

At the end of the day, I will have to make a rank list. And while there are definitely programs I can only dream of become a part of, at the end of the day all I want is to be happy. Because there is no amount of prestige that will comfort me during my darkest days. But anyway, I have a few left that I may or may not be able to attend, and I am ready for this journey to conclude.

I just went on a wonderful trip across the coast again, and I am very very very very sadly at the tail end of my very very very long 7-week vacation that I will likely maybe never have again.

And as for my weight, I was able to keep off about 26ish pounds from my highest weight, but I fluctuated so much this year. I realized after not eating during Step 1 that I need food to function, and so I made that a priority for sure. But now I am on a mission to lose at least 5lbs a week (so far so good) and hopefully keep it off for graduation.

And as always thankful that my family, albeit still in the same dingy situation, is safe and healthy.

And song of the year was a struggle to pick, but I ultimately had to go with the song that kept me jamming for days and days:



では。
じゃ。
  • Current Mood
    tired tired
Purple Forest

想い

Not sure what to title this yet because while I feel like the worst person on Earth at the moment because of how self-centered I am, I figured I should not make it about myself (while here I go, talking about myself).

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