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06 October 2008 @ 10:45 pm
i'm not sleepy and there ain't no place i'm going to  
I'm cutting this for TMI coursework-related wangst (and also an American Beauty spoiler. Don't say you weren't warned!).



It seriously did - start with a chair, I mean. Or rather, things came to a head when I got an email about our refurbished, med students-only lecture hall. The short version: the old version used to be pretty comfortable. Now I can't fit my legs in the seat and the desks are pull-down trays like in aeroplanes - and, also like in aeroplanes, you can't get out unless everyone puts theirs up. The sheer design ignorance of people who probably never had to sit for six hours straight in lectures is mind-boggling. And then they had the nerve, the utter fucking cheek, to say they were 'disappointed' that we brought food and drinks into this 'beautiful' new lecture hall.

I threw up a little in my mouth. And then I thought, quite calmly, I can't do this any more.

Most of the ‘real’ reasons are quite boring, and to explain them I'd have to explain the whole, stupid, hierarchical, incestuous med school system. Suffice to say that, since term started nearly two months ago, I've been drowning in misery. Oddly enough, when I told the people closest to me, they said, "But you're miserable all the time - you'll be miserable no matter what you do. It's your nature." One of those people was my mother, who is kind and generous with her sympathy but has been listening to me whine about how my life sucks since I was fourteen. It's still a pretty horrible thing to realise about yourself. I always thought things would get better if I did this or bought that or met such and such. I always thought my sadness stemmed from what stood in the way of getting all these things. What stood it the way was me, and I can't get out of the way. So! Suck.

(I remind myself so much of Elizabeth Wurtzel in so many ways, it's scary. My mom also said she could never have imagined that having a smart kid, one who was obedient and considerate and wasn't addicted to drugs and didn’t sleep around or do anything crazy or stupid, could still have such problems.)

I'm sick on despair. Sometimes I can hardly breathe for it. Other times, I function almost normally, although I know I'm standing on the precipice of a huge dark hole stretching out behind me - one misstep and I'll fall back in. The worst times are when I can see the person I'd be without it, and it hurts.

I’m not sure a pill can cure this, and I know too much about psychiatrists to trust to their efficacy, but I'll be getting on it all the same. It wasn't actually the point of this post.

I'm thinking about dropping out of medicine. I've been hunting down my supervisor, who can advise me on getting accredited for a Bachelor of Science as a replacement degree - not that I want it, or that it will be of any use, because I didn't really do science at all, but better that than nothing. She finally got in contact today, and now I'm nervous. None of the reasons why I should stay have anything to do with my enjoyment of the course, or ambition for the future - but is it sensible to rate something as ephemeral as happiness so high? (Particularly in my case - me, the eternally miserable.) AND there's a recession on.

I don't want to go back and do another course. I'm through with academia, with learning for the sake of learning. I've done that my whole life, to the point where I can't do anything else, and I've become so socially inhibited I feel I should tape my mouth rather than speak to other people and I go out of my way to avoid going into shops. The whole actual socialising, with the aim of meeting guys or whatever? Forget it. I have a fear about it as great and as senseless as a fear of the dark. (I'm also afraid of the dark - deathly afraid. Go me!)

What I would really like is to get a job in retail - best case scenario? a bookshop - and for them to let me stay on in some semi-permanent capacity. Like the dude in American Beauty, although I don't know if I could stand McDonald's. (Do you hear me? Like they'd even employ me.) I've been scouring shop windows for Christmas employment notices, which go up at this time - I even asked, once, which blow of courage left me gibbering for the rest of the day. But in this financial climate, my chances of permanency are nil. Also, who'd hire me? I have a blank CV.

Everywhere I look is dead ends.

But I have to get out. I keep hearing the starling poem, or the bit in the Fellowship with the drums in the deep. I'm scared. I'm sad. I'm useless. But I have the best mother in the universe - she said she'll support me no matter what. I'm most scared of wearing out her patience. Such unconditional love astounds and humbles me.

And there are no snakes.



And now, I think, bed. I was stuck in the maternity hospital till 9:30pm, only to find my usual exit closed for the night. I don't think obstetricians ever go home.
 
 
Current Mood: draineddrained
Current Music: pieces of me (ashlee simpson)
 
 
 
Riakessie on October 6th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
The only other job I had before I got into the bookstore was waitressing for three years. I'd never done retail before. What got me in was enthusiasm for books and I had to show I had some idea of what I was talking about.

Regardless of recessions and such, the bookstores are going to need temps solely for coping with the amount of extra Christmas stock and the longer opening hours. If you can wow them during Christmas, the hellish part of the retail year, and hound them (politely), there's a good job they'll keep you on as part-time. You can work towards permanent full/part time from there. It can honestly be done. Everyone had a blank CV at some point.

I'm afraid I can offer you no advice in regards to medicine or your degree, but please think carefully before you do anything, whichever decision you do eventually make.

Edited at 2008-10-06 10:08 pm (UTC)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: singingscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
I ... am still not sure what I'm doing. I'm kind of going with the flow atm, and relishing the fact that I no longer feel as bad as I did? But thank you for the practical advice, it really helped when I needed to hear it. :D
(no subject) - kessie on October 14th, 2008 09:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
pale pubescent beast: fob pete nose/besticonaroundwildestranger on October 6th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
Have you thought about staying at uni and going for another field entirely? I can rec English literature, obviously, but there are a bunch of other fields that might interest you, and occupy you through the credit crunch so that when employment becomes more likely, you'll be in a better position. Also, as I've been worrying about a blank CV as well (turns out a PhD makes you unemployable for anything other than academia), doing some volunteer work might be a good idea - you get work experience and they're less likely to turn you down for lack of experience.

If you ever want to chat (not that I can guarantee good advice, but I can, at least, talk about how delicious young Patrick Stump is being these days). I'm wildestranger on yahoo messenger and uncommonwant at gmail.

Also, we still on for FOB on 22nd?
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: winter of discontentscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, three days ago I was SICK OF LEARNING ANYTHING. I've since decided it was a combination of factors - not least being in a crap hospital for a fortnight - and now I'm somewhere new, it feels a bit like a do-over, you know?

Yes, you're on gmail! I'm offwhitetower. I must start sending you emails from that, detailing my worry that I still find Ryan Ross hot when his hair is triangular and so is his jacket.

(I think we've established the answer to that!)
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: bands Cobra Vicky-Tscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
I gotta say, it's not like I socialise NOW. But when I went to see the med school counsellor, she was like: without the 50% OCD, socially avoidant and borderline depressive types, we wouldn't HAVE a medical profession. Which, point.

2 years technically, although one of my friends has it down to 16 months... then there's intern year, aka HELL.
(Deleted comment)
Emila-Wan Kenobiemila_wan on October 6th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
Wow. Sorry to hear you're in such an awful place.

I found myself in a soul-sucking job in a big corporation a while back. Sixteen years ago now. I walked away from the financial security and the HUGE paycheck to become a freelance writer because I just couldn't take it anymore. I was a total bitch, stressed to the max, and it's just not worth it. You get one shot at life; you need to spend it doing something you enjoy, or at least something that makes you feel as if you're making a contribution to society, and not just helping the fat cats rape the rest of the world.

I am concerned, though, that your depression is messing up your thought processes (that's what depression does), and that once you get help and find what works to bring you out of this hole, you might realize that you really do want to be a doctor after all.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: bands Hush Sound Greta blue dressscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with both your points. Once I find what I want to do, I'll do it. But I have a doctor's appointment Monday, which I'm hoping will lead me to developing the necessary perspective to make a decision. So thank you - the validation was great. :D
(Deleted comment)
Online I'm a Giantparthenia14 on October 6th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC)
Yes, totally. I really wouldn't burn your bridges until you've at least ruled out being depressed. It may very well be that med. school isn't for you - but you've come a pretty long way already, by the sounds of things.

And I also agree re looks - from the photos you put up from time to time, I see a slender, pretty woman (but I'm not sure you see that).

Crossing my fingers - go talk to someone, first.
(no subject) - scoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
&helena;uminohikari on October 6th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
D: That's ridiculous, why change something perfectly good to something that...doesn't work?
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: bands PATD Ryan hatscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
Because it LOOKS better. *facepalm*
Kristinbicrim on October 6th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
So, I'm a therapist. I've been reading your posts for awhile now, and I will tell you something that you already know--you are depressed, possibly also with social anxiety, and you need medication and therapy. Really. Please don't make any major life changing choices until you have been medicated for at least two or three months on something that works. Take a leave if you have to, take a few months to work in a shop and just recover.

The fact that you say you have been miserable since you were 14 is significant. Depression in women is often connected to the hormonal changes in our life cycles, and onset at puberty is very common. Please get good treatment before changing your mind permanently about careers.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Bands PATD Ryan rainbowscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
Please don't make any major life changing choices until you have been medicated for at least two or three months on something that works.

I've heard that here, from my mom and from the med school counsellor. I think it's very sound advice, and for the moment I'm in wait and watch mode. :D

That's an interesting theory. I mean, serotonin and noradrenaline are mostly implicated in depression. Yet oestrogen and progesterone are blamed for PMT, so why not depression? Hmm. I smell a study...
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: bands PATD Spence 5thscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
To be honest ... I'm starting to wonder if a lot of this wasn't just anxiety about the demands of the coursework - our final project, assessment etc. I've calmed down and got my head on straighter since, and the problems don't seem so insurmountable. So - maybe I'll be okay?

Thank you, anyway. :D
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: bands PATD Spence tambourine manscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
lol, the med school counsellor said basically the same thing: leave of absence first, try retail. 'You'll hate it,' she said. 'You might love it, but you probably won't. It'll give you a real perspective on what medicine is about, too.' I'm not sure if I'll do it or not, but it was good for me to hear that from someone in authority. (And on here, too!)
stellamoonstellamoon on October 6th, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC)
I know nothing about the field of medicine, but I definitely agree with what emila_wan said...................

"You get one shot at life; you need to spend it doing something you enjoy, or at least something that makes you feel as if you're making a contribution to society, and not just helping the fat cats rape the rest of the world.

Highlight that and double underline it. It's that important.

And you don't have to be in medicine to save people. Even I, as an accountant can do that! Because the company I'm with does great work I can be proud of. And I LOVE accounting. If I didn't, I'd be miserable each and every day. So I'm proof for the idea that what you do for a living doesn't have to be just work.

I also agree with what she said about the depression clouding your thought processes. If you could get outside of yourself long enough to take an objective and more realistic view, I think that would be very helpful. From the posts I've been reading, I don't think you've been taking a very realistic or even a very kind view of yourself and your life for quite awhile now. You obviously aren't seeing in yourself what is so obvious to all of us. You are a very intelligent, witty, charming, quirky, insightful (except about yourself) and attractive young lady. I hope that someday soon you'll be able to see that.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Bands: Cobra fangs upscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
I hope that someday soon you'll be able to see that.

God, I'd love that too. Not even all the things you've said - just dropping the omg-HATE that I carry around all the time.

Anyway, I'm not making any decisions right now. You're all right: working on my poor mindset is the priority.
oopsoddishly on October 7th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
I have absolutely no advice to offer that hasn't been given already as I have neither long life experience or qualifications to draw on, but I will second all of what's been said by other people. Take a break, a long one if you can. If you haven't had a job before - was I reading that right? - get one in a bookstore, like you said. The blank CV won't make that much difference when you are clearly intelligent, polite, and knowledgeable and passionate about books, and even if that wasn't the case, EVERYWHERE needs Christmas staff. You won't get over wondering if you'd actually prefer, say, retail, if you don't try it and realise that actually you prefer medicine. Or not, whatever.

This has all been said better above. What I was really meaning to say is that, if I was feeling so horribly low, I reckon I'd ... well, maybe not feel better, but at least not so very alone if I knew that someone, somewhere was thinking of me. Thinking good things, you know? So just so's you know, here's someone thinking of you. ♥
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Bands: Cobra Ryland floweryscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
I mentioned my blank CV to the med school counsellor, and she said: 'You're intelligent, educated and articulate. They will snap you up.' And I know, I know - that's what you're all saying, too - but to hear it actually said. It was - something else, really. The idea that no matter what I do, I'll be okay.

Thank you so much, sweetie. &you;
Harry's complete lack of ducksharriet_vane on October 7th, 2008 01:32 am (UTC)
The hardest thing I've ever had to learn is that you get to change your mind. No matter what you've started or how you feel or who's expecting what from you, you get to change your mind and do what makes you happy(er).
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Bands: FOB Patrick and Troh floweryscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
That's probably the most enlightening thing I've read in a long while. :D Thank you.
trichinopoly ash: draco: snowmanaldehyde on October 7th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
i'm so sorry things aren't going well for you :( i've been trying to deal with depression for a long while, and it's the worst. before you decide to switch out of medicine, find out whether it IS depression and if you can take care of that somehow. if you still feel miserable in medicine after, then consider switching to another programme maybe? i hope you feel much better very soon, regardless of what decision you make *hugs*
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Bands: Hush Sound Greta rainbow cloudsscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
I'm SO impatient - I wanted out NOW. This week and several discussions - including on here - have given me a chance to be a little more level-headed about it. I'm going to sort out the depression, first. After that ... who knows?

Hopefully, we'll BOTH sort it out. *hugs*
bare_memabonwitch on October 7th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
You are making the world a better place. Not your med degree. Not your suavity with guys. Not your huge social network. Not even your delightful and witty use of language. Just you, as you are right now.

And if you want to change? If you want to get on medication, or pick up a hobby, or work in a bookstore? Then I am happy for you, and glad for your happiness. But please remember that these changes make you happier, not better. You don't need to be better, because you are already enough, in the very best sense of the word.



Also. As a lesbian, do I get double points in the really-you-look-good campaign?
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: daisiesscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
I've gotta say, it's tough for me to believe that about myself. I need help with that, but I'm going to get it, so.

Ha, in one way you do! But it would probably only really count if I were one too. Good thought, though. :D
girl; obsessed: other - kitty!complications_g on October 7th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
I'm sending lots and lots of virtual hugs and nice squishy thoughts, ok?

*hugs*

*squishes*

I'm sorry I don't really have anything useful to add, but wouldn't even know where to begin.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Bands: Hush Sound Greta redscoradh on October 9th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
God, don't worry about it! The support is quite enough, seriously. &you;