It’s a great mental effort to decide that you’re done revisiting the past and that you’ve closed the door on something (or someone). But that mental effort is made so much more solidified when you make that last grand gesture of closure, send that last text that probably won’t make a difference, that might even go unread if you’ve been blocked, but who cares because it makes all the difference to you nonetheless.
It’s the grand gesture of cutting ties that also forces you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, clean up your apartment, declutter your mind, and set this milestone to tell yourself that the bedrest part of recovery is over and now it’s time for active rehabilitation. Back to doing more than just the bare minimum. Start identifying goals and hobbies that make you so awesome you’d want to date yourself. Make plans with friends even when you’re not feeling it because you always feel so much better (and more popular) when you go. Take your physical health seriously, put nourishing food in and work the extra calories off, in a way that makes you feel powerful. Submit those old drafts of papers to journals and feel like a genius when you get published. Try to mean it when you pray, and ask vehemently for Help. Put a deadline to the excuses. Wear bold lipstick everyday. And clean up your damn apartment already!
Important to note that it will start off always feeling forced. You will not want to do any of these things. But as contrived and insincere as it feels at first, these forced actions are what ultimately allow you to return to being you. You’ve just forgotten how awesome you are capable of being, and these hobbies and tasks make you come back to reality.
Despite my low-ish mood and my pervasive hatred for men recently, I have to say that as my 2 month psychiatry block comes to an end, I could not have made a better choice of specialty and I have loved just about every minute of it. This block has made me see what the life of psychiatrist could be like, working 3-4 hours a day making good money and having ridiculous amounts of time outside of work to have a life. During work hours, it also just reinforced everything I love about what I do: supporting people through their rough times, encouraging them to learn therapy and coping skills, tinkering with meds that can sometimes make a 180 degree difference, and learn to be a respected consultant. With my preceptor I’ve done practice 5th year level Royal College exams (which she says she would pass me on every time even when I do terrible–she is just so nice!!), I’ve presented at a review panel–ie. a legal court case, where they bring “court” to the hospital–arguing for the patient’s need to stay admitted in hospital over their own autonomy (and won it), and come to know other staff psychiatrists I will be working with, one of whom seemed very intrigued to hear I was interested in inpatient psych (she’s in charge of hiring). The past two months has been an incredible building block towards my future career, and I suddenly felt like all the weight of being a semi-competent service-providing annoying R1 dropped and instead I became the future psychiatrist of the unit. What a change in respect and what a feeling, honestly.
Here’s to 4 more months of off-service rotations until July when that feeling becomes permanent. 🙂