There are no words for how much I needed that Thankagiving break... My energy, my body, my spirit, my sanity, EV-UH-RY THING needed it. The weeks leading up to break, were nothing short of rough. Emotions, strained relations, stress,trying to study through it all, doing less than my best on an exam despite studying through it.... It was a mess. A mess I'm pretty sure was like 10% my own making & the rest just the way life be sometimes. But alas, the break was beyond restoring.
My family is truly like medicine for any life low or difficult season. They're ridiculous, genuine, and always ready to watch a movie. And to have all of us together, no one missing, for the first time in a while, was just... ugh sooooo good. From the moment my parents & I made it to Houston, the air in that house shifted. I'm talkin jokes & laughter ON SIGHT! For the next week there would be nothing but laughs, movies, sleep, food, conversations, walks, more food, and more sleep.
combat it, is the WORST of the worst. It feels like you're stuck in someone else's body/ spirit fighting to just be yourself again. That may sound dramatic, but if you're a highly self aware person, that is literally what it's like when you're off your game for whatever reason(s).
Anyways, it's not fun. And to be that way for an extended period takes its toll on you physically,mentally, and emotionally. My body took over on break & would just crash. Between that & having a constant environment of comfort, joy, love, EASE (praise.)... I was slowly but surely recovering from life's "beatings" & regaining that drive, confidence, and zeal to give my all to my own aspirations again. I was redeveloping the part of my mind that was prepared to say
"What have I learned? What do I need to change/do now?" instead of "Why me?"
Why me is so easy & when you're going through rough shit, or feeling like your smaller self, you're beaten down spirit goes looking for "easy" both mentally & physically. Physically, for some, is other people, maybe alcohol, sleeping the days away repeatedly, avoidance, etc. But first & foremost is the mental shift to "why me". Your mind in that state then dictates how you choose to make yourself feel better. And it can be harder to shake sometimes than others. For me, it was a real blessing to have the break follow all the chaos, because I was able to recover in a healthy way, versus just being stuck in my head.
The current unit has already been a vastly different experience for me. I've regained a lot of the control & motivation, I felt I'd lost. I've reestablished my ownership of my dreams, my pursuit, and I've made some changes to supplement that. Because sometimes you NEED HELP. I did, and while I am not always one to ask for it or accept it, I will say this was not one of those times, haha.
One thing I am doing differently, is deliberate relaxation. I have known for a long time what kind of things feed my soul and make me feel better, such as being outside, be around people, friends, clinic, candles, baths, sketching, my pets, etc (#ENFP)... but it was brought to my attention I had no way of intentionally de-stressing before tasks, exams, whatever. So I've picked a relaxation exercise that I do everyday, throughout the day to relax not just my body, but my mind before anything, whenever I want. It's quiet and I don't have to do it for any specific amount of time, just til it works. And it's been really great. I have to say it DOES help me retain more info after a long (or short) study session which is exciting & encouraging to notice. But yea that's one of a few things I'm doing differently. And I plan on doing it all the way through Step prep through the Step exam, and on and on and on haha.
*if you're interested in the one I do, or a list of others, let me know!
With so many important life/career moments happening & approaching, sanity is something you want to have a good grip on, but so are your well being in general, your physical & emotional health, your inner peace. I can say I have not had a month like the last (tumultuous & rich in misfortune) in a very loooong time, if ever (at least not in the same way). And things like that are hard, beyond hard even to pull yourself out of. So I am thankful for my family, for the break I was able to spend with them, for present & encouraging friends (even when I choose to not share with them lol). I know that there's probably just as many people that don't exercise prayer/believe in God as there are that do. That doesn't matter to me, but I am someone who greatly needs and appreciates prayer and how God moves in my life. I don't claim to be blessed lightly & I am, that. Very much. The support I've received from before medical school and through medical school up to this point has many sources, many faces, many faiths, many stories... & all have played a role in pulling me out of the lows that left me confused or helpless.
School is hard on the mind, body, and soul... some days more than others. But to stumble, is not to fail. To stumble is not to even foreshadow failure. To stumble along the way to a significant, purposeful, truly desired goal is to be better prepared for it. I'm quite thankful for all the things that have helped to restore my spirit coming back into school from break, and I can now begin to say I am thankful for the the hardship that has inspired change & a greater "readiness" for what lies ahead. And let me just say, that is a process. You won't see value in past or present struggles every moment of everyday. I see it now, but I may not tomorrow despite my feeling better and on top of things. "Why me" will creep in here and there, as will confusion or another mishap even... but there will be times, where it is very clear, that you have changed for the better and that you are excelling in one moment or experience because you didn't in another.
And that is something to recognize & be thankful for.
The Third Voice