In the first week of medical school they tell you a thrilling piece of information:
The breakdown comes in March
Well, mine came this week, and it was honestly one of the most embarrassing, draining and confusing experiences in my life. Yet by the end of the week I had proven to myself and others that I could succeed through a vast range of challenges.
For the last two weeks I have been heads down in the library, working hard and pushing myself into neuroanatomy and everything that came with it. So when I got into an anatomy session on Monday and couldn’t remember the basic information I was really disheartened. I remember on of the anatomy teachers saying she didn’t know the information until this morning; and I just thought… how!?
I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I had tried so hard for the last few weeks to understand this information and I couldn’t understand what I was missing that was preventing it from clicking. Two days later and I still couldn’t do it. My ability to cope went down the hill, I was crying at the littlest thing and really struggle to find any motivation to hit the library let alone get out of bed. The only thing that was truly keeping me going was my housemate and the lectures that are not going to be recorded… it left me no choice but to get up and get going.
The breakdown due to workload in your first year of medical school is inevitable the important thing is finding what the problem is and how to get over it… and it may not always be obvious. Though I was struggling with the anatomy work, the underlying issue was really that in the last two weeks it was all I had essentially done. I had not left the house for any other reason. I had groceries delivered because i didn’t have time to go and get them and I didn’t want to waste the time on anything but medicine.
Being overworked and under stimulated socially and physically was the reason for my breakdown much more than the workload. I went rock climbing on Sunday (pre-breakdown) and I think it prevented me from ending up in a worse state. This week I have been twice, its a really social activity and really motivating when you achieve a wall you didn’t think you could do. Its something I am really glad I was encouraged into by Faith (my housemate) and having a membership and being signed off as competent has given me a really drive to do something thats not always medicine. But it doesn’t take to long to do and so It makes me feel much better about myself and I don’t get angry at myself for not working or wasting time.
Overall the week has been tough, but by Friday there was that ray of hope. Coming out of the hospital to a beautiful sunset really made me realise that there is positive in life and how the next day is a new day and tomorrow is going to be a brand new one. It really drove me to push to leave the rubbish feelings behind and push on to never feel them again.
Next week is going to be better! I am going to be back on my game.
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