She was so busy that even when she wanted to shut down everything and cry for a while hiding under the sheets, the phone would ring. It had no mercy. and mercilessly it dragged her out, made her pull up her sleeves and made her work, so she forgot what she was crying about. She hung on to random words of wisdom, that were out of context, she heard from patients. She grasped everything helpful so she could move on, one step in front of the other. She had become a high functioning, seemingly successful surgeon with self diagnosed dysthymia.
She had reached the lowest of the lowest rock bottom in her sense of wellbeing. Everything she ever believed in was untrue. Her sense of reality and her judgement of surroundings had been questioned to its core. She doubted her ability to understand people, and world in general. She used to be a business woman where everything is written, contracted and signed and connecting thread for workflow is mistrust. Then she became a surgeon, where relationships are sought based on trust and confidence that the person with more knowledge will not take advantage of the nativity and vulnerability of the less knowledgable about the disease or the situation.
Each rope she had held on to hoping it would somehow make her present happier and future brighter only dragged her deeper into water. She was falling apart inside. It was hard to keep her head held high and dust off her shoulders. Her only hope was to stop holding on to those ropes of desperation and learn to face the monster that was in her head. A monster that lurked in the pretense of a pleasant dream that paralyzed her rationality like sleep paralysis would do to muscles.
She woke up and realized that life is still beautiful and worth fighting for. She learned to fight back, just in time, just before she almost died in her own eyes. She walked into the real world again. As she tried to hide her scars, she decided never to confuse erudite intelligence for compassionate wisdom and sophisticated mannerisms for gentleness of heart because there is an equal probability that they could be masquerading signs of clever, manipulative, cold hearted narcissism. This was the lesson she learned as she transitioned from being a businesswoman in finances to a surgeon. She dealt with her struggles through her patients’ stories and was able to caress her wounds while sharing their pain and tears.
Her work had pulled her out of an abyss of dejection that was filled with grief, sorrow, loss, and regrets. She now has the optimism that her lost time can be gained back slowly but surely. She feels strong enough to keep her head high and dust off the shoulders. I know this is neither the end nor the beginning. But it is definitely a mile marker where she can pause and think, “I will give it a good fight”.
But I have to admit, the pain just hits her solar plexus once in a while, unannounced and her heart sinks for a second or two as she writes her journal about some medical facts that she needs to learn.