08:36 PM, Despondent

I don’t have the energy to write, to put the jumble of thoughts in my mind into words that make sense.

The scissors didn’t slip and cut my hand and I didn’t feel disappointed at the lack of the expected tinge of pain and blood; what scared me is the realization that there are times this occurrence has caused disappointment.

I’m sleeping more than 10 hrs/day and still wake up feeling tired and sleep-walk through my day.

Food doesn’t excite me, not even the thought of a well-made chicken steak with a side of mashed potatoes and steamed veggies in my favorite pub.

My work tires me out, unless it’s such that there’s no time in between my patients to actually remember myself; forgetting myself feels better than the other way around.

Not much interests me. Half-read novels, empty-other-than-the-title-slide presentations, piles of unpressed clothes line my week and as time goes on, they become further causes of stress.

My whiskey is beside me and my coke; but, I’m lacking the energy to make myself a peg and so, the dust collects- until the next Saturday night, until the next monthly holiday; until the next reason to down it with the unreasonable lump in my throat.

My life is, if I start ticking off boxes, pretty good. Things in their places and others will eventually fall into theirs. I have no reason to feel this way. That scares me too.  

Medication, as I would know, has side effects I’m not particularly fond of. I’ve worked hard for the weight I’ve lost and I’ve just started enjoying looking at myself in the mirror again. I’m already sleeping enough for two of me. I’m fucking up answers to simple questions and memory is slipping my mind.

But, my mind keeps going there…the knowledge available at my fingertips- how can I use it to better myself? How can I abuse it to feel better about myself?

I don’t miss the paradox there; searching for answers for a mind going wonky, using the mind going wonky is not ideal. But, I’m sleepy again and don’t have the energy to look beyond the wonky and meet the obvious.

So, the plan for tonight?

Maybe I’ll be able to convince my homunculus to lift a hand and pour myself a drink.

Maybe I’ll cry when I finish writing this- partly happy tears that I was able to write at all.

Maybe I’ll fall asleep to a rousing Ted talk about dreaming your dreams.

Or maybe I’ll just stare at the screen in my hand for a few more hours, until my eyelids grow heavy and drop, of their own volition, so I won’t have to make the effort of closing them myself.

And maybe…when I open them tomorrow, it’ll be to a better day?

Maybe…

*END*

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09:32 PM, A Random Note To A Best Friend

There are always those people who’re the floats in your life.

You’re mine.

When life seems like it’s bent upon pushing me down and drowning me, I desperately clutch at you, hang on to you for dear life. Because I know you’ll let me. Because I know you care. Because I know I matter in your life.

As of today.

Soon, a time will come when you’ll be gone too. You’ll get married, you’ll have a husband, kids, an entire family that doesn’t involve me; that is more important than me.

I know that time will be upon us soon.

Until then, accept these random messages I send you, the miss you’s and love you’s and the forever and ever’s. Until that moment comes, let me cling on to you when life throws me to the waves. Until that fateful time when I’ll lose you, let me cherish every moment I get to be important to you.

Until then, my friend, I love you; I miss you; and I expect you to answer my call.

 

*END*

08:39 AM, Me and My Blank Sheet of Paper

Sometimes I stare at a blank sheet of paper like I’m waiting for it to tell me something; as if it’s holding secrets and if I look at it long enough and hard enough, it’ll give up those secrets.

Sometimes, it does. Most of the times, I appreciate the potential that it holds and then, close the window. Or book.

The thing is, usually when I do this, rather than looking for something to write about, it’s because I’m being overwhelmed by the thoughts inside my head. There are so many of them, running around, hopping and jumping about, pulling things out of their places, turning everything upside down; and I don’t know how to stop them. So, I stare at this blank sheet of paper and wait for clarity; if not complete clarity, then at least some, so I can put things into order again and make sense of it all.

Imagine yourself knitting with the cat playing around your chair, and before you know it, your wool’s all tangled up and your cat is trying to pull itself free. That’s how it is- I’m the cat and my thoughts are the wool, tangled and suffocating. When I look at the blank sheet of paper, which holds nothing but the hint of possibilities, it calms me; because here is a place that’s empty, that has no direction or correction, no right, wrong or reason, nothing but an easy placidity that I can breathe in. It calms me.

It helps me regain some order in my brain- lock up the boxes that were opened, cover up the corners exposed and forget things I’m supposed to have forgotten. In the process of setting things right, sometimes, I use that paper to write. Most of those writings never see the light of day because they’re just words put on paper as they spill out. A lot of those sentences are long, run on, end in question marks and don’t make complete sense to anyone except me. A lot of it is incomplete because I finish it in my head while something else is pushing for expulsion. It’s messy and soon, it’ll end up crumpled up in the dust bin or the recycle bin. But, it’s done its job. It’s released some of the pressure and that helps.

The times when I don’t write however, I just stare. I keep staring at that piece of paper like it’s my salvation. And it is. Because after some time, I can open a fresh sheet of paper which hasn’t yet been stained by the sight of my desperate eyes and put my thoughts down, in a way that makes sense- to me and maybe even to you.

And so, I can breathe again. I can take on the world again. I can hide my insecurities again without the tag showing. I can be perfect again.

**

2134 hrs: Sunday Night Vista

I’ve been feeling restless for the past 2 weeks. The feeling of wanting to do something, anything, other than what I usually do.

I’ve also been feeling lonely. So, I’ve been fantasising, daydreaming about having company, having a partner to rely on…for the rest of my life.

But, at that point, I gave myself a pause. Because that was not a thing I ever fantasised about.

Yes, I daydreamed about partners- about boyfriends and girlfriends…

Yes, I wondered what it’d be like to be married, to wake up to the same face every morning, to come home to the same person every night…

Yes, I fantasised a lot about the physical intimacy that comes from having such a person in your life…

But, never did I, in the least, want to get married or live with another person or share my life and everything in my life with a fellow human being.

So, when I started thinking I might actually want that- I took a step back and assessed my life, analysed my life.

I’m restless.

I’m bored.

I’m missing the passion.

That’s what I realised.

You know why I never needed another person to validate my existence before? Because I always had a purpose, a direction- something I wanted to do and something I was working towards.

Relationships and boys were always a second to that destination I was dreaming of. If they came in the way, they were ruthlessly cut off. You know those negative portrayals of career-driven women on TV? I was dangerously close to being those women.

But now, what changed?

What changed is that I don’t feel that purpose anymore. I’m floating in free waters rather than swimming against the tide and that’s the shittiest thing ever.

I was searching the other day for reasons to tell that your job is not satisfying you…

Fuck that! I should have been searching for how to tell if you’re not satisfying your job.

Because dreams and daydreams and fancy fantasies put aside, the fact remains that I was looking for my purpose in all the wrong places.

Because the direction I was working towards got difficult, I started evading and escaping and looking away.

Because I preferred daydreaming and stupid fantasies to giving my 100% and revelling in my purpose…

All I wanted, since I was very young, was to be useful- not just to the people I know, but to everyone. I wanted to repay life for giving me everything it did. Because I’ve been fortunate in the place of many others who are not.

And I didn’t exactly do anything to deserve it except be born to my parents…

The reason I wanted to become a doctor, apart from being conditioned into it by my grandfather, was because it gave me a larger perspective, a greater purpose and for all I criticize it for- because of its nobility.

So, how can I say I’m unfit for my dream profession before I give my 100%?

I know that just because I’ve had an epiphany doesn’t mean my life’s going to change the next day. But, I’m willing to work for it. I want to remind myself of these thoughts every time I want to slack off, or spend an evening in fantasy while rejecting reality.

That’s why I’m putting my haphazard, chaotic thoughts down here- in the hope that this Sunday night vista will still make sense to me come Monday morning.

Cheers! Happy Sunday!

13:27 hrs, Summer Rains

I love summer rains!

I love rain in general. But, summer rains are just the best!

They’re always a surprise. You’re melting your skin off most of the time and suddenly, you wake up one morning and the sun is away on a holiday. You walk to the hospital without shedding a drop of sweat and you congratulate yourself on finishing the ward rounds without your shirt getting too intimate with your skin. An unimaginable feat on any other summer day.

On that day, you greet your patients with a smile, listen to them with a smidgen more of patience; because in between their tales of woe and insanity, you can brighten yourself up with a peep out the window to a glance to the skies above. They are laden and grey and they spell an evening of delicious rain and a tomorrow of gorgeous humidity.

Now, I hate humidity as much as the next person, but that’s tomorrow! Today I get to spend my free time taking long walks on short roads, sipping water while hanging out in the corridor because there’s no power in the hostel and of course, anticipating the downpour that never comes.

But, if it does- oh the joy! I can dance in the rain, I can jump in the puddles, I can sing loudly because the rest of the world doesn’t encourage getting drenched in the rain and of course, I can take pictures of dripping leaves and call it art of photography.

So, summer rains are the best. They take me out of the gloom of dehydration and desiccation and give me a glimpse of tomorrow. They remind that everything, however unbearable it might be now, shall come to pass. They also show me how even in the most difficult of times, there’s a respite, a chance to recharge, an opportunity to re-energize yourself that will arise; how, out of hot shit, something of such beauty can take birth.

Summer rains give me hope. They give me glimpse of a better tomorrow so that even when the sun is overhead and attempting to peel my skin off, I can smile to myself and think: let the clouds come; one day, the clouds will come.

Here’s to everyone in the tropics. May you survive your summers and party all winter.

Cheers!

23:00 hrs, Drunk

There are days when I feel happy; very happy. There’s no particular reason why. That’s the day I go running. I’m up since 4. I cook and I clean my room- corner to corner.

Then, there are days where it’s difficult to get out of bed. I feel half-dead at 8 AM even though I slept at 9 PM last night; I feel unable to deal with a new patient and I just can’t bring myself to care.

I’m a psychiatrist. Should I diagnose myself with bipolar disorder?

I don’t think so.

I think it’s more like I’m experiencing something that most of my generation do.

The feeling of not being enough and being just enough at the same time.

It’s a battle.

We’re told in the media to accept ourselves as we are. That we are awesome any way we are. That there are different ways to define success and we’re all successful in our own way.

But, there’s the fact that we were brought up with values that contrast with these concepts.

We were brought with the concepts of hard work and equivalent gains; with early to bed and early bird getting the worm. We were matured with an unhealthy dose of competitiveness and a healthy helping of despair. We were let go of into the world while being told you are what you make of yourself and this is what you should make of yourself.

So, during the nights that I lay awake, conflicting emotions raging through my subconscious and an unexplained restlessness ravaging my conscious, I question the truth.

I wonder if it’s my hard work or natural ability that got me this far. I question if I made it by myself or if I was led here by a subtle hand. I doubt my prowess and my logic. I overthink my past, my present and my imagined future.

Is this just me?

Do you also feel this way?

I was born in ’92. Is it a curse of the generation?

Or is it just…me?

 

11:27 AM, Reading Freud

So yesterday, there was a lot of talk about my dissertation topic. Topics were thrown around, shot down and replaced. I realised, I’m so confused that I want to do a study on all of them. And on none of them.

There’s so much that goes into designing a study that I’d never given a thought to. I have no idea how we even pulled one off in college because now that I look back on it, we went about it in such a haphazard manner. My respect for my club’s secretary and for the officer in charge who was responsible for getting it published, it just went up by like 106 notches.

Anyway, my point is, morning after I was thinking about this entire process and about my investment in it. As my professor assured me yesterday, there will be avenues after my post-graduation if I do wish to go into research. I could, for all I care, immerse myself in the academia.

But then, a tug of my heartstrings reminded me that I like interacting with my patients, knowing their stories and helping them through whatever their mind was putting them through. As much as I can.

Suddenly, I felt myself falling into a quandary. What should I do post my post-graduation? What should be my next step? I could feel my heart beat spiking, my breath shortening and the droplets of sweat on my forehead. I had no plan!

And just as suddenly, that single thought calmed me down. I had no plan.

You see, I’ve always had a plan. A five year plan. A ten year plan. It was clear, it was detailed and it was fixed. In the last few years however, they all fell apart. My plan went awry the moment I lost my focus. But, the thing I learnt in the disaster that culminated afterwards was that, sometimes, it’s ok to not have such a clear-cut plan. It’s ok to make your decision when the decision has to be made. It’s ok to not know where you’ll be 3 years from now.

So, while I do chase down that ideal image of an independent woman that I see myself as five years from now, I don’t have to put down every single little detail of the wherefores and whenfores right now. Right now, I can just think about my dissertation, my next week’s seminar and the patients currently in my ward. So, that’s what I’ll do.

And what will I be doing three years from now? Well, why don’t hit me up in 2020 and we can find out.

 

Cheers.