You came into a broken race, King of failures took my place

(King of Failures – Remedy Drive)

 

How much I want this to be true of my career search journey. I feel sometimes like I have just failed and failed and failed and maybe it is true that I am broken and unwanted.

 

I was just at a pharmacy conference though, and there were a lot of really good moments…also some bad ones.

 

First I had to get there. Thank God that I found someone I know at the airport when it was time to make a connection. She kind of rocks…and by kind of, I mean, she is probably a big reason the majority of my experience felt so positive for most of the conference.

 

I don’t do awesome lost in the crowd of large groups of people. I am not a complete introvert, but I am also not a complete extravert. I do best in a small group with one or two other people, but if I do have to be in a larger group, doing it with a buddy if super duper helpful.

 

We were separated at the shuttle place where I thought I was going to be abducted, because some guy told me to come with him and I noticed he only approached the females. And also his van was white, but it didn’t have any candy in it…but I did make it to my hotel super late at night. That dude drove a good 30 miles over the speed limit and didn’t use his turn signal a single time.

 

But anyway…the conference.

 

I missed the first event I was going to go to, but whatev. Not the end of the world…it just gave me like 15 forevers to wait until my first session started.

 

I started with an event about life-changing medication events (with buddy). It was okay. One of the speakers I think was only there because he was a good name to have, but the other speaker was incredible…if only the other speaker had been the only speaker. Also the person who introduced the talk seemed like she had a really good story to share and I was sad that she didn’t share that story.

 

Then I went to an emergency medicine networking session. I felt a little out of place because the group I ended up in was all residents except for me and one RPD. So the entire conversation in my group ended up pretty much being about residency…the roundtable at the end was good, but not very detailed. I wish I’d sat at a different table. But I did get to have a good conversation afterwards with a resident interested in pursuing PGY-2 within the system I work in (or maybe it was a job…IDK…but anyway, she had questions and I had answers).

 

Then I went to a session about de-prescribing. If it hadn’t been focused on geriatrics, it would have been an awesome-sauce talk, but I had trouble caring because the entire thing was focused on geriatrics. It did give me a few websites that may potentially have information about other populations though so I guess I’ll have to check those out sometime and see.

 

Then I went to a session about managing emotions. It really didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, but I didn’t mind hearing it again, and I don’t think it was a poorly done talk. And I liked that they tied in that sometimes emotion can lead to a safety event, but we shouldn’t wait to address emotion concerns until a major sentinel event occurs.

 

Then I went to the new practitioners networking event. It was set up as a speed networking session and apparently that is the first time ASHP has ever sponsored speed networking. Some of the people I talked to were better to talk to than others. One was another new practitioner like me who had less than ideal communication skills like me…but the event was really good pretty much because of the first person I spoke with. She was an RPD. She actually really respects people who are going back to do residency after being in the profession. She was super positive and encouraging. It really sucked sharing about my story to where I am today, but I am so glad I did, because she was really nice and didn’t make me feel like I wasn’t good enough. Instead she made me feel like I really did have a chance.

 

The final thing I did that day was go to my school reception. At first I was kind of wondering why in the world I thought this was going to be a good idea…but oh my…I am so glad I went. A group of students invited me to talk with them, and I had forgotten how much I LOVE mentoring students. That right there pretty much made my whole day. I could have stopped right there and been satisfied. Also, I didn’t have to eat my packed dinner, because there was actually food there that was good. I was in an overwhelming social situation, so it wasn’t like I ate that much, but what I did eat was great! And I saw the wife of the president of the college who hugged me and was great to talk with. And a few people said they’d talk with me in a minute then stood me up, but I have learned that it is okay to give up and find someone else to talk to instead. I ended up talking with this girl who apparently kind of sort of works with my director of pharmacy. She was so nice! She kind of adopted me into her group for a while which was awesome.

 

Then it was time to walk the mile and a half back to my hotel. Homelessness is a lot more visible in that area than it is back home. It broke my heart seeing the people who clearly live on the streets…but there really wasn’t anything I could do. I didn’t bring any cash with me, and my food came from company provided funds, so it would have been theft from the company to give it away…but I felt so bad that there was really nothing I could do.

 

The next day I took an easy day and the first thing I went to was the opening session at 9am with Earvin Magic Johnson. He was an incredible speaker…so much better than the keynote speaker at the other midyear I attended. He had such an awesome message of hope. I was super glad I wasn’t sitting in the area he was standing, because he kept having people stand up and stuff, but it was a good message. He talked about how even if things have been going wrong and it seems like you are in a place where the only road to go down doesn’t seem to go anywhere but away from your goals, if you just keep on doing whatever YOU can do, somehow someway if you stay positive you very well might reach your goals. Sure, there is no guarantee – everyone makes mistakes and everyone fails, but if you stay positive there is hope that someday you will get what you need. So yeah. It was super good and another message that I really needed to hear. There was another session I was going to attend but instead decided to take a break and eat and check out the exhibit hall. So yeah, the exhibit hall is something someone like me gets next to nothing out of, because if I can avoid talking to anyone I will, especially in a large crowd setting like that…so I don’t collect much swag and I don’t really learn about any products or services…but I went…because that is what people do…lol…

 

At lunch I met a group of students and got to have another super awesome mentoring session. I so much miss having those kinds of experiences. Because of that I don’t even care that the food was overpriced and not very good and the restaurant couldn’t give me a receipt.

 

Then it was showcase time. I am not sure it is really appropriate to discuss my thoughts on that on my blog and I don’t feel like trying to de-identify everything…so long story short, there is one program that had starburst which made me really excited to work for them even though that is a bad reason to choose a residency. Another program I was super excited about I feel like I just had someone to talk to who wasn’t that outgoing, but as a result, I didn’t really get the warm fuzzies…that is really the problem with the showcase. The goal is to sign in for points when applicable and if not, just to gain information, but pretty much that same information is available online so what you are really getting is which program has the most extraverted staff…

 

I went to a session from there on gabapentin abuse. It was pretty good. Unlike the next session I went to about resilience and burn out. Basically the main take away of that session was burnout sucks and here is the national crisis line if you are thinking about suicide…so yeah that kinda wasn’t the greatest…

 

And then I met up with my buddy again and we rode the bus to a hotel close to downtown Disney…and then proceeded to go the exact opposite of the correct direction to get to downtown Disney. We had dinner there. That is another meal that probably won’t be covered because it was at a venue. The food wasn’t incredible, but it was okay and I was happy to spend time in togetherness. Then of course there was the 1.5 ish mile walk back home…after wandering like forever through a hotel we thought would be a shortcut.

 

In the morning I got ready as fast as humanly possible, because as it turns out, if you have a meeting you want to be at before 5:45 and have about 2 miles to go to walk there, it might be wise to actually figure out beforehand what time (in a totally different time zone) you need to set your phone alarm…’cause my hotel room had no clock and I couldn’t figure out how to reset the time on my phone. So when I figured it out I had 30 minutes to get up, showered, dressed, make up on, packed up, and out the door. I made it!

 

That first session was on eliminating IV errors. It was a pretty good session. It was basically a reminder to never give up. We are all human, but if you can make a patient’s care better then do it even if it seems like you’ve tried before and it hasn’t made a difference.

 

Then shortly after that it was showcase time. I rocked it and was ready for my next session less than 45 minutes later. It was a short session on the possibility of creating a centralized order entry model to either do the same work with less staff or to use the same amount of staffing to expand services. It sounded like a potentially okay idea, but obvi isn’t anything there is any possibility that I could implement, and honestly I don’t think I would like that model for my own career as it would feel kind of depersonalized.

 

Next up was a session on pediatric infections. ID is definitely not my favorite topic, so by extension the session wasn’t my favorite. I think it was a well done session, I just didn’t feel like I could connect to the material since I dislike ID so much.

 

And I took a lunch break and forced myself into the exhibition hall again, then headed to the next showcase. And done with that! Yay!

 

Then I went to a session on pediatric and neonatal cases. Personally I do not prefer learning via cases, so I’m not sure why I picked that session besides obvi the neonatal thing…and then it was mostly ID focused again…so it wasn’t the greatest, especially because right before the session started I checked my email. I had an email from my manager stating that he didn’t like how I worded a recent safety report. I guess after a long day that was the last straw. I was frustrated and overwhelmed and angry and just done with everything. I was holding back tears. I was mad at myself for not being good enough at communicating. And I was mad that I even bothered filling out a safety report. And I felt frustrated that clearly my manager didn’t even understand the situation that led to the safety report and didn’t understand the situation the patient had been in. I certainly over-reacted, but I was in over my head. Overtired, alone, surrounded by too many people…yeah, just not a great situation.

 

I am so thankful for my choice for my last session of the day. It was something I really really needed. It was about healing the healers. It was so good. Did I learn something? Umm, well, not about pharmacy or about resilience, but about myself. As the person was talking about the pressures on pharmacists, and pharmacy learners, I could understand that I am not alone. And they challenged everyone to write a few sentences about how mental health has impacted them and/or their practice whether their own or the health of a coworker. We were supposed to write it and then leave it behind on the table. I am not sure if it was intended to be an exercise in letting go or if they collected and read them later, because I needed to get to the bus to have some time to be alone to finally be able to calm myself so I wasn’t going to hang around after the program was order to find out. But I was bold and brave and vulnerable. I didn’t really say that much but I used my couple sentences to share that I had been told I would never make it so after failing to match I was really struggling with the grief. I don’t know why, but I know that finally being able to talk about that again, even if only on an anonymous notecard left on a table, felt really good in a way I can’t even really explain. It is almost like when I could share it made the pain I have experienced in life real, like it really happened. It isn’t like I didn’t believe it happened before, or anything…I don’t know, I guess it just felt more valid when it was shared. And it also made me realize that although the experience itself of being abused was in my past – I no longer have any contact with M – the abuse isn’t really in my past even now. It is still in my every day, the effects still impact my life. The fact that I was abused matters. It isn’t something that can just be ignored. I can’t honestly pretend it never happened and pretend everything is fine, has always been fine. It isn’t fine. It happened. And that changes everything. And it kind of explains that earlier over-reaction. Yep, I cried so hard at night about that stupid email earlier in the day that I had to get up in the middle of the night because I couldn’t breathe. That was somewhere in between the fireworks sounds keeping my brain awake like each other night, and time to get up…the last few years of school, any even tiny negative like mentioning on my blog that there was a specific type of music I didn’t like that happened to be a type of music that M liked was enough that I could be in real danger. So it makes sense that after living for years walking perilously on egg shells, that negative feedback can at times put me on red alert. It wasn’t really anger I was feeling. It was fear. Fear that I misinterpreted as anger because anger I guess seems more okay

I guess than fear. Well, I guess that and that it was coming from someone who was writing a reference letter for me. I really need that letter to be positive. What if because of that he says something that hurts me in the residency search? I so desperately want a residency this year. It feels like need. And I guess I am also afraid that I won’t get it. I am afraid that nothing I do will ever be enough and no one will ever want me, not just because that is what my experience says is true, but also because that is what I was told as a third year student. There’s that it’s in my every day again…

 

I know all that stuff about God having a plan and stuff, but I am really struggling with waiting for a residency that may or may not be coming. I guess I am kind of burnt out on waiting. I just want to be done with my job. I don’t want to be here anymore. I just want to get on with this. I don’t understand why no one wants me, and I don’t understand why God doesn’t do something to change it. I just want someone somewhere to maybe not even *want* me, but even just tolerate me. Just give me a chance.

 

So yeah. I rode the bus back to my hotel that evening. I was way too peopled out that evening to go out to find something to eat. Luckily there were some snacks available in the lobby. They weren’t great and it wasn’t the most balanced semblance of a meal, but it was something to at least be able to say I’d eaten. Then I really really wanted to swim and I had a little bit of time, but again, I was still just way too peopled out to leave my room to go swimming. Instead I sat in front of my computer, not even doing anything on the computer. Just being, staring at it. Then I got a start on packing up all my stuff.

 

In the morning, I kinda didn’t learn from the day before and still didn’t set my alarm. I had 15 minutes to get ready so I didn’t bother with make up. And then I got downstairs and realized it was raining and had to go back to my room to get an umbrella. I walked as fast as I could when I finally got back downstairs to get to the morning meeting. I really wasn’t even that interested in the topic. I just wanted to get the most out of the conference and that was the only morning meeting that I felt confident I could attend and still manage to get to the airport in plenty of time. It wasn’t the greatest talk ever, but if it were a topic I were more interested in, it may have been better. Afterwards, I rode the bus back to my hotel and had a wonderful conversation with the bus driver since I was the only person on the bus for the majority of the ride. Side note that I don’t understand why the hotel literally across the street from the convention center gets bus service for at least a good portion of the day, but at 1.7 miles away I couldn’t get a bus until 6:30 or later which is not early enough to arrive to a 5:45 meeting…so yeah, I got to the hotel, shoved my brush in my bag, grabbed my bags, and checked out of the hotel. That was when the stress went sky high. The plan was check out, schedule shuttle, eat enough breakfast to get through a flight that doesn’t land until almost 3pm, then board shuttle and head to airport. In reality, I tried to schedule a shuttle and the website wouldn’t load enough on my phone to tell me what number to call. So I got out my laptop. All I could get from Super Shuttle was an automated message that they were not accepting reservations for today, please try again with an alternative flight time…umm, yeah, pretty sure flight times don’t work like that. I tried Karmel shuttle service and the response was that the earliest they could get me to the airport was noon. Not helpful for a flight that leaves at 11:40. So I did what I had vowed never to do and called the number the guy left me who drove me to the hotel when I arrived. And there was no answer. I tried super shuttle again hoping there was some flaw in the system somehow. Nope. I was pretty panicked at this point and called my dad who suggested I try downloading the Lyft app. So I tried. At this point, I had been trying to get a ride for 40 minutes and the time I wanted to leave by was rapidly approaching. While I was waiting for the Lyft app I got a call from someone. At the time I thought it was the shuttle I had ridden to the hotel that I had called and gotten no response. In any case, the person asked if I needed a ride to the airport and when I said yes, said that he would call me back in a few minutes but was pretty sure his driver could pick me up. While I was waiting I kept working on the Lyft app. About the time I got a call back, I was discovering the the Lyft app wasn’t letting me create an account. Luckily the response was to be ready in 10-15 minutes. However I found out that this was not the same shuttle service I had called and I have absolutely no idea how this service got my number – but I guess it is fine because 20 minutes later a shuttle arrived and it wasn’t excessively expensive and it finally got me to the airport safely. At that point I was just thrilled to finally be getting to the airport. So yeah…a lot of other things have gone on since then, but I was only going to write about the conference and have already gone on a million rabbit trails that have nothing to do with the conference…

 

Just one more thing…I am turning into the person that terrified me as a young college student…I have become the person that asks random strangers in the airport how they are doing or if they are headed home or out of town…I hate that I am doing it, but at the same time I am thrilled, because it means I am doing some really good social learning. I am figuring out the concept of awkward silence, and I am learning how to ask non-invasive questions and hold a conversation with a stranger. It is really awesome. Finally instead of being terrified of a hello or how are you being pointed in my direction, I am not just prepared, but the one initiating contact. People DO get better. I CAN learn. I am not hopeless.

 

This was all written yesterday, most of it in the airport while feeling kinda dizzy, because guess who packed iron supplements “somewhere” but not somewhere she’d actually remember them at all during the week…so if it seems kinda crazy or all over the place or totally lost, probably that matches the chaos that was in my brain while I was typing…lol…

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Come and See What God Has Done

(Noel – Lauren Daigle)

So yesterday I figured I should try to figure out what the weather is going to be at midyear, because I figured California is probably hot and sunny, but it is December…so I googled weather in California…because how else was I going to find out? I’m a kid who grew up with Type to Learn as part of the elementary school curriculum…although I didn’t really learn to type correctly until probably late high school or early college, because they let us start from where we left off from one lesson to the next throughout the year, but at the end of every school year all that progress was wiped away and we had to start back at a a a a aa aa aa aa…et cetera again…and to combat that my parents tried buying a typing game, but I just wasn’t that interested…and hey tried buying the home version of Type to Learn (way back when stuff like that was pretty spendy…thank you and sorry mom and dad) but the home version wouldn’t let you skip levels, and I got frustrated and quit…Yep, I am the girl my mom thought wouldn’t read – until she realized I was just bored out of my mind learning and shut down when she found me with a book a couple levels up from the nice sequential books in the Sing Spell Read and Write series…lol, as opposed to my brother who could read the books if he *wanted* to, but if told he could stop in a certain amount of time had no reservations about stopping even in the middle of a word.

 

So anyway, back to googling California’s weather, I learned two things. First, California is a big place with a wide range of weathers so I need to be a little more specific, and second, there is fire in California still? again? Not sure, but pretty sure I heard something about fire like a year ago…and, umm, my internet crashed and I lost all but the first real paragraph of this post and the first sentence of this paragraph and I was super annoyed that I now have to retype what I wanted to share, because  I had a really good story to share…

 

So in terms of weather, it would be a solid 70ish the entire week, but because of the smoke cover, the temp will dip down to about 50 some mornings and evenings…and the air quality is okay right now, but expected to worsen and be at least in the yellow zone within the next week…problem solved, wear short sleeves as much as possible but be prepared for not constant sun…but then I got to thinking that perhaps the fires might be a problem so I better look up where the fires are. There are currently two main areas. Neither seems to be burning in the zipcode of the airport nor the zipcode of the conference at the moment and Disneyland doesn’t have any announcements on their home page so theoretically they are not expecting the fire to come their way soon, because if California Disney is anything like Florida Disney, it would be virtually impossible to evacuate and Disney would get insanely negative press for “doing nothing” when in reality nothing was all they could do in that situation, so I assume that if there was much of a margin of possibility that park would be notifying people to stay away…but the conference is a week and a half-ish away, so there is a lot of time for things to change…And so I learned that the fire area closest to the conference is supposedly like 90% or so contained and expected to be fully contained by the end of the month, though it might not yet be out in that time. The other is only about 50% contained and only time will tell what will happen, but it seems like on the map anyway that it is plenty far enough away that it probably won’t spread…anyway, my need to know personality, well, needed to know if there were any hospitals in the fire’s wake. There apparently was at least one hospital, but the story I found when I searched “California fire hospital” wasn’t about the hospital, but about a home. A home in a neighborhood in Paradise. (Lol, just a little ironic that a place called Paradise is the host to this story). Anyway, this home was vacated by its owners without even packing because they knew if they didn’t get out right then and there they might not get out alive.

 

But then this home became a beacon of hope. An ambulance transporting patients from a hospital at risk broke down and began to melt. It was blocking the road so the other vehicles transporting patients away from danger were now trapped in the city without time to get to a safe way out. They turned around and got to the home that had been vacated earlier in the day. It was locked, but a paramedic was able to climb in through a doggie door and open the garage to get people inside quickly to shelter in place…and if it was a tornado they’d probably have been kissing their butts goodbye like they teach you in elementary school (that and be quiet so the tornado doesn’t hear you and come for you)…God orchestrated the fire chief to be the driver of one of the cars trapped on that road behind the ambulance and the fire chief knew what to do. He had medical personnel save lives by clearing leaves and pine needles from around the house and dousing it with as much water as they could. Because of their efforts to save their patients, that home was the only one on the block that was not burnt down…and because the house was not burnt down, those patients all were able to make it to safety once the fire was out around them. How incredible is that?!

 

I also saw a few seconds of a video clip before my computer decided I should get back to doing something more productive of how they are searching for the missing people, of which there are thousands, although the missing persons data isn’t very good and they are realizing large numbers of people were added to the list who were never missing in the first place…but anyway, it is heartbreaking. They are not really looking for people (dead or alive) so much as they are doing cursory once overs of remains of buildings and cars to enable them to allow people outside of these teams back into the areas without the first thing they see being a charred human body…and in some cases are using survivors to tell them which areas can for sure be skipped because they know people evacuated…although that makes me nervous because of the story above…who is to say there weren’t new inhabitants seeking shelter after the area was previously evacuated?

 

So yeah…that happened…

 

I am going to wait and post this tomorrow after I can get a picture added here, because I just thought of something else that totally shows how I am somewhere in between a tech adopter and a tech native…

(Imagine a picture here, because my phone didn’t want to cooperate).

Yep, I couldn’t find a pen and paper when I needed to write down some directions and I was getting frustrated because I meant to leave like at least 10 minutes ago and I couldn’t seem to just memorize the directions because there were too many and I was already a little bit stressed because I was going somewhere that didn’t seem to have a menu online and I honestly very close to never go to any restaurant without having studied the menu beforehand to determine exactly what I am getting…sure, I may still play the “deciding” game and flip pages or look around like I am deciding, but 99% of the time that is a mimicking behavior to make my social coping mechanism fit in rather than me *actually* considering alternatives…so anyway, the realization came to me that I could do this with high-tech directions…so I took a picture of the google maps directions on my computer screen with my cell phone…yep, I do have the maps app installed and have a GPS enabled phone…but when I need directions somewhere, my instinct isn’t (and obviously wasn’t) let me put that in my phone, but rather let me write that down…and well, taking a picture instead of writing it seemed perfectly logical to me…would have been even better if it had occurred to me that even though I had a picture of my computer screen that didn’t mean I could see the other open tab that had directions back home…luckily that I was able to do by driving until things looked at least vaguely familiar then hope things hadn’t changed *too* much from what I kind sorta remembered being there…I worked though…so there’s that.

The darkest of doubt he could not avoid

(When Jesus was a boy – Michael Card)

 

Since I can never know who is reading and who on the wordpress might know me in the real world I feel like I have to be at least kind of cautious at times like this when a lot is up in the air with my career…but I need to write…

 

So I love watching Disney parodies. This one is like 5 years old and I just re-discovered it and it isn’t one of my favorites, but I really feel like a lot of it is relevant to me…

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTaIWU6xCmI

 

Feeling like I did everything right and just so desperately wanting to get a residency…I was the girl who’s resume had “everything.” People raved about my references (speaking of references…that is a problem this year to meet all the requirements…much less have great ones). So yeah, I get the line in this song “but who cares? No big deal. They want more!” The “will it make me look special?” with a shaking head…the “I’d pay anything.” It seems sometimes like trying harder is pointless and just a way to be more disappointed and disheartened…I would give almost anything to have a residency. I’d honestly even do it for no pay in New York City if that is what it was going to take…but no one can tell me why I am not good enough and I feel frustrated. I’m not cautiously optimistic; I’m nearly hopeless and defeated.

 

…and I was never really bitter about people who did get residencies, but I do get how frustrating it was when everyone else was so thrilled and couldn’t talk about anything else except how great it is that they got their residency and how they deserved it and God is so good because of this and stuff…while I just got a better luck next time…and then failed again the next time…and the time after that…I just feel so frustrated sometimes…like late Friday night when I discovered that one of the programs I was super excited about and felt good about doesn’t seem to participate in the showcase and maybe I was supposed to already have signed up for an interview with them by now…and remembering that it is fair game for places to ask for a 30 minute presentation…which I need to figure out how to have something ready since I am not really in a position to have anything like that ready now that I am not a student and not only don’t generally write presentations, have mentors, or have permission to just dig in to everything about a patient beyond what is needed to do my job…

 

I understand the feeling that everyone has what I don’t and am so thankful for the people who have been my “it’s okay” people…

 

The last song…umm…yeah…I’ve got nothing except maybe just I wish pharmacy school were more like that collaborative feel the people in the video have than the competition feel we had at my school. Even the teachers were involved in no student gets ahead…I am still upset about things like the time a project due Monday morning we had an entire week to do and which I had spent innumerable hours working on and perfecting was cancelled Sunday afternoon because a few students had something going on Saturday and didn’t have time to work on it…umm, it is called time management. You had an entire week. I would *maybe* understand a one day extension on the project, but not just cancelling it…or the quizzes and exams people knew about since the first week of the semester suddenly being unfair timing a few days before they occurred and teachers agreeing to change them, thus screwing over the people who actually planned for the exam to take place the day and time the teachers originally scheduled it to take place…or intentionally creating groups forcing the students who care about their grades to be pulled down by being paired with students who couldn’t care less…there were definitely a lot of teachers and administrators who totally did want to do the right thing and did want to help everyone reach their potential, but my experience was colored heavily by those who didn’t. I know that isn’t really fair and I know people make mistakes, but it is hard sometimes when those mistakes (or in some cases intentionalities) have hugely negative consequences for my life. I want to see the good in everyone and everything, but there are times that is challenging.

 

So yeah…there is a very vague update on the land of wiggle worm…if you want to watch a really awesome parody, search for “will you help me hide a body” on youtube…and be prepared to laugh 🙂

 

The end.

We’re on Fire

(Survivors – The Afters)

I apologize in advance. This posted turned very negative…but even though I wear my happy carefree mask most of the time, I don’t believe in pretending pain doesn’t exist…

Sometimes it feels like everything is falling into place yet the entire world is spinning out of control…in so many ways…

 

I don’t know where to start, but I’m a healthcare professional so maybe it’d be best to start somewhere around there. I found out Saturday that my hemoglobin is 11.4g/dL. Hemoglobin is something in the blood that carries oxygen around the body. Normal is at least 12g/dL. Low levels are most often due to low iron. Low iron can cause tiredness – which is obviously also potentially related to stress and shift work, but let’s be honest. I’ve been on day shift for at least an entire week. Yes, there was the time change, but I’ve been in bad at least 9 hours every night (more than usual) and still exhausted by the end of the day. Even tired in the morning when I am usually doing awesome despite sleeplessness. I don’t wanna get up in the morning a lot of days. Sure, also a problem when I was so deeply grieving because getting up means facing another day, but this time it doesn’t seem like that should be the problem. But maybe it is just because my body is struggling to get enough oxygen…Low hemoglobin can cause shortness of breath. I thought I was just a little dehydrated and out of shape, but on Friday I had Gatorade in my lunch and after lunch just walking back up the stairs after lunch I was breathing hard and my heart was pumping. That shouldn’t happen. Headaches, check, heart going faster than usual, check, losing more hair than usual, check. Feeling squirmy and skin feeling uncomfortable – yes, I have for as long as I can remember had some sensory issues, but lately it has been different. All day I crave feeling pressure against my body and my skin just feels like it is crawling. Cold hands and feet – check. Difficulty concentrating – like always…And feelings of anxiety and depression. Those last two are what I am really thinking on. Yes, those symptoms could so easily be attributed to the residency search and stuff, but what if they aren’t? What if they are the results of low hemoglobin? What if a change is all it could take?

 

I looked at a list of foods that contain iron and how much iron…and realized I am not getting enough iron and it would take a big change to get enough through diet. I know getting it through diet is best, but I also know that there is enough going on in my life right now that making such a big change is probably too much. I realized I get a lot of my calories in a week from sugar. I don’t eat much in the way of fortified foods – most of my bread is homemade. I don’t eat much cereal instead eating oatmeal, but even then it is at least half flour. I kind of have regressed into my old self. Peas, apples, peanut butter, a little chicken, some canned beans…I’d rather have a bowl of berries than a hunk of meat. I’d rather have a bunch of candy and cookies and ice cream than most any other foods. I feel like that definitely is something that should change…but I also feel like this isn’t the right time. So I’m caught in the do I go buy some iron or do I just forget about it…and do I plan on long term treatment or trying to treat it fast then let it go…or just do nothing…I don’t even know…

 

So there is that.

 

And then there is work. To be honest, it is still going to be really hard to leave, but at the same time I can’t wait to get out. On Thursday I asked my manager to be one of my references. He did agree, but also said my shirt was inappropriate and I needed to do better. I was embarrassed and angry. My manager did admit that I was technically within the dress code…and that makes it more confusing. I am not someone who knows how to read between the lines. I don’t understand how I can follow all the rules and break them at the same time. And I don’t understand why I would be confronted when so many of my coworkers wear sweatshirts that are definitely against dress code and unprofessional. I don’t know what to do. I have no idea what was wrong with it. I have bought so many clothes recently, but now I feel like I have nothing to wear. I picked that shirt out with my parents. They are a little less conservative than me, but as ultra conservative as I am, even they are pretty conservative. I know they wouldn’t help pick out a shirt for me that was even questionably appropriate. I don’t know what to do. I have no idea what the complaint was. Tank top? Blue? Grey? Slightly form fitting? Soft fabric? The only thing I can think of is to not wear anything in any of those categories…all well and good until you realize that leaves me two three quarter length sleeve shirts, 1 dress, and maybe three other tops. If I even get a residency, I still have 7 and a half months left. 6 ways to cover my top for 7 and a half months is a lot of laundry and a lot of frustration. I know that it would look bad to have been here a year and a half and not have a reference from anyone who has even seen me since a month or so after graduation…but at the same time I just want to take it back somehow. As if not getting a reference would make the outfit conversation go away. I know cognitively it wouldn’t, but at the heart level the hot teras running down my cheeks right now say they happened in the same conversation so they are linked.

 

And what if the reason I only got one interview last year out of fur applications isn’t the whole non-traditional applicant thing, but actually because of that reference from my manager. If that why I keep getting assigned dead end projects where no one cares what my recommendation is?

 

I don’t know why my current institution wanted me when no one else did. Maybe they were just that desperate for a warm body. Clearly there was some disconnect since they didn’t want me for the residency position. What if Michelle was right and no one will ever want me as a pharmacist. Maybe I should give up. But by the time I hear about residency this year it will be too late. I won’t be able anymore to apply to schools to start over. Maybe it is time to let go of my childhood dream and realize I am not the little shy girl anymore. I don’t know how it would work, but I feel like maybe I need to find a way if I can’t get a residency to start working towards a degree in social work or counseling. I always have cared about people and even though I didn’t like that label, people always have said that listening was one of my strengths. Now that I write this, I feel like maybe this is the only little spark of hope I have left.

 

I don’t even have references yet for this year. I asked some people, but I only have two yeses. My manager and the person who describes herself as my neighbor who let me shadow her all those years ago as an elementary school kid. It is a requirement that I have at least one clinical preceptor as a reference…I’ve asked one and no response yet. And I feel like I need someone from school and I’ve asked and no response…I know people get busy or go on vacations and no response even in almost a week doesn’t really necessarily mean no…but after having so many doors slammed in my face, it is hard not to see it that way. It feels like abandonment…and I get it. I am kinda needy wanting a reference for the same position three years in a row. And would you really want to be connected to such a loser? And how long do I wait before I decide that no answer means no and start asking more people?

 

I am afraid I am going to go to all this work and all this expense this year to try again for a residency and end up still stuck in the same place. I feel trapped.

 

Can I be really honest for a second without anyone freaking out? There is a song that has been playing in my head recently. “I don’t wanna be alive. I don’t wanna be alive. I just wanna die today. I don’t wanna be alive…I don’t wanna cry anymore. I just wanna feel alive and I don’t even wanna die anymore” This song plays a lot on the radio at work and I promise I am not considering ending my life, but I so agree right now that I don’t wanna be alive…I just wanna *feel* alive

 

Today should have been a great day…but I finally dragged myself out of bed and got to church running a little late but not like actually late, just not early like I usually am. I went to the nursery and this beautiful young girl who usually stays in service was in the nursery with some of the youth group kids…but as the service was starting one of her parents came and asked who the adult was in the nursery and one of the girls answered for me identifying me as the adult. Shortly after that one of the girls picked up the cutie and left to go to service and when another girl questioned why she wasn’t staying, the answer was that staying depended on who was in the nursery. I felt like I wasn’t being trusted and I don’t know why. The day was redeemed after that when I got to hold an infant only a few days old for a while. Infants as close to birth as possible are my very favorite. It felt really good until it was time to give the baby back so his parents could go home. Then I went home and the pancakes I was going to eat for lunch I left the box in the fridge instead of the freezer for too long and they started growing blue and white mold over the weekend while I went out of town…and my orange flavored toothpaste last night tasted like it had gone bad and it just feels like everything is falling apart. And on facebook someone announced their cancer is no longer in remission and is now worse than it even was following her initial diagnosis…and someone else is struggling trying to figure out why her body has been rejecting food for months…and someone I know in “real life” has a family member with cancer and another family member with an accident that has caused her to be the caregiver for both of them, people’s marriages have been dissolving…and I guess I feel also like my problems are so small compared to that yet I can’t seem to get a grip on myself. Like seriously girl? You cried yourself to sleep a few nights ago over a comment about your clothers? And you’re crying now over the residency you haven’t gotten when you do at least have some type of job and your health?

 

On the positive side, I think I have finally figured out how to get my transcript ordered both where to send a check to get an official transcript and the necessary PhORCAS form to be connected to my application and where to enter my credit card information to get an unofficial transcript sent to myself so I can find out what my GPA actually is. One step at a time.

 

I wish someone would just tell me why no one wants me. What is so bad about me that no one will even give me a chance? I know at this point the very biggest strike against me is that I am not coming straight from school…but even when I was, I got almost as many interviews as I put in applications and was told how awesome I was and was then rejected. I don’t get it. I’m tired of being brave every day while no one else is brave enough to give me any reason why no one wants me.

 

For a long time I’ve been playing with the idea of chopping my hair (not myself, ’cause I can’t see the back of my head and cutting as much hair off as I want will require seeing the back of my head). I don’t even know why. I mean, it would be kinda nice to not constantly get my hair tangled in my nametag or my jacket zipper, but that isn’t a good reason to cut it off. I’ve been growing my hair out since third grade because in I think it was second grade I got a short haircut and I think it made me look ugly…so I have no idea how the idea of short hair came into my mind…the only thing I can think of is that because I don’t like how my life is turning out maybe somehow subconsciously I thought if I cut the hair off I would be a totally different person…that sounds kinda dumb, but that’s all I’ve got. I know it isn’t smart to make a big decision like that when your emotions are high, but I also know it would be best if my hair was similar for midyear as it will hopefully be for interviews if anyone even wants to interview me to spark their memory that they have seen this person before at midyear…so I am running out of time…and I mean, it is only hair that will eventually grow back…and I am not a second grader anymore.

 

I feel a lot right now like I did in high school, like I am looking in on a world I want to be a part of, but am separated by a big glass wall keeping me just a spectator. Alone. My best friend is incredible and I am so honored she takes the time out of her busy life to spend time with me and make me feel valued, but she has her own life and I have mine so obviously I can’t just tag along and be with her 24/7 so eventually our time ends and I have to go home…and right now home is a long way away. I have connections at home too, but I haven’t known anyone here longer than a year and a half and it just isn’t the same…and I don’t really fit in anywhere. I am young but I am single, not married. I help with youth group, but I am not outgoing. I go to worship team practice but am not bold enough to actually ask to be on the list so I know when they meet so it is all a game of wandering around the mall every week hoping I’ve picked the right day and time…and I try to be involved with a small group and other things with church, but my work schedule has me missing so much that it is hard to really be involved anywhere…the last time I made it to small group was August…I feel like you can’t really know or be known by people when you go months without showing up. I feel like I am never going to have the connections it feels like everyone else has.

 

While I was copying this post from word into wordpress, Almost Seventeen by Stephanie Pauline came on spotify. Stephanie is incredible. Let’s be honest…she is one of the people I met one day and somehow eventually became facebook friends with in high school…and considering how much facebook was my sanctuary and only included la crème de la crème, you should understand how much of an honor it is for anyone to have been included…and how amazing Stephanie must be if she made the cut after only meeting in person once. Not only is she an incredible person, but she is also an incredible singer/songwriter. These words describe spring 2017 and kinda beyond “it looked just like any other day. The sky was blue and the clouds were gray…and I raged like a hurricane. I buckled like a house of cards. I crumbled like the tower of Babel. I couldn’t stop my bleeding heart. I tried so hard you know what I mean to make some sense of this crazy scene, but I was like an ocean abound. I was bound to break…maybe I’ve failed and let them all down, but I’d rather be real not another clown. Painting on a smile like it covers our need? No thank you, I’d rather bleed.”

I find peace makes me whole…if you want it come and get it for cryin’ out loud

(I love your presence – Bethel Music)

 

So someone with a lot more foresight than me would have saved a copy of their transcript…or at least their GPA after graduation prior to losing access to it. Yes, in my defense I was grieving and barely getting through life, but still, when I don’t even know what my GPA was and have one guess on my application and another guess on my CV, that is a problem…it is also a problem that I can’t figure out how to get a new PhorCAS transcript request form so that I can have a transcript that shows that I actually legitimately graduated…and obvi once I finally get that figured out I still have to figure out how to transport said form with a college transcript request to my school, or rather the third party they have decided to use now for transcripts…I am so overwhelmed…

 

I guess it kind of makes sense I wouldn’t remember my exact GPA…not because of how everyone said that in a few years it wouldn’t matter to me – it does – but because I do still think of a GPA as a dichotomous outcome. Either it is a 4.0 or it is not. Mine was not so I had no reason to care what the actual number was. I still feel frustrated about my GPA. I really feel that I could have had a 4.0 GPA under other circumstances. I know that number doesn’t define me, and I know that once I finish residencies and am back in a real job the chances of anyone caring what my GPA was are somewhat slim, but it still bugs me.

 

I guess maybe I should remember that a GPA is not an indicator of learning. I do not think it was really my knowledge or ability to learn that kept me from the grades I wanted. And that is okay…no one needs me to justify why my grades weren’t the best.

 

Another thing I am getting better at is letting people disagree with me, even disrespectfully, without continuing to argue my point, but also without just letting myself become everyone’s doormat. There was recently a Medscape article that I was bold enough to comment on and I was very confident in my opinion. My comment receives two sub-comments. The first was someone saying he wasn’t sure what his opinion was. His lawyer friends would love to use my words, but he isn’t sure he agrees. That I felt was a kind and respectful comment. The other comment was blasting me telling me how wrong and stupid I was and how I was probably corrupt and stuff and it really isn’t unsafe like I suggested it is to re-sell potentially adulterated drugs – that concept is just the lawmakers getting in the way. So yeah, I wanted to be like “you sir, are an idiot,” but in reality all I did was ignore it and move on with my day. By the way, be careful of any drug pricing offer that appears too good to be true…there is at least one state that is now allowing some sketchy stuff in the name of cost-saving. I don’t think cost-saving is appropriate when it comes at the expense of safety.

 

Another thing I learned recently I learned I think it was on youtube (so obvi like the most reliable source ever, right?). I learned that in adults, five years post-trauma, the amygdala (the brain structure responsible for emotions and the fight/flight/freeze response) remains over-reactive and it is unclear from studies that have been performed to date when if ever it goes back to baseline. I’m not sure whether the reactivity of the amygdala is similar in childhood and adolescence, but even if we say maybe since at that time the brain is growing so rapidly that it is capped at exactly 5 years, that means I have been in a state of consistent over-reactivity for a long time. I guess no kidding I have had some issues with anxiety. Right now it has been less than 5 years since I failed to match the first time. That was less than 5 years from the beginning of counseling relationship with my abuser (though arguably she had already started trying to hurt me before we were in an official counseling relationship). And that was about 5 years from the day my family went to the “new church” for the first time. I can’t pretend everything was daisies and roses prior to that point, but I have to admit that I became like a totally different person that day in 2008…

 

I feel like this year I really *need* to get a residency. At this point I am far enough out from school that it is already going to be hard to get anyone to seriously consider me, and that is one reason why I really need to get it. The other is that three years of experience is what qualifies you to skip PGY-1 and jump directly into PGY-2. Besides the not having been in school thing already a hurdle in my path, I don’t feel like I even want to skip PGY-1 and just go for a PGY-2. I honestly can’t put into words why, I just have this gut feeling that I don’t wanna. That three year thing is the other problem. I’ll be just shy of that three year mark next year. That means I don’t quite qualify for a PGY-2 but have (even more than this year) explaining to do about why in the world I am still trying to get a PGY-1. And, I mean, at what point does a girl just give up and recognize maybe she can’t have residency and needs to be satisfied in something else? So yeah, it feels like this is my last chance.

 

Oooh…I hate that phrase “last chance.” It is scary in and of itself, but it also somehow just now brought up the memory Summer/Fall 2014 when I got a page that said “last chance” near the top. That was the paper that limited my life…although I would later learn in law class that it was most likely not actually a valid contract, I guess even after learning that I instinctually knew that no matter how much it hurt me, it was going to hurt more to get caught in the middle of another battle of wills with M if I ever tried to just go about normal life…so yeah…that phrase last chance is a reminder of being left out. It is a reminder of being forbidden from seeking support…it is not really a good thing…it was a very disrespectful document as well. They couldn’t even be bothered to look up my graduation year…or to ask my preferred name. I do not go by my last name. Ever. (And I mean, when you have a somewhat common last name you probably shouldn’t go by your last name)…but you know what, dwelling on the past isn’t going to change it so I am going to just end the post here and move on with my life. I am sorry for little Wiggle Worm having to go through so much crap, but I can’t take it away.

Even when my enemies here

(All I Need – JJ Heller)

 

So this is going to basically be a random compilation of things because my brain is spinning with a million thought swimming around.

 

First, watch this video…

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnzz-eFmKaw

 

OMG, this video (Rhett and Link’s OCD Song) is hilarious. I really needed something to make me smile today because today the application for PhorCAS opened and I got started and oh man is it an emotional rollercoaster doing that again…mostly just the downhill part…so yeah, this video made me laugh really hard, especially at the strawberry with the seeds removed and the “fixed” bubble tape roll, and that was such a needed escape.

 

Also, the sky this morning was really pretty on the left side of the sky.

 

Yesterday I determined that I am no good at flute. I took out the book that was my favorite in middle school and possibly the reason I wanted to play bass flute…and I wasn’t very good. On the fourth part of the book I gave up part way through and skipped to the next part because I got frustrated and it wasn’t fun anymore because I was doing so bad. I can only remember the fingerings up to like b and the song goes up to I think d…and there are parts of music theory I don’t remember so there were parts where I saw a bunch of symbols and was like nope. No idea what that means. I felt like maybe I should give up on making music…but then I realized that I’d probably played flute for cumulative like 1 hour over the past 7 years and even when I was in high school I really only played in band and in lessons…if I practiced at all, the majority of my practice I substituted bass flute or maybe piccolo and figured most of what people wanted from me was rhythm so it didn’t really matter what instrument I practiced on, and any musical fun time was most likely going to be bass flute…And bass flute I only played during the school year in high school until a few months ago when I bought one…and I still don’t even play every single week and mostly just play by ear…so I didn’t give up. I just decided that maybe as an adult I didn’t need to be as good as I used to be and even if I am not anywhere close to as good as I was in middle school as long as I am having fun. That is what really counts.

 

I realized recently that my email problem right now is really a remnant of everything that happened at the end of sixth year. I was struggling to get any food and water into my body and I was barely sleeping, so clearly checking (and responding and otherwise keeping up with) email was not a super high priority. And I mean, I didn’t even want to be alive, so I mean, why should email be a priority when maybe tomorrow I wouldn’t be there anymore and the emails wouldn’t matter one way or the other? I think part of my problem now is that I got so far behind that it seemed pretty hopeless, especially since it was months before I was anywhere close to doing anything more than just surviving. I don’t know if I am ever going to really catch up. It is frustrating because I used to be so on top of things. Grief changes life forever.

 

Sometimes it seems like I have made no progress ever, but then I realize that oh have I ever made progress. Yesterday I brought a bottle of hand sanitizer to church. I didn’t bring it as a safety plan or because I was anxious to not have it with me. I just felt like bringing it so I did. And I didn’t even actually use it even though I was eating while I was there. And today at work someone went home sick and I still only used 1 wipe to clean 1 of the computers I was using. I used to need at least 2 wipes for my computer and wanted to wipe every computer I used not just the one I was going to leave my stuff beside.

 

Even written words can escape me sometimes. There are still a lot of thoughts spinning in my head, but I don’t even have the words available to write about it. but I didn’t cry when I started my application and maybe it is just ’cause of how dehydrated I let myself get, but maybe it’s ’cause I am strong. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz95MznU_VU)

I Only Know it Hurts

(Here I Go Again – Casting Crowns)

 

I don’t know what sparked it…I mean, I kinda do…application season…but I don’t know what pushed it from tension in the background to overflow on the outside.

 

Maybe someone asking if I could fly which subconsciously reminded me of the “what if I fail, but what if you fly” rhetoric from Remember God by Annie Downs, Maybe it is what I heard somewhere recently about not wanting a new beginning because we are still so attached to wanting the old life back…I don’t know. I just know that I was sitting in church and suddenly I was holding back tears.

 

I think sometimes I don’t realize how much I bottle everything up and pretend everything is awesome like everyone expects until I get home and start crying. I don’t cry every day or even every week or every month anymore, but I guess times like today I wonder if that is really healing or just getting better at shoving everything back into a little box to rest on a shelf like it doesn’t even exist. I don’t understand why God would let me walk through such a dark place for so long. Sometimes I still just want out.

 

I realized that a big part of the reason why I am mostly interested in non-pediatric positions is yes, partly because logistically there are a lot more of them within a much shorter radius of home, and yes, also partly because of what people have said about some doors being closed if you don’t have the adult background, but primarily because going directly into what was supposed to happen I guess I just kind of sensed was too much. Maybe it would be better for me professionally, but emotionally it might not put me in the greatest place.

 

Just like getting a residency in phase 2 two years ago wouldn’t have erased the pain I had already experienced, getting one now won’t put me back on the same path I was on before.

 

Until everything happened, I guess I really thought that graduating and the freedom it brought with it would totally separate me from my past of abuse. Maybe if things had gone according to plan and I’d gotten the residency of my dreams it would have…but I guess more likely it would still have been there hidden away in the background corners of my life. It would have just come to the forefront at a different time. Abuse doesn’t just go away even if the abuse itself finally ends.

 

I guess that is the hard part. Getting a residency is supposed to be this thrilling thing that I’ve been working towards forever and stuff, but in reality it will be great, but it will also be really hard. The fact that I am a very non-traditional candidate at this point means that it will be painfully obvious that I am two years late to the party if anyone even is willing to take a risk on me. That difference will force into the forefront the pain that came before.

 

And I am afraid to even hope that I will get a position, because hoping just leads into vulnerability because if you hope, that hope can be stolen away and you can crash and burn. Not hoping isn’t awesome, but at least it is predictable.

 

I wish I could go back in time. I want to go back to second year and somehow find the bravery to call out M before she had a chance to wreak havoc in my life…maybe just what she did that first year may or may not have been enough to get rid of her, but if I’d been braver maybe the eyes of scrutiny could have been on her soon enough to better protect me and so many others from being hurt by her. Maybe someone could have more overtly let me know that what was going on was not okay. I know people tried to hint at it for me, but I am someone who needed the words to be unignorably clear to get it. I don’t want to blame Brittani, because she really did everything she could considering that the person she wanted to protect me from was technically her supervisor, but I wish she had found a way to get the information to me that this wasn’t just wanting to stretch me but that she was trying to protect me from M. I know she tried really hard to say it without really saying it, and I just didn’t get it…but oh how I wish I had been able to understand what she was hinting at enough to get out sooner. Oh how much different my life would have been.

 

But the past is in the past and I have to move on. If rainbow twizzlers can help me twist my head back together enough to get through the day I’ll eat a pack of those…but ultimately I guess maybe this is another wake-up call that I still have a lot left to work on. I don’t want M to control the whole rest of my life. I can’t take away the fact that I have been abused, but I need to figure out how to re-learn that I do have worth and I am good enough. And no amount of candy is going to fix that. Only God can fix that. I don’t get why God let me become so broken, but I do get that he is my only chance to ever be put back together again.

“Hear me when I say you’re not the worthless they made you feel. There is a love they can never steal away. You don’t have to stay the broken girl. Those damaged goods you see in your reflection: love sees them differently, love sees perfection…so let your tears touch the ground. Lay all your shattered pieces down and be amazed by how grace can take a broken girl and put her back together again.” -Broken Girl – Matthew West

“I don’t wanna be buildin’ castles outta sand ’cause I know they won’t stand. And the wake of judgment gonna come from your hand…’Cause you said if I searched then it’s You that I would find. I fight the fight of faith, I run the race. Just give me the grace that I could seek your face…I lay it all down that I would be found.” Counted the Cost – Cory Asbury

 

That second set of lyrics…oh my, does God know what he is doing. I clicked on the wrong video on youtube and I’ve never heard this song before and I would have just clicked off of it as soon as it was obviously not the song I was expecting to hear, but I am so glad I didn’t, because I was listening to the words and really loved it.

I live to love you as well

(He Grants Sleep to Those He Loves – Michael Card)

Have you ever had a moment where you realized a song you adored as a child that has been stuck in your head recently might actually be about a dead child? Yeah, I had that moment while I was playing my bass flute with the song “He Grants Sleep to Those He Loves” by Michael Card. As a kid I loved the entire CD that song is on so much that my parents gave me the CD to keep at some point (and obvi I still have it, because I haven’t even gotten rid of the CD’s I don’t like). I still do love most of the songs on that CD.

 

Anyway, eternal sleep being a euphemism for death, I realized, as in the title, the song says God grants sleep to the ones that he loves…and it ends with “love takes us all of a lifetime to tell.” I was like, that sounds really pretty, but if loves takes a whole lifetime to be told then wouldn’t that mean that sleep wouldn’t come until the end of the lifetime? (Although yeah, the song also doesn’t say that God doesn’t grant sleep to the ones he doesn’t love). So yeah, my whole childhood felt like it was instantaneously re-arranged, like why would anyone let their kids listen to a song about death? But realizing what the actual lyrics are (not the ones I usually sing since I can’t usually remember them all) actually makes the song make a lot more sense, because I mean, the picture on the album is an infant which makes me think it is geared towards parents of infants…umm…infants are not exactly known for being awesome sleepers. It is a Christian album, so it sure doesn’t make sense to insinuate that the kid screaming in the middle of the night would be sleeping if God loved him or her…but it makes a lot more sense to suggest that God takes home the people he loves to sleep forever in paradise. That makes a lot more sense, because theology is kind of not always in agreement about whether a newborn who dies is headed to heaven or not, and whether true or not, it sure would be a lot more comforting as a parent to at least think that you’ll see your baby again someday in heaven and that it isn’t about God not caring, but just about how very much he loved that child.

 

Speaking about things that happen and completely change your life, I was listening to a book today, and it was kind of a boring book, so I am not going to bother remembering and typing the title and author, but the one point that I thought was kind of true was when the narrator said something like so many people seem to have an ‘until’ moment. They say I never knew how good life could be until I met my husband or I didn’t realize how much love I had until I saw my first child. For people who have experienced loss that until moment is so very different. The other side is not bright and exciting, but sorrowful and lonely. Their ‘until’ is more like I never knew how deep pain could be until this defining negative event happened. I was thinking about that and realized maybe that is part of why it can be hard for people who have never experienced a deep loss to relate to those who have, because in that moment, it is almost like everything changed in an instant and absolutely nothing will ever be the same, like you are living in some alternate universe parallel to but not completely coinciding with the old universe…Anyway, shortly after that in the book there was another thought that I guess I had never put together, but makes a lot of sense. The person was saying that it was hurtful when people said it was God’s will or God’s plan that her son died, because the only thing getting her through was clinging to her belief that God didn’t want her son to die and that his face was the first one with tears, grieving the loss before she even knew it had happened. It hurt that someone would tell her God wanted her son dead when she wished so deeply her son were alive. I mean, I know God knew everything that would happen in my life before I was even born, but I guess that is why at first I couldn’t believe that God was good or that God cared. Growing up in church culture, I’d heard the stupid platitudes so many times that everything happens for a reason and God is in control and everything that happens is God’s design, so add those truths up with my pain and clearly you come to a dangerous crossroads. How can God be good if he wanted me to experience so much pain? I mean, those Sunday school truths really only leave two options: either God is not in control and things happen that he didn’t plan, or God isn’t good because he wanted me to be hurt. Neither one sounds like the pretty little Christianity box we try to sell. And really, that is an area in which I would love to hear other opinions, because after thinking about what the book said and stuff it really left me with a lot more questions than answers…even going back to the Garden of Eden. God hates sin; it breaks his heart…but if he is all-powerful and in control, could he not have just not orchestrated Adam and Eve eating that apple? Like laying on my bed thinking right now, I’m not sure how I never asked this question before, and now I really want an answer…not trying to play devil’s advocate, just really trying to understand some big puzzle pieces that fell into my hands…

You are the Truth Outscreaming These Lies

(Red Sam – Flyleaf)
Sometimes you just gotta stop and be like hey girl can we stop and do body check in…you’re not hungry and you’re not even having fun shoving the candy in your mouth. anymore…you’re just stressed out…
…and at this point most people would throw away the wrappers and find something to do…but I am not most people so I went through my pencil bag looking for more candy, because sometimes that is easier than trying to face the real problem.
Yeah…my stomach is full. As much as I LOVE eating candy, it just wasn’t fun anymore, not because of anhedonia or anything…just because I had reached the point where there was no longer an incremental reward from continuing to shove candy in my piehole. I am not someone who reaches that point very often…food is pretty much one of my love languages. Y’know there is an issue when I am annoyed to be putting more candy in my mouth. Lol.
So yeah…today I downloaded my flight information (which, yes, I should have done a long time ago) and discovered that I wasn’t booked on the direct flight home after midyear that I requested and instead was booked on a flight that includes a layover and plane change causing me to get back to the originating airport so many hours later at night that by the time the plane lands the last shuttle from the airport to my teeny tiny community an hour and a half to two hours away will have not only left the airport, but deposited its contents at the depot in town. Luckily my dad is coming to the rescue and will bring me to and from the airport. Yes, I know airport parking exists, but unfamiliar things are already hard for me and so just the airport is more than enough overwhelm for me without adding on trying to figure out what to do with airport parking.
And this whole discovery led me to realize that I kinda need to figure out how I am getting from the airport in California to my hotel and back. In Vegas I probably could have walked if I wanted to, but in Anaheim the airport is a LOT further away…so that ain’t happenin’
And I gotta start deciding and asking people to be my references…
And that leads to what is probably the biggest problem. I am terrified of applying again. I am afraid that M was right that no one would ever want me. I am afraid that I won’t get a position and I am afraid that I will get a position and have to uproot my entire life again just to end up in another dead end when no one wants me for PGY-2 or for a non-residency position afterwards. I know that is a sucky attitude to have…and I know that hey, but what if you fly thought…but it is where I am right now. I know the words are lies…but they feel so real. They became embedded in my identity and negative identities are really hard to change.
And so to deal with my stress I am shoving way too much food into my body and ignoring the STOP it cues my stomach is trying to send.
Lol…wanna know what happens when you are too stressed out? You almost actually send an email to all the pharmacy staff in your region that just says “seriously people, what is wrong with you?” Luckily I calmed down before I hit send and was a lot more polite. See, October 21-27 was pharmacy week and I put together gift bags for every employee and student. There should have been enough for everyone with a few extras for the admin department that helps out with so many pharmacy activities. Everyone knew they were only supposed to take one bag…and I came in this morning and based on what was left when I left yesterday and who already got a bag, I know some people took a second bag. And almost every single bag left had had the same item or two taken out. I get that most people had already taken their bag and maybe should have hurried up if they wanted to get an intact bag…but there were at least two employees who were off last week and are still off this week. I managed to find enough to get them bags, but I was angry that people took it upon themselves to just help themselves to more when other people hadn’t even had a first chance yet. So after getting those two people a bag there isn’t much besides a few pens and stress balls and maybe two applesauce cups left…so much for having anything left to offer to thank the people who help us make everything happen…so that wasn’t a great start to the morning. Especially since I told people that I would send an announcement Friday when I had read through the schedules and given everyone a last chance to get a bag…so yeah…I didn’t even read through the schedules because it wasn’t like there was anything I could do if there were anyone still left out. If I’d left the bags in the snack area where people leave stuff they are sharing that would be one thing, but they were clearly not supposed to be for people to take as many as they wanted…okay, rant over…

Got to Trust That I’m Safe and Sound

(You – Britt Nicole)

 

Today is Halloween…which isn’t so much of a holiday once you hit middle school and are no longer young enough to trick or treat, but are not bold enough to invite yourself to help your friends trick or treat with their littles and do not have your own littles yet.

 

But anyway, Happy Halloween…

 

So yeah, today being Halloween means that tomorrow is November. Tomorrow being November means that tomorrow the application opens for residencies…and it means that in one month for tomorrow I will need to be at the airport to go to midyear.

 

My brain is spinning.

 

I’m trying to pretend everything is fine and stuff…but it is kind of not.

 

I need to decide who to ask and then ask people to be my references. I don’t wanna. I mean, by this point would you want to write a letter for the third year in a row for this failure? Or alternatively would you be thrilled to write for the second year in a row in order to lose an employee?

 

And plus starting an application means facing again that I have continually failed. At this point people from my class should be done with both PGY-1 and PGY-2 and moving on to the job for which they have been preparing…and I am over here still trying to make it to step 1. I haven’t even started PGY-1. While my peers will have been pharmacists long enough to precept by this summer, I will maybe be being precepted as a brand new resident…or maybe I will be on the outside looking in yet again. I just want someone to accept me. Will anyone ever give me a chance?

 

And putting an application out there means holding on to at least a little bit of hope that can subsequently be taken away when I fail again.

 

I don’t even know how this is going to work if people do want to interview me. I asked off for every Monday and Friday during interview season and got rid of whatever weekends I could, but there aren’t any guarantees those’ll be the days people want to interview me and even if those are the days, there has to be some way for me to get there and get home without missing a second week day.

 

And I need to finalize my list of programs to which to apply.

 

And I need to edit my CV again.

 

And I gotta figure out how to get to the airport and back.

 

And I gotta find out when my flights are, because the travel agency had to change them and I haven’t printed the new information yet…and I gotta figure out how you get a bag checked if you don’t sign up for that in advance, because the travel agency people said the best way to do it on my travel card is at the airport and I’ve never done that before.

 

And I gotta figure out how to get from the airport to the hotel and back…

 

What if no one wants me again? Do I keep trying over and over? When do I give up and realize I’ll never be good enough? When do I accept that my dreams have completely died? When do I just pick a new career and start over? Or do I take a break and just see what happens? I have no idea what to do…this is not what I thought I was signing up for way back when. Inside my head the what if wasn’t going to ever happen. And then it did. Again and again.