You cried in private and you tried to hide it so no one knows no one can see

(Oh my Soul – Casting Crowns)

The primary tool in my emotional toolbox is putting on a mask and pretending to be fine. Hiding the pain away from everyone, even myself. It is exhausting at first, but becomes second nature eventually to the point that until something triggers a flashback or a memory even I start to believe I am okay. I know that is likely how sometimes things take me a lot longer to “get over” than perhaps they “should.” If I knew a better way I would use it, but to me, success in coping seems to be primarily defined as having such extended periods without the mask slipping too far that I almost forget I am wearing it. That being said, I think things are improving, if only a teeny tiny bit. It is hard to say whether the improvement is just getting a better fit from my mask or true improvement, but Wednesday morning there was an itty bitty teeny tiny glimmer of hope. It went away as fast as it appeared, but it was there. That was huge!! For even a moment of this not being so acutely painful, I am truly grateful. I have been holding on with everything I had just to perform the minimum necessary life sustaining actions, and it is exhausting…not to mention the energy required to continue to be a full time student, continue to look for a job, continue to at least give lip service to studying for the licensing exams…I try so hard every day, and at the end of the day continue to feel so discouraged when I look back and can so easily see all the ways I have failed.

I am trying so hard, but it feels like the harder I try the more frustrated I am by my failure. I am overwhelmed. Over spring break just taking care of myself was almost a full time job, but now I have to take care of myself on top of taking care of actual real-life responsibilities. On the positive side, family dinner especially with the kids has really helped to get more food in my body as I have a little bit of distraction, a little needing to please other people, and a little of trying to set a good example. Also, it might just be that the sleep deprivation got to a point where I was going to sleep no matter what, but the night time awakenings have decreased…and TBH, even at baseline I woke up ONCE every night thirsty, so really they don’t need to go to zero, they just need to not be waking up primarily to cry.

I am not going to blame my poor presentation skills in a particular interview on not drinking or eating much of anything prior to the interview, because in reality the problem was more that I hadn’t practiced in a month or even reviewed the presentation very well and the presentation screen was like directly above and behind my head…I still feel like no one is going to want me…If the people who actually know me don’t want me then it seems even reckless to think that anyone else will. I’m still trying, but I feel so hopeless and out of control. I just want some reason why they didn’t want me, something I could change and make them find some way to reconsider and give me the job I have been working towards for years.

This post was started on Thursday morning…and, excitingly, there has been improvement since then!! As of Thursday afternoon, I’ve finally gone back to using food as an entertainment strategy…while I know that is not technically an appropriate use of food, it is what I was doing at baseline, and is a huge improvement over the fight that it had been to just get something in my mouth at meal times. I will admit that until Friday morning, breakfast had been somewhere between one and four cheerios each day. Most of the lunches and dinners were a little more normal, but my opinion was that breakfast is always the smallest meal of the day for me anyway, so as long as something was going in my mouth most days I felt my effort was better spent on lunch and dinner…It is so wonderful to be able to eat and drink again. It helps so much and takes so much pressure off of me to have that off of my plate. It is especially good because my ability to estimate calories is lousy…apparently inside my head, 16 ounces of sprite is an equivalent number of calories to a big peanut butter and jelly sandwich…it was a useful substitution on Tuesday because it got both calories and fluids into my body at the same time, but in retrospect, the calorie count was not ideal…

Despite eating getting easier, emotionally I still am definitely struggling. I now have enough control that I haven’t cried in front of people the past few days, but it is still acutely painful throughout the day, and I still cry in private. It is frustrating. I hope someday I will look back and be able to say ‘yeah, that was awful, but you made it’ but right now I don’t want to make it. I still agree with Jonah that even death would be better than this. If it were my choice, I wouldn’t be alive…although I suppose if it were my choice this never would have happened because I would have chosen death a long time ago…or maybe just a few years ago because before then I was too concerned with how it would affect others to be able to really do anything for myself. Lol, yeah, I remember my list of goals first year that included acknowledge that I have opinions as one of my goals…the goals were listed in an order such that one built on the next, and I think if I remember correctly that actually even expressing in any way that I had an opinion was like number six or seven…

I had an interview today (Friday), and on the subject of opinions, mine is that I really didn’t like it and would prefer to just work casual and try to figure out how to make ends meet without a real job…but I know that in reality that would just be shooting my professional career in the foot because I know I need a residency, and to have a chance at that I need to do it now…besides the fact that I am way too invested at this point to just give up and not at least try to get a residency even if it is one that I don’t like and maybe even hate…I don’t actually think they are going to want me, especially since the residency manual they had me read gives ranking criteria on how they select residents, and it seems from those criteria that I probably will end up on the do not rank list unless there is someone there who wants me enough to try to rescue me from that list despite my meeting the do not rank criteria…I mean, there was one person who commented that on paper I was a very impressive candidate from my school…but IDK if he was so impressed with me by the end of the interview when I had made it pretty obvious I had no idea what I was talking about…to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have been so opposed to them if it hadn’t been for the drive there, because there are only two programs out of the many programs I have applied at this point that I walked away hoping not to match at and both were ones that I had to drive through toll roads to get to…so to be fair it might just be that toll roads stress me out…and to get there from my real home I wouldn’t have had to use toll roads, so they might not be so bad…plus the bathrooms at this hospital were disgusting.

My right hand is kinda whiney. It is jealous of left hand because right hand is really sore. I’ve probably had over 40 hours of driving this week and have been to the gas station at least once every day except Sunday with some days having multiple trips…and my gas light will probably come on in about 2 more miles…Right hand has to drive a lot more of those miles than left hand, because left hand is a lot better at holding directions. Also left hand is usually sandwich holding hand as well…and left hand’s thumb has been sore from trying to get the computer to recognize my fingerprints on my community rotation, so that was another good excuse for left hand to not take as many turns…Maybe right hand is kind of like how I feel about myself. I feel inadequate because it seems like no matter how hard I try I’ll never be good enough and because I am not good enough I feel more inadequate and the cycle continues…sometimes maybe it is time to recognize that I’m not made to be good at some things…just like in the English language we write from left to right and therefore right hand’s thumb will never be on the correct side to keep track of where we are on directions, I might not have been made for comfortable formal communication skills…maybe one day it will get easier, but I suspect that this is just who I am…

Also, I wanted to put a picture here…but you have to imagine it because I was 1.6 miles away from where it would be legal to take a picture because there are some states that apparently think that fully grown adults can’t understand how to press buttons without taking their eyes off the road while at a complete stop…dude, I can totally take a picture without looking at my phone…if you wanna ban something, ban changing clothes in the car…that is something that does take my eyes off the road momentarily while my shirt is going over my head…anyways, so the picture is of a tangle of roadways at a complete stop for as far as I could see…also, a few miles after that, the person in front of me decided to come to a complete stop in the freeway for no reason to decide whether or not to get off at the exit…I totally understand slowing down to decide, especially if it is an exit that might be confusing, but if you can see clearly from the freeway that it is a quick off and on and you’re not sure then just take the exit and get back on immediately if you were wrong. It is annoying and disrespectful of the people behind you to come to a complete stop…not to mention not legal or safe either…

 

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