In the middle of storms

Maybe you don’t realize you’ve went through a lot until you get the chance to reflect. Past couple months have been busy and eventful. Starting my research internship in dermatology over the summer was when the commitment to applying for derm residency got real. My expectations for myself were raised and the bar is high. Creating and following through a research project to publication was something I didn’t have much experience in. Research was something I wasn’t too interested in. Hence, I had a lot of imposter syndrome and anxiety through out this whole project. It made it even worse having my manuscript get rejected multiple times. But with many things in life, you sink or swim. You don’t know what you got until you are submersed in hot water. Although this experience was difficult mentally, it made me grow. I learn the best by doing, making mistakes, and overcoming failures. I came out of this knowing I am capable. I came out of this knowing sometimes to not take rejection personally. And hey, first first author academic publication in dermatology. The trials and tribulations were worth it.

Throughout this whole process, I also lost joy in what I was doing. This was mainly because it is disheartening how competitive it is to get into dermatology residency. I had to have higher expectations of myself, such as performing well on medical school exams and having many things on my CV, and have many connections. Comparing how much harder it is for DO students vs MD students. Having now to put myself at a higher standard, having to work harder than many of my peers who are all working hard as well is disheartening. Despite reminding myself how lucky I am and all the opportunities I have, I still wasn’t happy.

Throughout this whole semester, I lost a lot of people– people I didn’t personally know and people that I knew. Losses due to passing and losses due to things in life. I lost over 8 people. Over 8 people. I have no words. I have never really experienced great losses to this degree and did my best to not really feel anything to keep moving forward. On top all the shitty things happening in the world. Sometimes I wonder in instances like this how much more numb can I be? How much more can I mentally handle?

I thought things were looking up after finally getting a publication acceptance, but no, I lost more people. I thought winter break, things will get better, but no, I lost people on Christmas Eve, New years Eve, and into the new year. Once again, I’m in a situation where I’m confused to what I should feel. But, how should I feel in a time of both joy and sadness? I still don’t know, so feeling nothing it is. Or how do you describe feeling some emotion and not at the same time? Numbness? I dont know.

If you can relate to anything that’s been up with me, know I am praying for you.

Dear Heavenly Father, help me grow closer to you and my trust in you. Sometimes it is hard to see in the darkness. In the darkest of times, help us see the way. I pray that you will protect those who are suffering in these tough times and use me to help others in their suffering. You say that blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Bless my readers who are suffering, Father. I pray this, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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