what do you do when you're getting down?

Sometimes I find it pretty difficult to keep my chin up and stay motivated. I worry that my past will be insurmountable. I HATE those days when I lose hope and think it’s never going to happen. My big problem is I tend to focus on the end goal rather than the here and now. I know I can’t be the only one who has their bad days(or weeks…). I find that if I run regularly it helps a great deal. This winter really stank as it was so cold that most days I couldn’t get out there. ph34r.gif <–even if I looked like this
So what do you do when you’re feeling down?

Right now I am just SO VERY THANKFUL that I am not the only one who gets that way. Usually I just try to ride it out but honestly, that track just aint working. I think when I start doing more volunteer work that I will get more out of something I do rather than just drain me of energy. (My job does that.)
One thing that has started to emerge is that I know I will make a great doctor and even when I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel now, it's there. Somewhere.

I mutter this incessantly after any setback:
"It may be enough to keep me out, but it’s not enough to make me quit."
Susan - Chicago

I drink. blink.gif wacko.gif
And then I remind myself that there are some things that are simply out of my control…Buddha taught that our suffering is based solely on our attachments…our attachments to the perfect mate, the perfect career, the perfect body, the perfect cheeseburger. We start feeling peace when we lose that tight grip on our expectations. Besides, isn’t a lot of life just plain dumb luck. You just happen to cross paths with your soul mate, you just happen to have that experience that leads you to wanting to pursue becoming a doc…of course, chance favors a prepared mind. I’m going to put together the best damn application I can, faults and all, and let it go. If I get in, great. If I don’t, well, it doesn’t mean I’m not good enough. Darwin flunked out of medical school. Lincoln failed numerous times to get into politics, his wife died, and he was shot but still in there I believe he did some monumental things. It means that it wasn’t meant for me. Will my life be over? Hell no. There are so many mountains to climb, places to see, people to meet, things to do, good works to be done…
My brother’s wife died of cancer at the ripe old age of 30, diagnosed 2 weeks after she gave birth to their second child. Naturally he became very philosophical during her year long fight. One thing that he said when they’d get discouraging results was, “It may not be what we prayed for, but it must be the answer.”

that was worth reading a few times…thanks.

Sometimes the task does seem too daunting and it feels like I’ll never make it. So much to do to graduate. So much time to sacrifice from family. What keeps me going is the thought that time passes whether I’m moving forward or standing still. I’ve had too many “looking back” experiences in my life where I regret what could have been if only…
The best I can do is just take it one day at a time and strive to keep moving forward. Coming to this board for encouragement is always helpful as well.
Baby steps to finishing my homework. Baby steps to the Chem test. Baby steps to finishing that paper. (What About Bob, anyone?)

gschimma -
I am so sorry to hear about your brother’s wife. sad.gif great post though.
I’ve got to quit reading MomMD. More specifically the thread “would you do it all over again?”. That really socks it to me. I don’t doubt my wanting to be a physician, or my academic abilities. I do doubt my ability to juggle school/residency with family life, esp since my husband is a very busy physician.
Being a doc seems to be the most intriguing job out there, but d@mn this road is long! <!–emo&<_dry.gif blink.gif I am so glad that this board exists. I mostly lurk, but I sure get a lot out of it!

QUOTE (ballast @ Mar 5 2003, 03:47 PM)

I've had too many "looking back" experiences in my life where I regret what could have been if only...

I've got plenty of those! Best not to think about that stuff and only look forward. I think about the fact that I will be 40 in 9 years. I can be 40 and have those coveted letters after my name, or I can be 40 and be kicking myself 765,000 times for not following my dream. Really don't want any more "looking back" experiences. tongue.gif

Thanks Christina! I have my moments…yesterday I was standing in the coffee line at my university and I overheard a guy talking like a doc. I turned and asked if he was and he said yes. I said that I was trying to get in and he let out a big ol’ sigh and said “God, I wouldn’t do that again if I had a choice.” I hear that a lot…certainly more than doc’s telling me how much they love it…I imagine it’s easier to make these comments from the inside…plus he was surgeon.
Your husband’s a doc? That’s interesting…can you tell me more about that?
Hope to meet you at the conference in DC…

Being a doc seems to be the most intriguing job out there, but d@mn this road is long!

Christina, the thing that has kept me going will sound ridiculously simplistic but then I am definitely not the deepest thinker around....
Enjoy the moment - and remember it's about the journey, not the destination
Figure out what it is about (for example) prereq coursework that you actually LIKE. There is something, I am sure. Even studying for the MCAT... well, that you are to a point where you can even contemplate TAKING the MCAT means that you have made an interesting journey already.
Lots of people have a stereotype of medical school as a truly miserable period of existence. They ask me, "How are you doing?" in the kind of concerned voice one uses with a person who's recovering from bypass surgery, and look surprised when I reply, "I'm having a great time!" I go on to say, "If I were NOT having fun, this would be the dumbest thing I ever did."
There is something FUN about every single step. Some steps are more fun than others, absolutely.... some steps may be hard to appreciate for anything besides that they do bring you a little closer to your goal. But try to enjoy each step for its own sake as well as for how it brings you closer to your destination.
Oh, as for those docs who say they wouldn't do it again: this may be a generalization, but it seems to me that VERY few of them are OPMs. The folks who've done other stuff seem a lot more able to withstand the crap that comes with any job, including that of physician.
All this sounds pretty treacly and Jack Handy-ish but then I'm one of those "there's got to be a pony in here somewhere!" people so... laugh.gif
QUOTE (gschimma @ Mar 7 2003, 04:11 PM)

Your husband's a doc? That's interesting...can you tell me more about that?

He's a 32 year old anesthesiologist who did things the "traditional" way. Incidentally, he loves his job and would most certainly do it over again. A refreshing point of view! biggrin.gif I am so grateful to have him supporting me - I surely would have given up by now(and very nearly have several times!!).
I had fully intended on going to DC, however, the summer course schedule came out and it conflicts with the conference. I need to email my teachers to see if it's okay to miss two days. I take it you are definitely going?
QUOTE (Mary Renard @ Mar 7 2003, 11:06 PM)

Enjoy the moment - and remember it's about the journey, not the destination
Oh, as for those docs who say they wouldn't do it again: this may be a generalization, but it seems to me that VERY few of them are OPMs. The folks who've done other stuff seem a lot more able to withstand the crap that comes with any job, including that of physician

As always, Mary, thank you! smile.gif Kevin and I have also been discussing the stuff that I've been reading on MomMD. We both think the same thing - that they probably haven't worked a "regular" full time job, except that of physician and probably went into medicine with a whole lot of idealism - not realizing that as with any job - there is a lot of crap to deal with too. (And with my old job as a CNA, I literally got pooped on many a time. Blech.)

There IS a pony! There IS a pony!
Thanks for that post Mary. I've dished out that advice so many times, and it happens that today I actually needed it.
boston joe

Mary, I agree with you 100%.
I think that an important thing to remember is that life will not be magically wonderful the day we all graduate. It needs to be wonderful as we are getting there, or as Mary said, what’s the point?
Studying for the MCAT is something I now look back on fondly (believe it or not). I spent the entire summer studying, and did it in areas that I found peaceful and beautiful. It definitely had some downsides, but making a conscious decision to enjoy the experience and give myself the opportunity to be “in the moment” made the whole thing much less stressful and much more productive.
Good luck to all, hope there are many more Jack Handy moments… cool.gif

I have found that going to the gym and listening to a great CD I burned with all my upbeat songs such as Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child, and anything with a positive message, helps me. I get a great work out and leave the gym feeling pumped up emotionally! Also, I have started weeding out negative people in my life. It sounds mean, but who needs the negativity when life is so full of it anyway? I , too, had been discouraged by MOMMD so I stopped surfing that site. I figure the path to becoming a physican is going to be long and hard, we each have our own obstacles to overcome, but it will be worth it in the end!
One last tip that has helped me, I keep quotes that inspire me at my desk. My favorite right now is from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. It says…
"Our doubts are traitors, and makes us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt."
When I start doubting my choice to leave a great career in counseling and start over, I read that quote and it keeps me on track. Just my 2 cents…
YOU CAN DO IT! biggrin.gif