This life still feels so surreal to me. I’ve been living it for just over 7 weeks but it really feels like I’ve been in this routine for years. The transition feels smooth but hollow, and I’ve never really sat down and thought ‘this is it'; this is it, I made it to medical school; this is it, I moved out of my parent’s home; this is it, I live on my own in London, you know? The repetitiveness of each day feels ingrained to my being, I mean, there’s nothing weird about feeling personally victimised by the Hammersmith and City line every morning even though I used to get lost in the underground; there’s nothing strange about starting dinner at a time that used to be bedtime.
Here’s another thing I’ve been mulling over: I was recently told of a tragic story of a girl who survived an attempted suicide by overdosing with paracetamol, though later on, she spoke of regret over her actions only for it to be too late as her liver was damaged too badly – she died wishing she would live. I can’t even begin to comprehend the complexity of her emotions, I knew regret is always present the very second before death, but I can’t possibly picture what it must be like in her situation. I’ve been reflecting on my own actions too, I wonder if my younger self would have felt better knowing the position I am in today, or whether it would have finally crossed the line. I doubt she’d know the answer, even the present Annie doesn’t really know.
But this is what I am doing now. I am sitting down, and I am going to make myself think. Not about medicine, not about uni, not about lectures and anatomy and assessments. I am listing the facts, like all good scientists do, and this is what I know to be true:
- I am in medical school in London.
- Neither of the above was the first choice.
- I am not sure whether I am coping well or not with the demand of the course.
- I miss my grandad.
- I am not having suicidal thoughts, but the things I am learning about are affecting my mental state.
- I feel overwhelmed with sadness, and nostalgia, and despair.
- I need counselling again.
If you hate rollercoasters, you’ll know how I am feeling right now. I feel like I am strapped to a rollercoaster, and it’s the second after the ride leaves the station, and all you face is hopelessness and fear. It’s quite lonely really, especially when the people surrounding you believe ‘HOLY CRAP, IT’S THE BEST RIDE EVER’, and you’d rather lose your dominant arm than continue.
And you know what the worst thing is? I am guilt tripping myself! I keep on thinking about how so many people, and those I know personally, would kill (perhaps literally) to be in my place; I know people who have spent their early 20’s trying their damn hardest just to get a place at medical school whereas I got in on the first try, and yet here I am, forcing myself to carry on kicking and screaming.
I know that I am here entirely because I am worthy of being here, I fought for it and someone thought I was good enough. I didn’t bribe anyone, didn’t do any dirty tricks. Someone here in this school believes in me, believes I can graduate, believes I can be a quality doctor. I don’t believe in this, but what do I know?
Now that I’ve mused over it, I don’t think my younger self would be happy with my current position, but I cannot deny that my outlook now is better than it’s ever been. It doesn’t stop me feeling sentimental for another life, but in the end, I know I’ll stick to this. I’ll be happy enough.
I really hate the word ‘enough’.