9.20.2018

Shrink

There was one time in Newcastle that I went to consult with a psychologist. I felt so wrecked at that time that I needed to sort out my emotions to clear my head, and to get better at finishing my thesis. It was the only reason why I was there.

This year, I feel the wreckage coming at me again. Usually, I know it. I know when something might come up and threaten my emotional state. And usually, I know myself enough to predict whether I could withstand the threat or not. I could withstand the pressure from school, now that I have two years of experience of being oppressed as a medical student. I could get emotionally ready when I know I will be scolded by somebody who has full authority in controlling my grades. But when it concerns him, I could never be ready. I always fall apart.

Like I recently did, again.

Right now, I feel another gaping hole that is too wide to be filled up again, even if he would ever return to his old self. By saying 'his old self', I doubt whether his old self was his true self. Cause obviously, he has been hiding all the negative emotions he had towards me. And now they fill up all corners of my life and I'm suffocating. Now it's hard to believe that everything will be as happy as it once was. Was he ever truly happy with me, I wonder? Was he ever proud of having me by his side?

I don't want to go over those questions anymore and sulk at night. I know I have spent a significant time asking questions to myself that I'll never be able to answer, or simply too scared to accept them. 

9.16.2018

I know he really hates it when I convey this thought out loud, 'he does not need me'.

But it's exactly the way it is. He does not need me.

He does not care whatever I think about whatever shit. He listens, that's for sure. But none of what I say or think makes any impact on him. Nothing that he does in life, deserves interference or point of view from my side.

It's like he has always wanted to go on with life, without ever taking a look at me and ask, if it is okay with me too, if I'd still walk with him.

That is why, nobody can blame me, if I feel like shit, particularly about this. And I could think about it all day, believing that probably it's not him, but it's my opinions that are rubbish. 

9.13.2018

Cita cita

Amidst the massive wave of despair in which I’m drowning into,
I was able to breathe a little air today.

The light of hope was delivered by an orthopaedic surgeon, who happened to be my mentor this week during my ortho rotation.

He was probably around 50-ish or late forties. He was quite a unique man. Anyone could tell that he was an idealist, but also a timid person. It’s quite an amazement to be mesmerized by someone who makes very little eye contact. Body language and vocal tone are features that enhance people’s confidence and charisma when they are conveying something. But for him, those qualities weren’t necessary to reveal his strong personality.

Don’t understand me wrong, I am in no way attracted to him romantically. But I genuinely respect his way of thinking and what he believes in. 

He was the person who told me that, following the international protocols and guidelines, and importing health equipments and drugs are behaviors that would create dependency. It’s not necessarily a negative issue, but it shuts down the opportunity to invent, to innovate and to create something authentic and different, because we have always tailed, we will always be followers, we will never be recognized, and eventually, we will be left behind as a nation.




I wanted to argue, that on our land once lived a sophisticated civilization that was rich and wealthy in culture and knowledge. But that was before the eras of colonization, the eras that robbed the intelligence of our ancestors and deprived them of their rights to live humanely. To the point that a mindset of acceptance and submission developed chronically and were inherited from generations. But of course, among us like Sukarno, Tjokroaminoto, and Kartini, were fighters who had tremendous courage and brilliance that changed the fate of the nation and sparked movement.

Today, we are free of colonies. Our only enemies rest within our minds, our comfort zones. I’m scared of feeling too comfortable to create something. I’m in constant search of roles that fit me as a person who could serve, and actually influence people’s lives, especially people in my country who are underprivileged.

I previously thought that we as a developing country should at least follow international standards when it comes to health service and medical performance. But this surgeon reminded me, that THAT should not be the target, that people of Indonesia are the only ones who understand the needs of this country, and therefore are the only ones who would come up with unique solutions for the problem exisiting in our country, especially in the medical field.

I sincerely hope, I could develop a skill in identifying problems. Because in order to come up with a solution, I need to achieve that. I need to become a good observer, master the basics and gather a little courage to actually begin.









9.09.2018

I think it's extremely possible that people may die because of severe broken heart.

In fact, maybe every cause of death may have been caused by it.

9.07.2018

Some poems touch me very deeply, reading them resembles the feeling of looking at my own reflection. This is one of those poems. I had to share it, but I didn't wish to share it to the world where people could recognize me, because it's like stripping naked. But I'd like to keep it, so I'm keeping it here for myself..

9.01.2018



Love.




There is no point of love, without him. My daily life involving a series of humanistic work and ambitious goals will never entirely satisfy me without coming back home to tell him all about it before we sleep and cuddle.




We are all born with magnificent strength, that’s why we come out to the world with a loud cry and jerking our arms and legs. I know I will come out strong if we don’t work out, I know it’s something I will be able to live with.




But it will be a depressing life. Insufficient. Without all the conversations I’m used to that warmed my heart and filled my soul.




I know that every time I’ll see a woman carrying her baby, I would dream of having one with him. He wanted a girl.




Everytime I see a movie, I’d be reminded of his passion for creating scenes beautifully. His tendency in art and creation.




And every night I will have to exhaust myself before coming home to bed, so I won’t get a chance to stare at the ceiling, wonder about everything that could have beautifully come true about us, and feel the pool of tears roll down on each side of my face.






Imagining his gentle arms wrapped around me and lips kissing my head lovingly, only to comfort myself, and getting up in the morning and feeling like crap all over again.

8.31.2018

The Enemy of Greatness

I perceived that the hardest part of becoming a doctor isn’t learning the intricate textbook knowledge, but the ability to control one’s emotion in front of a patient, in front of a person.

As normal human beings who go through bad days, it’s a real struggle to force ourselves out of bed early before sunrise, to prioritize patients’ conditions (who are basically strangers) over personal issues, to be in optimal concentration despite experiencing mental wreckage, and to resist the temptation of projecting our emotional state in front of non-compliant patients, and the most difficult, to remain present and connected to patients instead of behaving like a robot to get through the storm.

As an individual, I consider this as a tough challenge that I am surely required to face. But other than that, I’m a bit apprehensive about how my future husband and children would deal with it.


For now, my responsibility merely involves passing exams. I’m not considered competent yet, nor licensed, to handle patients on my own. But eventually, if I decide to continue this road, some people’s lives will be under my responsibility. Perhaps when the time comes, when reality hits me in the face, it will be less difficult to face this challenge, realizing that if I don’t, horrible consequences will take place. And I pray with all my heart, that I would be granted a husband and children who will not only understand the circumstances of my duty as a doctor, but will also take pride in what I do.

8.28.2018

I had the impression that the whole process of attending medical school will enforce me to build empathy towards patients.

But in reality, I don’t know whether it’s the workload, the tension, the protocols, the social circle, the bad experiences, the misleading mentors, or the physical and mental burn out is to blame, I discover that I increasingly think less empathetically towards the people who are less privileged, health-wise. And this realization does not comfort me, if anything, it even feels like it’s against the moral standard of which I’m obliged to comply.

It’s challenging. Because my endless days and nights of shifts at the emergency room often involve being a spectator, or if lucky enough, an assistant to the residents and general practitioners in giving aggressive management to patients. In other words, treating them mostly generates more pain for them, who were already in so much pain before coming to the facility, even though it’s all for the sake of bettering their condition. Being a doctor apparently takes guts to watch people suffer, and the current single way I can think of to overcome my fear and build my courage is to temporarily ignore the effect that will inflict them, which is hopefully temporary as well. I should sooner or later accept that providing medical attention painlessly, especially in emergency conditions, is currently not an option, even with the help of advanced pain killers.

I watch the medical residents getting their work done, most of the time too occupied to explain things in detail to patients. Effective communication that I learned during my preclinical year, is incredibly rare to be witnessed. Then again, I do not blame them. There is no doubt that it may have taken innumerable sacrifices, to be on the road they are paving. 

So I try my best to smile, to help in any small way I can. To give directions, to share my snack while they watch me stitch their wound, to rub their back gently, to encourage, to utter comforting words, to show them pride after enduring a painful procedure,

To be at least, a little bit more human. Even though I’m aware, I’m a human with still very limited brain capacity and zero authority to provide them any cure.

8.22.2018

Scars

Right now,
Too hurt to change, to reconcile, to even attempt

Anger and exhaustion circle my mind,
And sometimes I feel the urge to scream,
"Fuck it, I don't deserve this!"
And even if it's sometimes,
It remains scarred

Tomorrow, depends

Hope comes and goes,
Some nights I lie awake
Accompanied by nothing, but dark assumptions

Tonight is one of them

8.19.2018

Growing Up..

I recently listened to one of Rara Sekar's song, titled 'Growing Up', and it touched me on so many levels. The lyrics is completely on point on thoughts about growing up.

Growing up 

Growing up 
What are we supposed to see, to feel, to meet 
Growing up What are we supposed to miss, to keep, to leave

When it hurts 
It hurts me 
When it hurts 
Still hurts everytime 

One leaves, one ceases 
Growing up 
How are we supposed to give, to take, collate 
Growing up 
How are we supposed to love, to breath, to be 

We fall and we crawl 
Can anybody tell me, 
Can anybody tell me, 
Can anybody help me, 
How to/what to do... 

Denizens of the deep 
Drifters of the current 
Where do we go 
Where do we seek? 
If not, 
Within 
Within me 
Within you

When I was little, I could not wait to grow up. I meant that literally and not literally. Other than the eternal wish of being physically taller, I perceived adults as human beings who have figured things out that they were 'free' to live on their own. They were free of homeworks and chores, and have the liberty of spending their time however they wish.

It felt great reading books like Confession of a Shopaholic, that pictured how independent a working adult woman can be. At that time, I did not fully comprehend the idea about debt. I only pictured the glamorous life of a modern woman working at the office. That's why when my parents asked me what I wanted to study after finishing high school, I answered, "School of Secretary". (They immediately held an urgent family conference that night to convince me that was not the right answer to such type of question. That night, it never occurred to me that I would later choose medicine)

Growing up now, does not feel as glamorous as I thought it would be. I pondered, perhaps simply because I'm not rich enough yet to purchase high-end brands for my clothes, my shoes, and other wearable items, nor travel to dreamy destinations with my own budget (I have actually scored this one..). Yet, growing up, I keep finding new definitions of being an adult.

Three or four years ago, I would define being an adult as a person who is able to take care of themselves. This includes performing daily life responsibilities, making decisions and time management. I had the opportunity to learn this being far away from home, under the guidance of my grandmother. It was not always smooth, I experienced the consequences of making bad decisions, and the personal joy of earning my first salary (from being a scientific magazine editor in Jakarta, to working as a house cleaner in Newcastle).

I define being an adult as not only being responsible for one's self, but for everyone else. The more I grow up, the more I encounter fear. I look at my innocent eight year old sister sleeping peacefully with her yellow pillow, and think that one day she might experience a deep heartache and could not help but wonder if she would be able to handle it. I look at my seven year old brother playing lego, and think that one day he might come to me confessing things I would be displeased about, would I be wise enough to accept it then, as an adult? I think to myself in the middle of the night, if a massively bleeding patient enters my room right now, would I be able to save him/her? Would I be able to face their kins if I failed?

As my ephyseal plates have reached their maximum capacitiy of making me grow taller, growing up mentally and spiritually continues to be an on-going process. Part of growing up, for me, is accepting two things: 1) there are some things that I could not fully understand yet, and remain hopeful that future experiences might enlighten me, and 2) embracing unpleasant emotions is one solution to getting over them.

You can never be truly independent, because life has slapped me in the face a couple of times telling me that I need others, and that it's important to tell that I need them. You can never be constantly happy, because part of being an adult is swallowing hurtful feelings, including loneliness, rejection, disappointment and grief. And it does not get easier. "When it hurts, Still hurts everytime". You can never be truly free, even when you don't live with your parents anymore, you realize that you now have the duty of taking care of them, and having nobody to take care of as an adult would mean that you aren't completely an adult. You are a child, having the privileges of an adult.