I’ve been in a funk, lately. 

Or at least, that’s what I’ve been calling it. It’s a kinder word than ‘depression.’ Though honestly, I don’t think I meet the criteria for depression. 

I just…haven’t been feeling well.

Mentally well, physically well. I find myself one week away from the end of third year, and sometimes I feel like I can barely keep my head above water, if that water was also in my own head.

I’m at the end of my Internal Medicine rotation, and I’ve found myself so close to mortality that I don’t know how to cope. Combine that with not feeling comfortable in my body, working long hours and shifts and the stress of the upcoming exam and it’s a perfect storm for feeling unwell.  

And then my elderly grandmother broke her hip, and was touch and go in the hospital and I took the weekend to go see her because I couldn’t live with myself if I hadn’t. 

Instead, I found myself with my family, sitting on the other side of the hospital bed. I’m not sure if that was better or worse for my mental health, but I tried to make this weekend about that; about this nebulous thing we call “wellness.”

It was good to see my family. It was good to have that time with my grandmother. It was good to get some physical distance from the headspace I’ve found myself in. It followed me there of course, as a darkness in your head is won’t to do, but I think I came away resolved at least, to try and change my life for the better.

I’m going to eat better and work out more. I’m going to sleep a little more and call my family more. I’m going to get back into a speciality I like more than Internal, and try to live a life that doesn’t leave me with the time to torture myself about things.

I didn’t have much time to study this weekend, with visiting my grandmother and that causes me anxiety. But it was something I needed to do for me, and I know that makes it important.

I found myself taking an hour last week, driving up to Signal Hill on a beautiful day, to sit in the breeze and look out at the ocean. I could have used that hour for studying. I probably should have. But instead I sat there, and talked to a lovely man, who lent me his binoculars to look at the whales frolicking.

It was the best I’d felt in months.

I’m not quite where I want to be, mentally or physically, but I’m going to work for those things. I’m going to give it my best, and really, that’s all any of us can do.

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