This is me freaking out again

You know how I talked about that tutor yesterday? My group’s first session with him is tomorrow morning. We have to prepare 2 cases and pair up for the ‘consulting skills’ session but the person I’m paired up with has fallen ill. I can’t help it, I’m freaking out again. I know it’s not her fault she’s fallen sick but still!

We have had no luck with this tutor so far. I have no idea how tomorrow is going to go. I am overthinking this and screaming internally. ugh.

Also, I rely very much on Michael Scott gifs to get me through crap times.

this has been a rant

So my group met our tutor for Thursday sessions today and the first thing he told us what that he was already disappointed in the way we handled ourselves. He sent us an email last week to let him know beforehand which topics we’d like to cover. Unfortunately in my group, none of us bothered to send him a reply which clearly would piss ANYONE off.

The worst part is that he’s my tutor in charge for this new posting. He’ll be the one marking my assignments and giving feedback about most matters. He’s also notorious for giving the lowest marks for assignments. This was not even close to what I was hoping this posting would be like.

There is much to be said about team effort but at the same time, I could have just taken charge and fixed everything myself. It would have solved all our issues earlier. And this hiccup would have never occurred.

Yes, yes, I know, I’m taking this all too seriously. It just really sucks. Fingers crossed that on Thursday, he’s willing to put aside this bump. I would really hate for him to hold this against us.

A gif to sum up my life right now

I got my phone screen fixed today and reinforced with the ‘tempered glass’ screen protector. I’m pretty clumsy, so the tempered glass is important. I won’t lie, for a moment there, I was pretty tempted to get a new phone. If any of you remember, the pink S4 that I have right now was a gift from my Lola in 2013. I do like it, it’s the first smartphone I’ve ever owned. It’s pink, which makes it standout from the crowd. But being surrounded by people who own Apple’s iPhone 6 all the time, I couldn’t help the twinge of ‘maybe I could get a new one’. My parents did offer and if I said ‘OKAY’ they would have probably gotten me a new phone. The sense of responsibility and being grateful for what I did have stopped me from being stupid. This phone still works really well, there is no real reason to change it. And not everyone can say their grandma got them a smartphone. I’m glad the cost of changing the screen wasn’t as painful as previously anticipated. It looks brand new again and I’m very glad. I thought I’d round up some good links in case anyone wanted to read/ watch/ listen to something that I found pretty interesting/ entertaining this week:

In light of the mishap, from The Financial Diet- 9 SMART THINGS EVERY CLUMSY GIRL SHOULD DO FOR HERSELF

A meme + Love Never Dies mash-up (I can never get over the fact that ALW basically co-created and made his own fanfiction into a show)

Gilmore Girls meets The Fault in Our Stars

Mad Men is coming to an end, but the stylish women will always be timeless. Courtesy of Verily Magazine, Mad Men Wardrobe Inspiration

A studio I aspire to have from The Private Life of A Girl

Marie Forleo inspires again with her reply to a Q on Q&A Tuesday: What to do when you feel useless and alone

The importance of representation in the media, beautifully illustrated in this Tumblr post

Have a good ‘what’s left of your weekend’ and a great week ahead, lovelies! x

my week so far

I have set up my agenda for the next nine weeks for my General Practice posting. I am slightly freaking out because the things covered under GP is basically all of Year 3. Do I remember most of last year? Will I crack under pressure? Am I just overthinking everything, as usual? (like I realllllyyyyy needed to ask that)

Aside from the shift of postings, my phone screen has somehow shattered.

Photo on 4-9-15 at 9.00 PM

There isn’t much of a tale to tell. I was at my bedside class with my phone in the pocket of my lab coat. I put my hand in my pocket to get it out, only to end up with small cuts because of the teeny shards of glass+plastic. Not to worry, it’s still “intact” but the number of cracks makes me think of the mirror in Beauty and the Beast. Actually, my screen is far worse. I did vacuum it (yes, I used a vacuum cleaner on my phone) in case there were any tiny pieces left, and so far, it’s been working alright. The only issue right now is due to the shattered patterns, I can’t really read the screen too clearly. Thank goodness for the Web version of Whatsapp! According to my brother and Melanie, the cost of changing a phone screen is cringeworthy. I have no idea how this is going to play out for now.

I have no major plans for the weekend. My parents are coming down for a night which I am fairly grateful for. I’ll be crashing at their hotel room tonight, so, YAY. Perhaps I’ll have good internet. hahahaha. I intend to have a nice quiet weekend, do some grocery shopping and some preparations for the weeks ahead.

My life isn’t too interesting at the moment, which is good because interesting usually means drama. Aside from the phone thing, I’m okay. And okay is good enough.

Tale as Old As Time

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As promised, my post today is to do with Beauty and the Beast on stage. But first of all, HAPPY EASTER to all! Mine was spent third-wheeling but it wasn’t too bad. There was a lot of walking involved from switching buses to wandering around the Gardens at Marina Bay Sands. I think I may have inadvertently gotten more tan but all in all, I had a good day.

This was the first time I saw a musical without my brother and honestly, I miss the company. It’s different, dissecting a show with a friend, and dissecting it with someone whom you know cares as much as you do about the quality of productions. Not that my housemate does not, it’s just different. Damn the fact that Aaron’s passport was expiring soon.

BatB in general was lovely. I am not ashamed to say that I teared up at the end because it was great. I really liked the ensemble performance for Gaston and Be Our Guest, and the stage work for the scenes in the forest and the wolves was really clever. But my favourite part has to be how they did the reveal for the Beast at the end. There must have been a lot of timing and clever placements of harnesses. And the guy played it really well though I bet all that must have been very uncomfortable.

The only thing I would query is how the Beast acts. I kinda expected it to be more similar to the movie, with him being unsure about things but in this one, he was almost too flamboyant with his reactions. I don’t know if it’s because that’s the way he was written in the script or if this was a liberty that the director took. Once you got over that, it was lovely.

I recommend this musical more than Grease, definitely. (because that wasn’t great, guys, really). I think most people would, it has generally rave reviews. It’s nice to feel like you’re watching that movie all over again, except with real people this time.

I had good day. My feet won’t be pleased tomorrow but I enjoyed my time.

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I’ve got a lot to say

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I know it’s been over a week since I last wrote but there’s been a lot going on. I had to finish my assignment that was due on Friday, and then my presentation got moved forward from next week to the same Friday, so I had to finish that, too. And some personal problems got blown up last week, funnily enough, that was triggered by my last post,  though that was a long time coming. It has been one of the more trying times of the year so far.

I am finally free today and I am so glad to be done with all of that. There have been late nights this week which is the reason I slept at 9pm last night and woke up at 6.30am. I  am shockingly still sleepy. Sleep debt has never worked for me. I need proper hours and no disruptions. I’m probably going to sleep at 9pm again today and get up about the same time tomorrow.

My case write-up was about a psychiatry patient who has schizophrenia. The guy I interviewed (well, my friend and I interviewed him together, but I took his case for my assignment) was pretty nice and really forthcoming with what he sees and hears. His drug abuse history was something he didn’t hide, which you would think would happen: clearly, there’s a gift psychiatrists have: being told the absolute truth about substance use. Well, most of the time anyway. So, that wasn’t too hard to write. I made it 200 words under the limit, luckily.

My time is psychiatry is coming to a close in the next week and I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far. While there have been instances where patients are very volatile, very touchy-feely, some reject you.. all in all, I have learned so much from the people I have come in contact with.

My first rotation of the four this year has taught me two things in the end:

1. Be very grateful for who you, who you have, where you are in life and what you have.

While I do admit that depression is something that’s fluctuant for me (good days and bad, bad days), I am grateful that I am not completely debilitated like the patients I have seen. I am able to force myself out of bed once the bad days pass, I have learned enough from counseling to cope most of the time. Counseling with someone you trust is highly underrated, people. I recommend it if you’re going through something. It can equip you with awareness and knowledge enough to control the way you feel. Being paralysed by an illness is the worst feeling ever. If you are in that situation, you can definitely get out of it, just make yourself get help.

Aside from that, I have support. Something that last week’s emotional upheaval showed me is that I need to see the people in my life, in every sense of the word. I have a great family who has been there for me every single step of the way, who love me and want what’s best for me. I have these group mates that push me to be better in order to keep up with them. I have a good network of people who help me see beyond my own little world. I am thankful for each and every one of you for making my world better. I am thankful for the positive outlooks we all strive to find when things are shaky in our lives. And I am thankful for the times that you’ve allowed me to reach out and metaphorically hold your hand, for my own sake.

There was this patient in the wards a few days ago who was unemployed and solely relying on her mother (who was also a schizophrenic patient who went off her meds) for financial support. When her mom lost her job, they were left defenseless and so, the mom went around looking for scraps of food behind restaurants. They would boil what vegetables the mom brought back with the minimal amount of salt and eat that without rice because they are that poor. Hearing something like that made me physically ill. I have never been more grateful for what material things I have, for the fact that I can choose to eat whatever I want because my parents can afford it. Hearing her story first hand has made me very conscious of the fact that I have been so blessed. (And in case you’re wondering, social services is helping her family out and getting in touch with her extended family. She will be okay).

2. Be brave and rely on yourself because you can do it.

I received some feedback from last year’s tutors last week about participating more in class because “you know the answers, but you’re always so afraid to try”. I have no idea why but my confidence levels have plummeted in the past few years. The fact that everyone in medical school used to be the top students in their old school has made me question my own abilities to be anything or to do anything as well as them. I used to be ‘good enough’ but when you’re surrounded by people who are ‘great’, it’s hard to see that you have the same potential, which is why you ‘got in’ in the first place. During one of our tutorials last week, my group mates pointed out that I have excellent bedside manners because patients usually open up to me, and somehow, that idea seemed so foreign to me. It’s silly how much my self-esteem has been reduced to that I found it hard to take a compliment. I need to learn to piece those parts of me back together. A few years ago, my mom said that I’m a shadow of the person I used to be before and it has taken so long for me to truly see that. I used to be better before I allowed my mental health problems take over who I am. I need to regain what I have lost because being the way I am now has caused so much strain on my relationships with others and especially, my relationship with myself.

On a happier note, I’m going to see Beauty and the Beast (the musical) on stage in Singapore tomorrow with my housemate and her boyfriend (third wheeling, ftw) and I am very excited. That’s what tomorrow night’s post is likely to be about. I hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend. And again, thank you. I am grateful for you.

A Guide to Long Distance Friendships

I wrote this a while back and it’s been in my drafts ever since. After much thought and consideration, I felt like it was time I hit POST on this:

The blessing of the Internet has provided me with the opportunity to make friends from all around the world. When I was ten, I would jump at the opportunity to have a penpal who lived in a different state. Would I have ever imagined that I’d have some overseas? I don’t think so. Look how much the world has changed since then! When you get close to people you never see or have friends who aren’t within a 50km radius (yes, let’s just use that number), being good friends, being best friends even, is trying. But here’s what I’ve learned in past few years:

1. Use your phone

“With the wonders of technology, communicating to a loved one is only a click away”. That should be an advert. It probably was an advert 10 years ago. Anyway! I have besties I don’t see on a regular basis, I have people I have never met, in person, in my life. You still want to be a part of theirs, so TALK. Text message, using Whatsapp or Snapchat or whatever app comes in handy. Write emails, use Google Hangout. Spam their Tumblr ASK box, or Tweet, if it comes to that. With how rare it is for someone to not have a phone in 2015, it’s almost ridiculous if you can’t say HI once in a while. ALMOST because..

2. Remember that life gets in the way

I mean this in the most logical of senses. I have a good friend in Ireland right now and when she’s very free, Helen and I talk almost every day via recorded messages sent on WhatsApp (yes, so we can ‘talk’ on the phone without actually paying the international call charges). But when she’s back to teaching practice or I’m back in classes, those conversations become rare instances. Sometimes, they don’t coincide, so I can be left feeling like she’s ignoring me (and vice versa!) but that does not mean the person is actually doing that. LIFE gets in the way. (Helen and I constantly apologise profusely when this happens) Sometimes, you really have NO time to listen to messages or you do, and you don’t have the time to actually reply. Or days, even weeks go by and you don’t speak to one another. If you’re on the receiving end of a lot of this, don’t blame the other person. Sure, there will be times when he/she may be pissed at you for some reason and not want to talk, but usually, it’s because they genuinely have no time. So, don’t take offense if you’re sidelined. I find that there will be times when conversation flourishes ridiculously and those help to tide you over during the ‘drought’ seasons.

3. Write physical letters

Or postcards. Or send them something in the mail. I know every person I write to enjoys getting a handwritten card or handmade anything. Heck, if the letter is typed out, but signed with a pen/pencil, I’d appreciate it. I like mail that’s not bills, and I think a lot of people do too. If you have someone you don’t see often, send them something that gets delivered by a person (or a robot, if that’s a thing somewhere on this planet). I think they’ll appreciate it.

4. The 5 minutes (At least!) Skype/Facetime/Google Hangout session

This is something I find to be super useful. As lovely as constant messages may be, it’s always good to SEE a friendly face. One Tuesday ago, I spent 5 hours online, talking to my best friends because our timing never synched up properly and because one was in a completely different country (and time zone). It was so much fun, despite having to figure out how to not talk over each other. I think it’s important to set up a Skype/Facetime/Google Hangout session as regularly as you can, if you can.

5. Don’t quit on the person

Unless you truly don’t want them in your life. I’ll be blunt and say that sometimes, you don’t need certain ‘energies’ in your life and it’s okay when you want to not try as hard because frankly, you don’t want them in your life. I know that comes off as asshole-ish but let’s be honest, there are friendships that fizzle partly because of distance but mostly because it wasn’t built on substance to begin with. When you have friends you truly love, you will fight to keep that person in your life and you know, they’re trying as hard as you.

Make sure you’re keeping the right people in your life, and don’t waste time on people who clearly don’t want you.