Wednesday, 12 January 2011

so here's to a new start and a difficult post

I feel like I am about to write my personal statement and applying to university again. Indeed if I had it to hand I would probably plagiarise my words.  I can remember only the first sentence.

"As I watched my grandmother slowly succumb to cancer, I learnt that we must palliate what we cannot cure." 
anna aged 17 (with the usual flair for the dramatic).

Medicine has been my passion for what seems like forever. I remember as an eleven year old girl I became enthralled by the world of forensic medicine and knew that being a forensic pathologist was my calling.  To speak for those so terribly hurt and offer some solace to their families. I must have been a rather macabre child but I just remember being thrilled by the precision and clinical acumen of their work. (I did have rather a few books including an encyclopaedia of forensic medicine).

To work in medicine you have to be passionate. The pay is lousy for the hours worked, I have friends in the city with fewer qualifications earning 4 times more than me (I realise education counts for little in the end). As you climb the slippery ladder you are made to feel stupid by people who have been made to feel stupid before you. It can be the most lonely profession, everyone seems to be swimming yet you seem to be drowning.Yet the job, the work, the challenge is wonderful. It should have been my career. I love (not always the best word) listening to old ladies tell me about their sex lives, old chaps telling me about their wedding day, women confiding in me that their boyfriend caused their injuries, babies holding your finger for the first time whilst finally finishing their feed and comforting the family who have just lost their only child or mother. It is a magnificent job.  It is not always serious job. I have such fond memories of giggles with nurses or trying to convince the radiographer to take the blasted x-ray at 4am in the morning. 

My depression (yes it feels good to own it and know it does not own me)* has made it impossible for me to be responsible for those under my care. I have became the person I despise, the tardy and undependable doctor. I cannot be that doctor. Others are happy being that doctor. I know their type. They see it work as just a job and another step to money and private practice. So now I will get better and find a job that can be my career.  

I cannot imagine my brain not being thrilled by science or medicine. I hope my mind will remain curious. I'm pretty nosy (as many of you know) so I imagine I will! I do just love knowing stuff! I will continue to read and absorb as many facts my little brain can cope with. My only hope is to be the 21st century equivalent of Miss Marple in my dotage. (If you start at a higher level of brain function then the dotage comes more slowly, no?)


Scapel, I will miss you.
But I think I need to care about me more.

I am not sure where this will take me. My qualifications mean nothing in the current economic climate.  It will be a rocky road for me and Bean. I am so happy to have Bean to help me through this. I do love you so.

I hope you will join me on my new path. Your advice and insight is always welcome and will probably be necessary in the coming months.

Also on the off chance you fancy employing an eminently enthusiastic, intelligent, creative lady. I could be your girl.

*Also I know it sounds a little...pyschobabbly.

35 comments:

  1. Good luck to you in all that you do, the adventure has just begun xx

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  2. I've just been at a crossroads due to ill health, it is a scary place to be, I'm extremely well qualified but the job market is a horrid place to be. Best of luck to you x

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  3. WOW. What a very heartfelt read. It literally took my breath away. You are so very brave for taking such a huge step. Well done you!! Here's to a fantastic and positive 2011. You will be a huge success in whatever you choose to do.

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  4. Anna,

    What a beautifully brave post. I wish you all the luck in the world.

    "Every Journey starts with a single step"

    You're on your way

    Mwah

    O x

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  5. Wow what an amazingly honest blog post Anna! I really hope that you find your path. I've had my own episodes with anxiety and depression and I do still feel it compromising my ability to do my job (although it's nowhere near as stressful as yours) but the best any of us can do is just that, our best!

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  6. Good luck with your new journey Anna. Your bravery,honesty, wit and intelligence here on this blog has won you a lot of friends. We will all be ready to cheer you on whatever you decide to do next.

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  7. How honest, how well written - good luck, you have taken a step into the unknown it's scary but you can have faith that what's for you won't go by you. You are not alone.

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  8. Oh Anna, I want to give you big hugs. This must be scary but you have a super supportive partner and all of us rooting for you. I don't know much about scientific careers, but there must be something related for you to do. Something in research perhaps? This is a big leap but I know that it will be a great thing for you. You will find something that fits you. More hugs. I'm always here if you want to talk.

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  9. wow, Anna - what a brave lady you are! i think it is incredible how honest (although often seemingly harsh) you are with yourself - thank you for sharing all of this with us. Just think, this could be the most exciting thing you have ever done - so many of us want to change our lives, but not everyone can do it. You are doing it. Best of luck, and well done x

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  10. You are inspiring! I admire you for doing this, I have no doubt that this is fete and you will find something equally as rewarding, you do need to look after yourself so you can look after others, without you where would those people be???

    For a start how about blogging and generally writing as you certainly have a talent for that!

    Good luck and I will always be reading your wonderful blog

    xx

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  11. Wow Anna - so brave of you to take that leap - one that I entirely understand/empathise with! I have to say I can't get past the idea of you becoming some kind of Miss Marple - please do that!

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  12. *HIGH FIVE*
    Good work on the bravery and honesty. Sorry that the doctoring has not worked out, but we will find some way of keeping that wonderful wee brain of yours motivated and sparky!
    x

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  13. omg anna you're giving up medicine?! love and encouragement to do what's best for you from my end. positive vibes are hurtling across the interwebs from me to you right now too. i know how crippling depression can be.

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  14. What a strong brave woman you are. I really admire your honesty and frankness. Few of us would take such a leap out of our comfort zone into the unknown.There's a big wide world out there waiting to discover you and your talents. Go for it girl! We are behind you every step of the way! xx

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  15. wow Anna....I did the same reached a crossroads after the sudden death of my only child aged 15 nine years ago. Life had to change, I had changed irrevocably and I no longer wanted to be within the University I worked for I needed to be free and be creative and escape and give myself time to just 'be'... The depression that hit me was like a black walled room and I thought I'd never emerge or be 'real' again but I did and I'm here! I wish you all the best in your new endeavours and you will find your niche but never stop being curious and learning - I havent it enriches my life and I plan to grow old ever so disgracefully! I hope you do too and thank you for your honesty you are quite an amazingly refreshingly brave woman. much love. Jx

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  16. Little Miss Wedding12 January 2011 at 19:58

    Gosh that it is a very brave post. I never realised that you were a doctor, but like all the comments above you must follow your instincts and your heart and you will be fine. It really is true that every cloud has a silver lining it can be amazing what can manifest itself out of change. I hope you keep us all posted on your developments and best of luck on your new journey (as a married lady) X

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  17. Hi Anna, thank you for such an open, moving - and inspirational post. I recognised much of what you said. I applaud your courage, honesty and resilience - and will definitely be cheering you on your new journey. With very best wishes, from Melita x

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  18. When one door closes another opens. With your Bean by your side you will find the right one to open. Sending hugs and kisses to you. xxx

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  19. I've just come across your blog via your comment on my last post, and when I looked through some of your posts I suddenly recognised you from the photos on Emma Case's site - I saved so many of your wedding into my inspiration file - they were so beautiful! And you looked absolutely stunning - that dress!

    I really admire how honest you've been here - I've suffered from depression before and I know how horribly crippling it can be. I'm sending you lots of hugs xxxx And I really look forward to reading more of your blog x

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  20. I wish you all the luck in the world on your new journey Anna - and I am absolutely certain that you will find a new and wonderful passion that will fulfil you as much as you hope...and deserve xxx

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  21. Cripey!

    I have a good friend who was forced to give up her - stressful - phD because of chronic fatigue. Sort of similar in that it's one of those invisible illnesses so it's almost harder to accept, particularly when it means having to make the decision to let go of something you've worked hard for. Anyway, she's so much healthier and happier now and I hope you'll find the same thing. Huggles and stuff! x

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  22. Oh, Anna. I know this is a difficult post. But I also saw a lot of inspiration. And I had no idea about you and medicine! I enjoyed learning more about you, and about your passions. It's not going to be easy to move forward, but you have us and Bean behind you. Best of luck and xoxo.

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  23. Change is always scary. I am trying hard this year to learn to embrace it. Good luck embracing your changes. x

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  24. good luck with the change, anna, i think you'll be brilliant at whatever you do.

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  25. I'm glad to hear that through all the hard decisions, frankness, and wistfulness in this post, there is still a truly positive slant. Go for it Anna, I look forward to reading about where this year takes you.

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  26. Best of luck in the new adventure! It will be uncharted territory but I hope you find something that really makes you passionate!

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  27. You are SO brave. Courage, my dear. xo

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  28. It is no small thing to change course. Bravo for bravely following your heart! The single over-arching lesson learned from my own divergence 2 years ago is everything happens for a reason, and whatever it is, things are sure to turn out right in the end. In fact, what got me through my darkest, eff my life, I'm-a-complete-failure moments was the firefly light of what's on the other side of Mount Crapmore. You know - one door closing/another opening and all. Good luck and good journey!

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  29. What a beautiful, brave, open and honest post, sweetie. I couldn't ever imagine being a doctor. How hard it would be to have to be strong and supportive and to basically try to provide miracles to people. I have watched many people die over my lifetime, most recently my best friend less than two weeks ago to brain cancer. Over the last few days as I walked around and sat in his hospital room as a zombie having the doctors try to provide some sort of solace I found myself thinking how brave are the people? I could never do it. And I think it's so brave of you to realize that you can't do it anymore. How many doctors get burnt out and numb and cold? I think way too many.

    Thank you so much for all you have done for people and I wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor. You are so wonderful and creative and I know that you will find something that makes your heart soar.

    xoxo

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  30. Great post! I hope you can find a job. I could never work as a doctor (I think I'd go crazy), so I admire people who could. Besides the fact that I'm very much not a science person. You seem to be a truly caring person, and I admire you obvious passion for medicine. Best of luck!

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  31. what a lovely, moving post. thank you for being so honest and open with us. I feel honored. I am definitely along for the ride if you'll have me! I am very curiosu to see where things go and cannnot wait tio hear all about it!

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  32. Hi Anna, I'm new to your blog, hello! Thank you for writing this post - i know (i really do) how hard it must have been and how lost you must feel right now. I have been there and I hated not knowing who i was anymore. But you are obviously a lovely, kind and most importantly strong person so you will find your path and i wish you every luck on your journey.

    xxx

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  33. SO impressive that you are letting something go to be more true to yourself. I'm a dental specialist and after 10 years of university I'm not sure if I could be that brave. I often think that i might be happier doing something else...maybe one day I'll try.

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  34. I'm late but wanted to add my 'wow' to the list of other 'wow's. I think its safe to say you've blown our socks off with this!

    HIGH FIVE.

    P.s I very, very nearly misspelt socks with a c. Would have read VERY differently. Phew...!

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  35. Hey lady! I was on the path to neurobiology (I coauthored two scientific articles, booyah!) but when I moved to London, I realized how much I loved art and that it was possible to make a living in the art world (I come from a family of practicality). I've a friend who worked in finance for years but then changed careers and is now in dental school. You'll find your calling if you haven't already (I need to catch up with your blogs,) and I'm so proud of you for putting yourself first and wanting to do something you love to do. xoxo

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So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.

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