If you’re new around here, welcome! and I have generalized anxiety disorder.
What a way to start a blog post.
I manage it with medication and lifestyle, but there have been periods of time where I didn’t take my medication because I didn’t think I needed it. That’s the tricky part — day to day I may not, but the second anything goes wrong I am a complete mess. To me, it’s much better to take it consistently.
A few years ago when I was off my medication and also likely weighed too little for my brain to function at it’s best, I was deeply unhappy. The biggest aspect was feeling completely unfulfilled by my career, but I know that my low weight and my untreated anxiety were a huge part of it. At the time, I cried almost daily. I did my best to make progress with my job, but all roads seemed to dead end. I felt like I was a failure, but I didn’t know how to get out of it.
That was the time I consider my quarter-life crisis. I was a stressed, anxious mess. I just wanted out.
The process of deciding to change careers was a long and hard one. I got resistance, I got skepticism, I got doubt. I had to fight my own doubt and fears, I had to accept losing my debt-free finances and pushing back “normal” life timelines, and I had to admit that the career I initially chose wasn’t right for me.
This isn’t to wax and wane over that time in my life, but more to contrast it with where I am now.
Medical school is a stressful time too. It’s not just the crazy hard tests, impossible amount of information, and constant studying. It’s the pressure of having a boards exam next year that almost entirely determines your career options, a bizarre match process that leaves you nearly no choice in where you end up working, and always wondering if you’re doing “enough” to make those two things go your way.
But no matter how stressed I get, it is a better stress. I am happy with where I am. I enjoy what I’m doing. I see a future career that I can’t wait to begin, even if involves some not-so-fun hours and a non-ideal placement process.
I get questions a lot from people that aren’t happy with their careers. They often say that people think they are being silly or picky or just aren’t willing to push through some stressful times. And while I totally agree that those are important things to consider and am glad I had people in my life that made me think about them, sometimes you really might not be in the right spot. Sometimes you may truly need to make a change, not just continue the struggle.
If you’re stressed and confused, I’d encourage you to take the time to evaluate where you are in your life, what your goals are, what drives and inspires you, and whether you may just be at a rough patch. Figure out if the stress will subside or if you need to actively pursue a better life.
Stress is inevitable, but finding a stress that is worth it makes all the difference.