winter slump: a meta-analysis

February 22, 2010

i think i get it now
these past 2 weeks on heme/onc have been a trying time. work-wise, it’s been a frustrating — and sometimes baffling — period, with more than one unspeakable tragedy occurring among our patients. one would think that with horrible things happening to completely innocent people, i’d be able to glide through my own little tribulations easily, a whopping dose of perspective staring me right in the face every morning on rounds.

but instead, the opposite was true. i have been a mess these past 2 weeks. instead of grieving (out loud or in silence) about the utter unfairness — stupidity, even! — that puts the lives of toddlers and teens in jeopardy, i’ve just bristled at every little mishap, every annoying page. and on a parallel vein, with some personal things, instead of addressing/talking about the more important life issues that are stressing me out, i’ve just made a mess of the little details — my workout schedule, for example.

i have never felt simultaneously so lazy and exhausted. i’ve been sleeping erratically, never feeling rested. and i have been missing josh, just feeling lonely while eating supbar dinners and going to sleep in a cold and overly-spacious bed. my mood, thoughts, drive — they’re all very february. and there’s a reason someone decided to make this one the shortest month.

well, so now what?
yes, it’s a good plan.

my heme/onc month is now over. and while i wouldn’t say my next rotation is necessarily uber-uplifting (i’ll be working with special-needs kids of all types), it at least comes with a better lifestyle so that i won’t be surrounded by it seemingly 24/7. josh is coming off of night float, so i get him back from the nocturnal abyss! and maybe — just maybe the NC weather will cooperate with a few more glimpses of spring (today was gorgeous but i was in the hospital all day and basically missed it all).

your comments yesterday were extremely sweet and supportive! thank you. but honestly, i feel that i’m ready for a swift kick in the rear (only one of you gave me even a hint of one — and i definitely appreciated the honesty!). part of my problem, i think, is that with all of the action outlined above, i entered into several vicious (and borderline toxic) cycles. just a couple of the main ones:

feeling down/tired –> skipping workouts/runs and subpar eating choices –> feeling more down/tired –> repeat ad nauseum.

feeling overwhelmed –> avoiding working on projects –> feeling more overwhelmed –> you get the picture.

the way out of this mess, as i see it, is to just jump back in, doing one thing at a time. the first run, or the first thing tackled on my to-do list will be the hardest, but i am confident that things will slide into place. and i look forward to feeling like my energetic, upbeat self again!

just so you don’t think i’ve lost the ability to smile
allie, susan, sara, lucy (my wonderful coworker), josh, and i met up at one of my favorite spots, the belgian gastropub Mill Town.

company like that can always turn my frown upside-down (excuse my fluffy anthro jacket in this shot!). the beer didn’t hurt, either. for a culinary run-down (including a shot of my absolute favorite brew accompaniment ever), check out allie‘s recap.