I would say I’m empathetic by nature, maybe too empathetic. Even though I try my best to ignore this fact about myself. I can’t help but feel deeply for others and the difficulties we’re all faced with sometimes.
It might’ve been the main reason why I decided to study what I study the first time ‘round. I wanted to help people and make them better, but not in a way a trauma surgeon would. Except, I’d be suturing wounds that are invisible to the world, the kind that often go unnoticed and in turn are left to foster.
Except, then I realized. Things are not that simple.
We cannot use yesterday’s eyes to see today’s problems.
Let alone solve it.
First, I recognized that there’s something distinctly more difficult about mental care – as the first step, the patient themselves must want to change. Because they too could be under the impression that nothing is ‘wrong’.
Second, then what’s the optimal state they’d would be looking to achieve? Functional? As health care professionals, how do we determine that? It is after all very hard to quantify certain behaviour and derive meaning from them.
Third, there isn’t one way to live your life and my perspectives are too limited from what I know and what I’ve grew up with. My corner of the world is just a corner. My powers are limited. Even if I did try my best, there are concepts and ideas, I find hard to grapple. And it isn’t because I’m intellectually deficient but like I had observed and summarized.
“We’re all trapped in our versions of reality.”
In the end, I realized I had wasted time on something, figuring out that this isn’t for me. All the while wasting resources, while I could’ve just done what I always wanted to do – like Art and Design (but Art and Design, of course, according to those around me, wasn’t proper. There isn’t actually a market for it over here.)
At first I was devastated I had wasted so much time on something that wasn’t what I wanted and wasn’t even going to be something I want to do and back then, I got into a loop of thinking this was the worst thing that’d ever happened to me.
But then I realized. That’s just life.
There are no guarantees.
Every good emotion you experience, enjoy it, savour it, for those are often fleeting.
The times you spend with family and friends, those moments you make with the ones you love – you should cherish it and let it make you into a more loving and better person.
Every negative emotion, every hurdle, crossroad you find yourself on. While invariably nerve wrecking and sometimes painful, get through them and let them go.
There’s nothing gained from beating yourself up over what went ‘wrong’.
Don’t feel sorry that you were hurt, feel glad you survived and can continue on.
Time wasn’t wasted if there are lessons learned.
Life isn’t about hiding from pain, or learning a lesson from tough situations and never trying again.
Quite the opposite, life is about knowing the pain, overcoming it regardless to get to where you need to be.
Then it’ll all make sense, the hurt and the pain were there to prepare you for something greater.
So don’t give up now. Fall down, get up, recoup, try again.