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Archive for June, 2010

As I go through this program I continue to learn about myself and today I was happy to realize something.  In the past, I have always wanted to be ‘liked’ and I don’t want to rock the boat in communities (we wont go into the number of times I’ve butted heads with idiocy in the program or in situations, at least not right now).  I’m not sure what to call it, because I will definitely stand up if I believe something’s wrong (that’s a story for another time), and I sometimes am very stubborn!  However, I don’t want to act in such a way that will cause people to think ill of me.  Perhaps this has some significance that harkens back to childhood. Who knows. I need to sleep (or stop procrastinating as I’m doing so well this evening), so I’m not going to delve into that depth of self-reflection right now.

However, earlier this week I met in a group project for school and made comments about making sure to use ‘buzz words’ from the assignment outline.  This is to orient the instructors so that they know that we’ve met their criteria.  I commented that I didn’t want to lose marks because the instructors simply got lost in the presentation.  A group member rolled her eyes at me.   At first, that made me a little sad as I don’t want to create poor group dynamics, but I do want us to do our best on the project!  Then today in another group meeting, we were all having casual conversation before the meeting really got underway.  This same group member made a comment that reminded me of a scene from the film Mary Poppins.  I brought it up as a part of the banter.  Her response was roll her eyes, make a remark and direct her conversation elsewhere.

Other than feeling like I’d been transported back to a high school group project, I realized that I just don’t care what she thinks.  She can dislike me, or think I’m anal, or whatever her opinion is and it doesn’t matter to me, I just can’t be bothered to care. I can only choose to act professionally myself, ensure that the criteria are met for any of my group project and ignore other people’s attitudes because I can do nothing about that.

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Today is the second day back into this rotation. The rotations I’m on are all 6 weeks long.  We get one week off between rotations (it’s ostensibly ‘exam’ week but we don’t always have exams) and then the first week into the new rotation is an ‘intensive’ week. We spend the entire week in classes, with one day in our clinical orientation.  The topics covered vary by rotation. This rotation for me is Mental Health and I’m doing my clinical on a psychiatric unit at a local hospital.  The patient populations vary in terms of their illnesses. But, today we spent time discussing an important assessment tool: Suicide Assessments.

Like many people, I have been touched by people in my life attempting or succeeding at this tragic call for help. This meant that today was intense, exhausting, reminded me of some things, and I left feeling completely drained.

Fortunately, I was already signed up for this year’s bootcamp. So I had a workout set to go — and I’ve committed to this (in spite of large amounts of homework to do) to help with regaining my fitness that was slammed by mono, and to rebuild my self-confidence after a rough winter.  It was the ideal coping mechanism. I felt great after it was over. I’m  so glad they were emphasizing that returning to our past coping mechanisms is important to do in this rotation. So I feel supported in my decision to take more time to exercise. It means I need to balance my time carefully, but I’m so thankful I’ve got this — for this month at least.  As we progress through life, asking ourselves how do we cope with life’s stresses is an important question.

So that’s the challenge I’m posing here.  I challenge my readers to take time to reflect on how you cope with life’s stresses (both the effective ways and the ineffective/unhealthy ways), and ask: is it effective and healthy or is it something that you’d like to change. If you’d like to change it, do you have replacements in mind or how can you change this? Do you need support in finding replacement coping strategies?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to post a comment. It can be anonymous – your real name’s not required (any emails that are requested are to prevent spam, no one sees them except me and are kept private blah blah blah).

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It’s time I update this blog. I’ve got a few days left before this so called break is done and I will take time to update things. But first, a brief satisfying moment. There’s someone I love dearly, but with whom I have communication challenges. Today we had a long phone call about practical things. But it was about 30 min long, I wasn’t frustrated or stressed afterwards or during. In many ways it fit my ‘ideal’ phone call with this person. This moment is certainly making me smile and, somehow, has given me a boost of mental energy for the evening. I’m smiling, and a bit misty eyed (a happy thing) at the wonder of this moment.

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