Last week, I told my mother I was struggling with my mental health. She asked if school was too tough. I told her it was, but that there was more to it. Then, she asked if I wanted to quit med school.
For a moment, I sat dumbfounded. The thought had run through my mind on many occasions and for the week preceding this conversation, I’d been telling my friends that I wanted to leave. However, when asked the question, my immediate and visceral response was no.
I sank down into my bed and thought about it. I knew why I’d wanted to leave. The toxic competitive environment and long hours that prevented me from pursuing my other interests were reason enough, but I never thought about why I’d want to stay.
Obviously, there must have been a really good reason. I’d responded so automatically. Sure, there were financial and logistical reasons, but I realised that, above all, I didn’t want to be seen as a quitter.
I have a habit of starting things and not seeing them through. It’s something I’ve always resented about myself. Two weeks ago I was even ready to quit blogging. But, I don’t want to be a quitter. Yes, giving up would disappoint the people who’ve been cheering me on (or the people who are expecting to gain from my success), but more than that, I don’t think I could live with the regret of not seeing this through. I’ve disappointed myself too many times before.
So, I’ll grind my teeth and look for a silver lining. Maybe I’ll rediscover a passion for medicine as time wears on or maybe I’ll find a way to make the time to do everything I love. All I know is I’m tired of giving up.