As I begin my P4 year, I am starting to reflect on my P3 year. At the end of last year, I reflected on my fall semester of P3. This year, I have had some eye-opening moments.
I feel like the fall semester and spring semester had different energies. I also feel like I learned a lot about myself and the people around me.
Some things I learned were good and some things were bad, but they all come together to help me grow as a person.
I just wanted to update everyone on my life and share some moments of growth that I had this year. Because you can talk about growth and how to improve in life but leading by example will always trump the talk.
Attending My First AA Meeting
This semester I took an elective on substance abuse disorders. It was actually a lot of work for an online elective. I learned a lot.
One of the reasons I took this class was because I feel like we just breeze over substance abuse in most classes. I also wanted to gain a human aspect to my textbook knowledge of substance abuse.
And I definitely did gain a human aspect to substance abuse when I attended an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting for the first time.
It was not what you see on TV. No one sat in a circle and there was a lot of people from various backgrounds. I was nervous. I expected someone to jump out and say, “Hey, you don’t belong here? Why are you here?” at any moment.
Fortunately, that did not happen. What did happen was an insightful meaning where I found humanity in addiction. Listening to these people explain their struggles with addiction, their families, and their selves made me tear up on multiple occasions.
There were people who did not feel worthy of their family so they turned to alcohol to make them feel better. They felt the embarrassment and the remorse for things that they had done in the past.
But they were also fighters. They were fighting every day to beat their condition because addiction is a disease. Then, they turned back to help pick someone else up and sponsor them through their recovery.
It was amazing. It also gave me encouragement to keep going. Because if someone could go from being homeless without support to being successful in their own right and helping others, surely, I could get through another day of pharmacy school.
Mental Health First Aid
I also got the Mental Health First Aid Trained. I highly recommend that everyone does. It was an 8-hour course but it was definitely worth it.
I learned skills to help talk to my friends, family, and strangers. I also learned some ways I could help myself. Mental Health First Aid Training is so important.
Because mental health conditions are invisible conditions, a lot of people do not understand that depression is not just sadness. Anxiety is not just worrying.
There is a difference between a “normal” brain and a depressed brain or a brain with PTSD. You cannot always just get over it. Mental disorders will leave a mark on your life, forever.
You will never forget your depression even after you “get over it.” What I loved about the training was that it gave you tools that you can use on a regular basis. You don’t have to wait for a mental health crisis.
The training shows you how to talk to someone, how to not make the situation about you, how to ask open questions that are not judgmental and be genuine.
Don’t tell someone that you are open to talk any time if you are not. Chances are they will take you up on that offer and if you are not ready, you are letting that person down. They may not ask anyone else for fear of the same reaction from others.
You know how that feels. You can tell when you feel like a burden to someone else. That never feels good especially when you already feel like you are not wanted by anyone at the moment.
Editing An Empowerment Book
Something that also happened this school year was that I was able to help edit an empowerment book for young women as a student editor. The book just got published recently and it’s available online.
It’s called Finding Her Own Way by Goumah Marie Conde. I have my physical copy signed and I am also mentioned in the acknowledgments.
I am super happy that I could be a part of the process. At the beginning of my P3 year, I don’t think I expected any of this.
My Blog Stopped Being A Secret
I have received a lot of support from friends, family, and classmates for my blog. I am super grateful. I was definitely afraid to let people I actually know physically learn that I had a blog.
I was afraid of being judged. But that was a fear that I had to conquer. How do you expect a blog to grow if you hide it from the people you have the most access to?
It’s just easier to be rejected by strangers than those you love. But that fear was conquered. Well, it’s still being conquered day by day.
I still get nervous pushing the publish button sometimes.
Overall, my P3 year was very challenging mentally, personally, financially, and intellectually. There are times where I was so overwhelmed. I didn’t think I would make it.
But here I am starting rotations. I’ve finished my didactic curriculum. Sometimes, I am in awe of how far I’ve gotten with all the obstacles that I have encountered.
But it has all been worth it so far and all I can do is thank God for the strength and perseverance that he has given me. I look forward to new adventures and moments of growth as I start my P4 year and go through my rotations.
Thanks for reading my rant,
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