Monday I find out if I match into a residency program here in St. Louis. This has been an extremely stressful week for me, waiting and waiting to find out.
Saturday, I realized that what I was feeling was well beyond stress...it was straight up panic. My indicator? My trichotillomania flared up again. Yeah...I wish I was kidding about this one, OHHHH but I'm not. When I wasn't happily being distracted by Parker, like when he was napping, I found myself literally standing at the window, looking outside, and pulling my eyebrows out. I know, wtf, right?
Most people with trichotillomania pull out their eye lashes, so I don't know why I go for the brows. Just another neurotic thing I do, I guess.
So I'm standing there like a CRAZY person, staring outside....mooooooonday is coming....monday is coming...PLUCK...MONDAY is coming...PLUCK....FUCKING STOP PULLING OUT YOUR EYEBROWS.
Monday is coming...PLUCK...
I try to make myself feel better by saying, Okay, I'll only pull out the raggy ones, not the smooth ones. But eventually I don't discriminate. I've had one other major trichotillomania episode in my life. It was in med school, and I pulled almost EVERY ONE of those fuckers out. It was SO embarrassing.
I hope that blogging about this will make me aware that now that other people will be paying attention to my brow situation, I will stop doing it. Here's hoping. Anxiety is a bitch, people.
I might be less stressed about the whole thing if my family, bless their hearts, would stop pretending like there is no chance for me not to match. They have no idea how the process works. Much stranger things have happened. Lots of competitive people don't match. I calculated some stats...last year 10 people who applied to OBGYN ranked only 3 programs. 6 of them matched, 4 didn't. I figure that gives me about a 60% chance...maybe slightly higher.
This is the problem when you academically succeed your entire life (please forgive the egotistical nature of this statement)...you're not allowed to worry about failing. This makes the anxiety even worse, because I'm not allowed to discuss it with anyone who isn't in medicine. And if I did fail, everyone's disappointment would be unbearable. Telling me, "Don't worry you'll match...you always succeed," is the least helpful thing to say to me. It's actually kind of insulting. What's better is to say, "You'll find out soon, and if you don't match, have a plan." Thank you friends who know how this process works. This is the right thing to say.
Other things not to say are "think positive thoughts.' My dad has been thinking positive thoughts about winning the lottery for decades now...it hasn't panned out well for him.
My plan for if I don't match is to book the next flight down to Gainesville so I can try to scramble into a medicine preliminary year here in St. Louis. And hope for some divine intervention that my adviser can make some calls before I get there. Having this plan makes me feel a little bit better. Hopefully it won't have to be implemented.