I was taking a break. When writing, that was supposed to ease my mind, was becoming too exhausting and demanding, I had to stop. So I stopped.. for a while. And now here I am again.
I remembered the first session, how my therapist asked me,”what brings you here? Tell me what has been bothering you”. The room was warm and cozy, her voice was so calm and the atmosphere so peacefully silent. And suddenly the dam broke and my words flushed uncontrollably. She just listened. And after I was finished, she said,”I’m so glad that you are here. I bet it wasn’t easy to let your guard down and to come here, was it? From your story, I don’t doubt for a second, that you have been dragging a whole lot of loads in these past years. I wonder how you have been holding up so long.” The session was over then.. There wasn’t much of questioning and answering. She just let me talk. And I was beyond amazed, how relieving it was, to paraphrase all the things that have been bothering and burdening me. Sometimes small problems or bigger ones are left unsolved and they are buried in the corner of our minds, getting bigger and spookier.. They continue to grow bigger and scarier until someday we’re getting so afraid of them, not knowing anymore what these fears actually are.
In the first period of staying home I was afraid, that I got bored and that I got lazy. I felt bad and irresponsible for staying home and still receiving a salary. So I started to plan my days in and out, doing things that I thought useful. I started making check list of everything I should do during my sick-leave.. I still had a lot of contact with people from my job, trying to plan my coming back.. even when I was not ready for work yet.
My check list got overhand. Instead of relaxing and calming down, I started to hold pressure of myself (again!). When the check-list wasn’t done by the end of the day, I started having my anxiety attack again.
Then my therapist told me to stop completely. Stop demanding things from myself. Stop making check-lists and goals. Just be. In and out.. I should just be.. Beginning with 5 minutes a day.. and then 10 minutes a day.. and then two – three times a day. I tried to be “just be” and be grateful, that I still have the day to be me.
And then I started to think.. I actually didn’t really have to take extra 10 minutes a day to “just be”. Moslems do pray 5 times a day.. and these occasions are just the perfect timings for just being at the moment and being grateful. And so I tried to be more discipline of doing the 5-times-prayers.. The prayers I have been doing since I was a little child.. And slowly I re-found my personal essence of religion and my peace in it. I personally don’t have the need to brag and tell everyone about my belief. Because I believe, religion is the most personal thing.. It is about myself and the Lord of this vast universe. I suppose, that I would find the same peace in other religions as well. For me, religion is the media and not more. The Lord is that almighty, he doesn’t need to be defended. (So yes, I am definitely against the belief of some people, who keep saying that they were “protecting” their religion and their Lord from being “tainted”).
Then I spent a lot of time, thinking (and not thinking) primarily about what I want, doing only things that I like. I have been trying to let go and to be nothing. I forgot for the moment about the medicine, about the duties and the responsibilities. I have been knitting, writing, painting, cooking, wandering, jogging, being in the fresh air, cherishing the simplest things, listening to music. I have been re-meeting a lot of important people in my life. And I let them re-inspire me. I tried to find “Andina”.. and tried to leave the “Dr. Andina”.
Somehow I slowly started missing medicine again. I started to miss my job. I missed the “puzzle-solving”. I missed the holding the hands of my patients. I started to miss the feeling, that I can do something and be actually useful with my acquired knowledge.
By the end of this episode in March 2017, I got myself ready for a slow comeback. Thanks to the excellent German insurance system and the big support of my employer, I could go back being a doctor again. Being a doctor, who’s also happy of being one.. And not just one, who feels obligated to function just because of the title..
So amazing, how God guides me through all these loving people around me to re-function again and to decelerate my life.
By the time I completely accepted myself along with my strengths and weaknesses, by the time I started recognizing my life priorities, we are granted with a gift of pregnancy.
And so now.. having come back in my working life, I automatically decelerate. Not only for the sake of myself, but more importantly for the sake of this tiny wonder, that has been living and thriving in me since 5 months..
#So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? (QS Ar Rahman)