Struggling With Unknowns

He got his schedule for his different rotations in the hospital in Montgomery for 3rd year tonight. It was surprisingly triggering for me. I got really anxious after seeing it and had a bit of a cry just thinking about how life might change (i.e get worse) once we are in Montgomery. It’s only an hour and a half away from Birmingham but it still feels like a big move to me with a lot of unknowns that are causing me anxiety. His schedule is going to be totally different than it has been the past two years. The downside is that he’ll be spending a lot more time physically at the hospital instead of studying at home, so I’ll see less of him. The upside is he’ll be more “free” when he’s actually home, instead of having to study so much, so in a way I’ll see more of him. I honestly have no idea what it’s going to look like and he says he doesn’t either. We don’t yet know where we are going to live, which is bothering me a lot because where I live is very important to me. The thing he pointed out that’s helping me a bit is that, in each period of our relationship, in each place that we’ve lived (each city even), there has been good things and bad things and that’s life. I have some days where I am elated to be alive, some in between days & some days where I am sad or upset or anxious about every part of being a┬áhuman being. This has been true of everywhere we have ever lived, so it’ll most likely be true in Montgomery also.

The worst case scenario that keeps popping into my imagination about living in Montgomery looks like this: we live in an apartment I don’t like, I’m alone a lot while he’s at the hospital & I’m too depressed/anxious to find ways to make friends so I don’t have anyone to hang out with. Montgomery is a small city so there aren’t any good stores or places for me to go. I spend a lot of time bored, lonely, missing my routines in Birmingham, missing Edward, missing the 1.5 Birmingham friends I did manage to make over two years, hating my life & feeling trapped.

I know I tend to assume the worst when there are unknowns so here’s a little exercise for myself – what the best case scenario would look like in Montgomery:

We find a small house or two-bedroom apartment to rent (so I can have my own space for a writing/spirituality/photography/art studio) and a fenced in yard so I can garden and Sam can run around when he gets too energetic. I find some balance in my days. I go to yoga classes & meet-up events & other things and make some friends. I shop online or drive to Birmingham to shop (only when I need to) or there are actually stores in Montgomery I’ll be able to shop at. I keep doing my ballet workouts and get into the kind of shape I want to be in. He & I continue the habit we started today of taking Sam & Lena for a walk everyday as long as it isn’t raining. And, in Montgomery, I will be an hour and a half away from my in-laws instead of a few miles from them, so there will be less tension and obligation around seeing them regularly.

He promised me we do not have to come back to Birmingham to spend the holidays with his family again for the next three years (since we spent the past 3 years’ holidays with them) and even said maybe I can get a pet rabbit to cheer me up once we move to Montgomery.

Here’s a picture of Sam & a picture of Lena. Sam has some stitches in his side currently because he had to have a little surgery to have a growth removed on Tuesday (they don’t think it’s cancerous though so fingers crossed).



Where We Are Right Now

He’s done with the lectures/quizzes/school programmed stuff now. He’s studying for the Step 1 Exam – the big exam medical students take at the end of year two that determines a lot of their career (such as their options for residency programs two years down the road). His plan is to study about 10 hours a day until April 22nd when he takes the exam. He has to make sure he has the previous 2 years worth of material in his head. He has about 17,000 flashcards to get through (yikes).

Yesterday she wrote down the little deadlines/dates/milestones they have coming up on the whiteboard in their living room. At his school in Birmingham, AL they send some students to other, less populated, parts of Alabama for years 3 & 4. Neither of them can figure out exactly why the school does this. It’s rough on the students & on their partners. She’s anxious about moving to Montgomery. Yesterday it was just anxiety but today it’s a little bit of anxiety mixed with a little bit of excitement. Yesterday she cried a lot and took more than her usual dose of Klonopin. She thought her depression was coming back but today she feels better, so apparently it was just a particularly bad day. She’s very grateful for this. She had pretty much the same reaction – 100% anxiety some days & anxiety mixed with excitement others – before they moved from Saint Louis to Birmingham two years ago, so he could start medical school, so she’s familiar with it. Montgomery will be okay, she tries to tell herself. One thing at a time – she’s going to try to stay out of his hair and be helpful so he can do the best studying he can for step 1. This sounds easier than it is for her, she gets lonely & grumpy when he’s studying a lot, she has a hard time keeping herself occupied sometimes.