* * Anonymous Doc

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year, a couple of days late. I ended up getting out early enough on New Years Eve to meet up with a couple of friends for dinner and watch the ball drop on TV. I don't know if it's that residency has sucked the life out of me, or the hours I've been working have made it impossible for me to stay even semi-connected to anyone in my life, or it's just a function of getting older and drifting away from people who used to be a part of my life-- but, I don't know, it's not that I don't like my friends anymore, but I feel like, more and more, every conversation I have with anyone is so shallow, so surface-level. Whether at the hospital or outside of it. That the people in my life have gone from being people I share things with to people I report things to. I don't even know if that makes any sense.

It's like, I feel like every time I see anyone or talk to them, or even e-mail, we have to "catch up" and the whole conversation is about catching up and bringing the other person up to date on what's going on. It never moves to the next level, where we're all caught up and can just have a conversation about something else. And in the hospital, it's just about medicine. Even the friends I've made at work, they're work friends. I don't really know them. I don't know what they think about when they're not at work. If I see them outside of work, we just end up talking about work, which is why it sort of sucks to see them outside of work.

And I hate the fact that a good number of the people who I would absolutely call friends and who would absolutely call me a friend-- if they dropped off the planet tomorrow, it would probably take me weeks to notice, and then once I did, I would miss the idea of them, and the history I have with them, more than their actual current presence in any aspect of my life.

Of course I put the blame on me as much as on anyone else-- and probably much more on me, since I'm impossible to schedule anything with, and I have pretty much no free time at all-- but I think I do try, I do make an effort, I do reach out-- I just get less and less back over time. And even when I do end up catching up with someone, we're only catching up so that in a few weeks we can catch up again and too much time won't have passed. I'm never actually caught up with anyone. I'm never not catching up.

I think what I'm saying is that my New Years Eve was kind of lonely, even though I was around people.

And if I'm being honest with myself, I have to admit I almost wished I was at work. Because then I don't have to think about it. Because it's not my fault, because of course I can't blame myself for feeling lonely when I'm forced to be at work-- it's a get-out-of-feeling-sorry-for-yourself-free card. "How can I be expected to deal with the rest of my life? I'm stuck at work!"

So my New Years resolution is to do something about this. And also to make a few more videos. And not kill anyone.


  1. No way! On Grey's Anatomy they are all BFFs and hang out together all the time and have raging social lives! [/sarcasm]

  2. I have the same problem. I have become more insular over time; I've dropped a couple of friendships, not intentionally of course, but I can't be bothered to reach out and reconnect. This is not a good thing and I can't really blame it on work. The sad thing is, I don't even know if I want to make the effort to get back in touch.

  3. Get how you feel; friends within the industry and it can quickly turn into shoptalk--friends outside, catching up to the mundanities. One way to get around that is to do something asides the "dinner & movie out" -- like having a board game night or a themed potluck. It adds a little more color and fun to the mix and have been my some of my better gatherings as of late. And it's usually cheaper too.

  4. It happens in all walks of life, though. It's not something that is exclusive to medicine. As we get older, it's not so much that our relationships become more more superficial, it's that we start to realize how superficial a lot of our friendships were to begin with.

    Happily, as we come to realize this, we start demanding more depth to our friendships and, eventually, that starts to show up.

  5. I also feeling the same way since I'm in med school, and seems that it is either because sometimes we're too busy, too tired after a full day in hospital, or we think that the time we use to socialize could have been spent by studying or taking a rest. As for me, I used to have those thoughts and am trying to build deeper relationship with some of my old friends and those new ones in the uni. I'lltake a simple start by having heart-to-heart talks with my family first, I think. :)

  6. Your honesty is refreshing

  7. Sometimes I feel that you and I are the same person. You just have much bigger skills at expressing yourself. And you're a guy.