A passionate young soon-to-be medical doctor with interest in writing and #HealthForAll

Life: Do I Wither Up and Disappear or Continue Fighting My Battles?

My psychiatry attending told me there are a lot of things happening in the world right now, there are a lot of things happening inside of a person, a lot of problems you may not see from the surface. You can still understand them, though, with communication; listening. The language barrier that I own, from unable to speak fluent Javanese is not a problem, because I can still use the universal language. I can still speak with affection. I can still speak with love.

dr. Ida Rochmawati, M.Sc., Sp.KJ(K) is my psychiatry attending. I had the privilege to study with her for my very first clinical clerkship rotation and it was the best of a start. dr. Ida believes that happiness is the key to a balanced co-assistant life; after all, koass selalu salah, jadi, selagi di stase jiwa, harus bahagia! One must be happy in psychiatry rotation! She doesn't want any of her students got traumatized after psych rotation, so she really tried to provide us a happy studying environment.


I am not who I am if I'm not nervous; but since I'm going to meet my psychiatry attending, the anxiety kicked in: how if she knows. How if she knows I'm a ball of anxiety and sadness the moment I open my mouth to speak? How if she knows I do not know a thing or two about handling patients with mental illness? How if I somehow slipped a tongue and say the wrong things? How if, how if, what if, what if. I was sitting next to my friends, palms were sweaty, aching left shoulder, nervous. But truth to be told, only the first week was filled with never-ending anxiety, by the 2nd week I've learned to adapt to the working environment.


Things beside from Psychiatry that I've learned from dr. Ida, Sp.KJ(K) are listed as follows:
  • You can be all the things you want to be! dr. Ida is a wife, a mother of two, an excellent psychiatrist, a motivator, a radio announcer, owner of an EO, secretary 2 of IDI Gunungkidul, and so many more. She's a living proof that your business as a doctor shouldn't leave you unable to do and enjoy doing other things you like.
  • Happiness is key, and the key to happiness is to make yourself comfortable. The first official day of my Psychiatric rotation was a "contract day" where we made up a contract with dr. Ida about how the rotation was gonna go. dr. Ida told us things that she's comfortable with and asked us about things that make us comfortable to learn in. The important thing is that not to feel pressured into doing things in the clinic, you have to do the things you do because you feel comfortable doing them and because you are sincere in doing it. For example, if you only do things to get an A from dr. Ida, you will likely only get that. But, if you're happy, if you bring positive energy to the patients and treat them with your whole heart, truly listening to them, eventually you will get an A. After all, attitude matters and as a student-doctor, who is not yet a doctor vs dr. Ida who has been working in the field and being a doctor for almost longer than my life (more than 20 years), she could've just easily spotted our mistakes.
  • If you're angry, if you find something upsetting you; either you get away from that source or make the source go away from you. You don't have to spend your precious time being near that kind of negativity, it will only make you look old and unhappy. Choose happiness.
  • If you love someone, show it. If you're unable to show it because of distance, say it. If you're unable to show it because you're tired of not getting a response, for being tired of maybe being the one who feels the love, say it; make a contract with that person of how much it bothers you to actually articulate the feeling you've been holding inside for so long but the necessity of telling him, to put your anxious heart to rest. But do remember, when you say it to the person, you have to be ready to be asked for a marriage, you have to be ready to make a halal relationship.
  • Fight your anxiety. One day in the clinic, after a revision of my assignment, dr. Ida told me that the reason she "drilled" me during the making of our assignments (others were consisting of 2 persons per group, whilst I was alone) was to make me a stronger person. The thing with life is that you have to face it to live it. She told me, "Kamu bisa. Kamu bisa. Saya sudah perhatikan kamu dengan pasien, kamu bisa." I will never forget those words.

Thank you, dr. Ida, for the lessons, the days filled with knowledge and laughter, Soto Ayam Kuali near the hospital that you know was my favorite, the treats for lunch, for inviting us to your house for an afternoon swim, going to the mall together and the insights about love and life. Alhamdulillah, Allah destined us to meet, I'm forever grateful.