a young pakistani doctor blogs...
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
  Internal machinery.

Whenever I eat a carbohydrate-rich meal for dinner, I always have a ‘hangover’ of sorts the next morning. I feel really sleepy in the morning regardless of how much sleep I had the night before. I can’t focus at all and generally just feel like crap. I remember once, about a month ago, I had a lot of peanut butter just before going to bed. Peanut butter has a lot of sugar in it. The next morning, I felt as if I were going to die. There was absolutely no way I could concentrate. My eyes were burning, my legs were feeling weak, I was depressed, and just wanted to lie down and sleep for a couple of months. Thinking that perhaps the sugar had something to do with this, I decided to stay away from excessive carbs in the evenings. I even cut down on the amount of bread I ate. The next morning, I woke up fresh, alert and energetic. I was bursting with energy. I thought I was on to something, so I followed the same principle the following night, staying totally away from simple sugars after 6 pm, and having little carbs in my dinner. I woke up fresh and alert the next morning! I had definitely made a discovery. I’ve tried the Atkin’s diet and it gave me increased energy levels too and now I understand why.

In much the same way, I’m coming to realize that a lot of my depression, anxiety, and self-doubt is intimately tied in to my studies. When I’m working hard and getting things done, I feel I have not wasted the day and I feel great about things. However when I don’t do any work, I feel bad about everything, quickly descending into depression that can sometimes make matters even worse. Its another discovery about myself. I am happy when I’m productive (when I have to be, like during these preps of mine). When I don’t honor what I feel are important responsibilities of mine, like working hard to make something of myself, I feel really bad.

This, like the carb thing, is perhaps an idiosyncrasy of mine. Maybe it’s not. Maybe others feel the same way too. Nevertheless, what it means is that my internal circuitry is programmed to always push to be my best. My happiness is tied in with the fulfillment of my responsibilities. In a way, this is a blessing. There are many who find it all to easy to be lazy; many who don’t have a conscience. I’m lucky in that way.

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Recent med school graduate from Peshawar, Pakistan. Started blogging when in throes of final year exams. Currently studying for USMLE Step 1. Aiming for the 2008 Match. I blog about my studies, my worries, and my thoughts on life. I live in Islamabad.

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