let’s break this

Ah well, the topic of the last entry turned into an odd few months. Nothing concrete, nothing real, but it’s hard to know what is happening. Good thing, bad thing, three bags full thing as has become my catch phrase at work (or so a nurse tells me). Anyway, I asked a question, got an answer that was just a teensy tiny bit subtextual, and now things merely motor along in an odd way without resolution.

Maddening, it is. Maddening. Ah well, as the doctorin’ phrase goes, it’ll reveal itself one way or another, we just need to keep the patient going until then. Still friends and still amazing people keep things going, and the one in particular continues to fascinate.

Since my last entry I managed to break my emotions and brain almost completely. My psych term was a bad one from a personal point of view. From a professional point of view, I was asked to operate at a level which was uncomfortably above my skill set, and make decisions which I was not properly equipped to make. I managed patients with some episodes of minimal supervision, I did a lot of day to day supervision, I did a lot of medication management… and at the end I was told that I was operating as a 2nd or 3rd year registrar based on my work capacity and skills. Now that’s nice, but I am at least 3 or 4 years away from BEING such a registrar, and so it is a little frightening that I was required to do that.

Didn’t do much for me mentally either. I was anxious, not sleeping, irritable, incredibly labile, clinically depressed after a while, and borderline suicidal at the end of it… when I finally had a registrar for a week and it was like the sun came out, the birds sang, the ward hummed with functionality and I had support. Glorious (and flamboyant!) support. And then I moved to the rehab ward, found a great boss and registrar and some lovely nurses, and did some medicine again. My mood improved, my sleep improved (mostly), and life… continues.

Confusion, existential angst, glances, questions and such all also continue. I admittedly also went to New Zealand for a few days; which deserves its own entry. Suffice to say though on the lady issue from the previous entry, a friend had this to say:

“I really don’t know what happens now. I would say that tomorrow the sun comes up and you continue as always and wait until time changes the situation or the way you feel.”

Time is a leveller and isn’t a friend, but it’s like an old enemy that’s become the closest thing you have left anymore. If only is a passing refrain – if only I’d asked out the other one in Bowral. If only I’d had the sixth sense to see where things were fading. If only I didn’t find my own needs to be a passing concern. If only I could convince myself that sometimes, I could shut other people out, and it wouldn’t hurt them.

If only I didn’t care.


-Benjamin Andiyar


Hello world,

It seems I’ve often started entries like that. Perhaps it’s a longing for a simpler time, when the Internet was easily accessible by only  those who knew how, and a simple hello world was an incidental communication that everyone understood as an “I am here.” For me it has, I suppose, become a simple mechanism of reminding myself that I exist. Doesn’t that sound depressing? Well, perhaps that’s because of how I’m feeling at the moment. No, dear reader, I’m not feeling particularly depressed, but I am bathing in the subtle melancholy that has been my default state of mind for the past decade or more.

Let me spin you a story. At the time of my last entry, life was grand. I had been working as a doctor for a certain amount of time – approximately 3 or 4 months – and I was enjoying myself. I’d probably just commenced my surgical rotation, from memory, and life was ticking along in his noble a fashion as it could’ve been. Two or three weeks later, that was different. I’ve never dealt very well with rejection, and never have dealt very well with relationships ending. When you’re in a position where you think you found The One, it is a bit hard to deal with the fact that that doesn’t prove to be true. At any rate, my relationship with the girl I referred to on this diary as Miss Butterfly ended in early May. I was shocked, horrified, pleading, self-destructive, and rapidly cycling emotionally from complete highs to complete lows: and that was all just in my head. Luckily, remembering how my last breakup experience went, I was proactive. I spent time with close friends, I saw a counsellor, I received medical assistance to help me sleep, and I had several of my most favourite people in the world come to stay.

Life moved on. And although it was an empty life, to some extent, it was liberated.

Over the next few months, several significant life events occurred. I underwent my first-ever general anaesthetic, to which, I’ve been told, I was hilarious to behold. I sat interviews for general practice training, as a means to get in to palliative training down the track, and despite being a doctor only six months on the job, I scored in the top 10% of applicants in Australia. Naturally gratifying, if slightly unexpected. That said, I’ve often been called an overachiever, a high achiever, or just fucking nuts.

I continued to work as a doctor, completing my surgical term, and working in the emergency department. I enjoyed ED a lot more than I thought I would, I was working with a lovely group of people, fantastic supervisors, and it was nice to be doing real medicine again. Then, moved onto psychiatry.

Psychiatry has always been a mixed blessing for me. In fact, I have often been told that I would make a good psychiatrist, and have been complimented on the quality of my work. What is not understood by the people I work with is how difficult I find walking onto the ward, every single day, and making it through the 8 to 9 hours that I spend their without turning into a blubbering nervous wreck. I remember, as you may if you’ve read this blog before, and/or have far too much time & the use of the search tool on your hands, that several years ago in medical school when I did my psychiatric rotation with my dear friend Kate, that on day two upon leaving the ward she and I both turned to each other and said, I think I need a huge hug. I almost suffered a complete breakdown on my psychiatric rotation. It’s not a proper post here without a slight amount of pop psychology, so let me just throw in that as an infj, I tend to walk through life with my empathy dialled up to 11. This, I have found, is highly self-destructive on a psychiatric term. In a psych unit, there are patients who’ve lost the ability to be themselves. This is an affront to human dignity and is something that I most abhor.

As such, psychiatry is to me most difficult to deal with. I was however, aware that this was likely to occur on this rotation, and as such I entered into it with an open mind, and with the expectation that I needed to dial myself down. This was going well until the middle of my third week of term. It was on a Wednesday, just before lunch, but I managed to inform a patient that he was not permitted to go on escorted leave that day, and thus was punched in the face. Security were present, and the patient reacted aggressively regardless. He was sedated, collected by the police, and taken to a more secure unit. I was shaken, but managed to compartmentalise it as something that, well, had been properly risk managed, and as such there was no potential for any other result at that time.

Exciting story, what?

So that’s work. I’ve been on leave for two weeks, which was planned before my assault, and has been a combination of incredibly relaxing and anxiety provoking. Relaxing in that I got to go home, visit my family, caught up with some of my most beloved people in the world, and drank a lot of good coffee. 😉

Anxiety inducing, in that Things seem to be happening between myself and one of my closest friends in Tamworth. This was… Unexpected. Not badly timed, not unwelcome, just incredibly difficult for me to currently deal with. Let me set the scene. In Tamworth, I have three close friends. We are a… Gang of four, if you will. Three of them are female, and there is me. Now, I find myself increasingly attracted to, inspired by, and unable to get off my mind, one of these three in particular. Luckily for me, she happens to be the single one of the three. Looking at the situation, I am fairly sure that there is some reciprocal interest on her part as well. From friendly/close body language, to continue gentle teasing, to finding even my most inane jokes hilarious, to the occasional glance across the room, to shared smiles and winks, I am fairly sure that I am not making up the signs.

I discussed the situation with my shall we say best friend, Meghan. Although she issued a caveat that it is incredibly hard to tell without personally knowing the people involved, she agreed with my opinion. This was both gratifying, and terrifying. Gratifying, because it’s nice to know that even when I’m having the effect of the high school crush as an adult, I’m not completely misreading things-I hope. Terrifying, in that I now to do something about it. Oh yes, I am aware of how pathetic & insignificant that sounds.  I am, however, poorly equipped to deal with this situation. For a start, I find it incredibly hard to express these feelings in the spoken rather than the written word. I also have found that my autonomic responses i.e. adrenaline shock, increased heart rate, and mood swings make finding the right moment difficult. There was almost a right moment last night, until I decided, probably incorrectly, to wait.

Yesterday, I also went and had a chat with a psychologist, which is always a very liberating and very damaging experience. Liberating because it is nice to talk to someone and turn off all of my filters. They have been only five people in my whole life whom I am able to speak to with absolute honesty, filter-less  (I’ve been in relationships with two of them, one of them is the aforesaid spelling mode Meghan, one of them is an old friend from Sydney, and the other curiously enough is this new friend in Tamworth –  a good sign?). Damaging, because it brings certain things to the surface that I typically keep drowned far beneath.

At any rate, the psychologist’s opinion of my current state? Ask this girl out. I have, I told her, always put the greater good above myself. This is a very infj thing to do. Other people are more important, and remain so. I’m aware that this is self-destructive. I am aware that it is self pitying. But as Amanda the psychologist said yesterday, “you deserve to be happy too.” She’s right. As much as anyone does deserve it, I do as well.  I just wish that it wasn’t so damn difficult, and that I could easily summon the courage to make it happen.

I suppose I am also terrified, that the answer will be no. The signs seemed to point to the opposite, my pessimism tends to reject them.

I can’t go on like this. I am careening from functional to non-functional and I suspect that there is an enormous positive potential in this situation, I just find myself overcome with dread that I could be wrong.

I wish there was some way to know. As a friend up here said last night, at dinner time, when I mentioned to him that I thought I was going to go for it-he is one of those up here who has, I am sure, picked up on matters, but is the only one to have commented thus far-he said that there’s only really one way to know for sure. He is right.

Wish me luck, dear diary. You’ve been a record of many depressive, and happy things over the years. Why don’t we kick off with a happy one this time.


-Benjamin Andiyar

No Sacred Heart, No Sound

This is the way the degree ends. Not with a bang, but with exultation.

Pardon me. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m finally at the end of the tunnel. In fact, ladies and gentlemen of my devoted reading audience (so… anyone?) in two weeks and one day, I will finish the education programme known as the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. One more week of placement, one week of presentations and conferences and then… boom. Done. Admittedly, we don’t get the ‘piece of paper’ until the 12th of December but as far as the formal programme goes, Wednesday the week after next is it.

It strikes me that I’ve been lax in my blog/writing/posting/etc recently. For that I can only apologise and say well, I’ve been doing a daily/weekly updates on Facebook thing instead of writing extended posts here. Not a great excuse, sure, but a true one.

At present I’ve spent the past five weeks at Sacred Heart, the hospice attached to St. Vincent’s in Darlinghurst. I arrived back in Australia on the 14th of October… I actually lost the 13th as I travelled, but that’s okay. Plane was smooth, Emirates were lovely, and I didn’t eat the prawns on the trip.

Since I’ve been home I’ve been working in the aforementioned Sacred Heart, with amazing doctors, nurses, allied health and the tao of badass administrative staff, as well as two ward cats named Morphine and Dexamethasone (Morph & Dex for short). I’m pretty much sold on the speciality now… it’s just been superb.

I note that I promised earlier to write about MedRevue this year, which I, ahem, did not do. So, a brief summary… it was superb. There was an amazing group of first year students in particular who were incredibly enthusiastic and talented, we had Kate who was one of our stars last year as the producer, director, writer and choreographer and she did an absolutely stellar job. Me, well. I told Kate if she needed some help I was happy to do “a little bit”. I went over the script for her and tidied it up a bit and said that I supposed I could be on stage for a small part if necessary. So I got cast as the leading compere/MC role. I played Willy Wonka in the Willy Wonka themed show.

Small part… sigh. It was, however, *amazing* fun, and they were such a great group of kids to be working with. Next year apparently they’re thinking of Harry Potter… I’m almost considering offering to come back for one weekend only as Professor DumbleDean, if that role exists. 😉

Anyway fans, it’s getting late and I’m getting sleepy. Was off sick from work today, and need to at least make an impression tomorrow. My paperwork will be filled in on Monday I hope, so I need to look keen!

Miss you all, surely. Say hi!

This portable MIG welder reviews are very helpfull.


-Benjamin Andiyar

london calling

Hello world.

I’m currently sitting on the seventh floor of a medical officer residence with Portable Air Conditioning in London – where I’m placed at the moment for the next three and a half weeks, to learn how the NHS works. That’s what my brief says, anyway, and that’s what the assignment I really should start working on will say, you know, when I get to it.

So far London is a delightful place, full of interesting people and wonderful sights. I’ve been learning a chunk of neurology while I’m here, which is my aim, and have been engaging with a wide variety of people. That, and catching up with old friends.

Friday last I braved National Rail over here and visited Cardiff in Wales – something that’s been a goal of mine for several years now. There I met my internet friend, Jon, with whom I’ve talked about life, random stuff, women and bad humour for the past decade, and who I promised, many years ago, to visit when I finally made it to the UK.

Promise kept. He gave a visiting Australian a lovely tour through the Welsh countryside, gave me a surprisingly comfortable couch to rest upon, and even chauffeured me to and from the train station. He’s also a wonderful guy and has some lovely friends, as well as a great local Japanese restaurant. Add in the wonderful countryside and it was a thoroughly enjoyable visit.

South Wales and New South Wales though? Not that similar. Not really. One wonders where the name was inspired from, and will keep wondering.

Upon returning ‘home’ to London I had another Friend Adventure™, this time with Amin, an old school chum who has recently (last week) moved to London with his wife and new son, to start work at a law firm here. We sat down for a drink, and then explored the centre of the city for a while. Wonderful to catch up and to finally meet his lovely young lady, and his little boy – named, appropriately, after me. I assume.

Today, being Monday, was day 16 of elective, and I celebrated the best way I could; by having a day off to do some paperwork. Yep. I was going to go into the ward, but didn’t, and instead of attending the clinic I wandered about London, had something to eat, explored Fitzrovia, and found out where my mail gets delivered too while I’m here. That’s important, as I have ordered a book off Amazon, as well as an engraved pen, and now a pair of headphones. The book has arrived already, the pen hopefully by tomorrow, the headphones this week. Huzzah!

Tomorrow’s plan at this stage is to attend the Professor’s clinic (my technical boss) and then attend an epilepsy clinic in the afternoon, then on Wednesday I’m planning a hospital day (attending the registrar’s meeting and then rounding), Thursday probably similar, and then clinics on Friday morning, I think.

Next week? I’m probably having a week off. I’m going to Stratford-upon-Avon and staying the evening, as well as seeing some Shakespeare. I’m thinking about visiting the Continent, but Eurostar tickets are for some reason triple their usual price at this juncture, so that might not happen. Maybe I’ll trek up to Edinburgh instead, or do some sightseeing around England. I’ve always wanted to visit Alderly, after reading the Weirdstone of Brisinghamen, and maybe that’ll happen. Maybe I’ll just do some of the London sightseeing I’ve been missing out of so far, like the Tower, a bus tour, that kind of thing.

Probably try to see Wicked too; depending on my elective friends who want to go and see it. If they can’t make it, hell. I’ll still go. It’s my birthday that week after all, so I deserve some time, right?

The two weeks following I’m planning to spend mostly on the ward. I might do a bit of clerking perhaps, I’ll definitely attend rounds, and I plan to spend a day or two following the on-call SpR (A/T registrar) to see how the life a neurology-trainee goes. I’ve also got a PPD essay to write, as well as a disease monograph, and a symptom monograph.

Sigh. Busy busy. Life!


-Benjamin Andiyar

stormtouched earthquake

Well, it’s been some six months-ish since I last poked my head in here, said hello and spent a half hour or so following my stream of consciousness. It might have gone for a bit longer if I didn’t have a free afternoon in a foreign city to fill, or at least take up some time with, so here goes. 🙂

It’s now September and I’m currently sitting in a small room in John Harrison House, Whitechapel, London. I’m over here for an elective term at the Royal London Hospital with a Professor of Neurology, and have spent the past couple of days settling in, finding a supermarket, discovering three bad, one okay and zero good nearby coffee shops, you know – that kind of stuff.

In terms of what’s been going on… hey, well. I passed medical school back in June. That’s a big deal right? My final exams were at the end of June and I sailed through the written, and dare I say, smashed the living shit out of the clinical. I’ve just spent six weeks on the renal ward at the Wollongong Hospital doing a PRINT (pre-internship) term, learning what I need to know for next year (so doing some bloods, cannulas and a lot of paperwork) – that was fun, I had a great team with awesome interns and regs, so that was good fun.

I followed that up by flying overseas (for the first time since I was what, fifteen) solo to London via Dubai. Great fun and a lovely experience, even for someone who’s six feet tall. Airline was great fun, especially the A380 from Dubai to London (wireless internet at 38000 feet!) with surprisingly decent food.

I’ve since found my way to Whitechapel, have learned how (more or less) to use the Tube, and enrolled in my elective today at the medical school – and don’t really start until tomorrow, as my supervisor is off today. So I’m thinking I might go exploring again – I visited Westminster yesterday but the Abbey was closed, so I want to go back and do that properly. It’s also sunny and such in London, so it’s a shame to let the day go to waste.

In other news, I have a job for next year – I’m moving to Tamworth for 2 (probably 3) years to do my internship: one of my top two choices so that’s pretty damn nitty, and otherwise well, I’m well. Miss Butterfly is still well (and still together with self), and the family is well.

Ho hum.

At any rate, I’m going to try to blog more frequently now that I’m overseas – I want to talk about MedRevue this year, amongst other things. Talk soon darlings.


-Benjamin Andiyar

hello world. it’s been a while

It has been, shall we say, a longer time than I’d planned. My last post seems to have been in November, when I had intended to post at least once a fortnight and for a while earlier in 2011 was actually achieving that goal.

Ah, life. How it gets in the way. Well, that said, I’m kicking off 2012 in a similar fashion to 2011 – with a retrospective look at 2011 and a few thoughts for the future. Here goes.

2011 was an interesting year. I entered it physically well and whole, with not a care in the world and precisely halfway through my medical degree. I left it with a chronic (albeit mostly stable) medical condition involving torn groin muscles and relatively familiar pain, whilst being precisely three quarters through my medical degree. I must admit that the latter is more positive than the former, but both are amongst the top three events/processes that occurred during 2011, so they’re both important. The other is the relationship that began in October and still continues, but I’ve discussed that previously, and I’m out of sequence.

In January of 2011 I spent a few weeks working in a palliative care inpatient unit with an amazing doctor, and emerged from the experience relatively convinced that I had found my calling. Between palliative medicine and medical oncology I think I have a fair concept of where I may end up in the great ocean that is medical care, so fingers are crossed for that potential. Of course, it was during that elective that I began experiencing my relatively constant pain and torment in my groin muscles, following through with surgical visitations, uncomfortable examinations, expensive scans and finally a diagnosis with long-term surgical treatment post physiotherapy. If you’d like to know more, here’s a link for your edification.

Other than physical change the year brought an advancement in medical progress, passing Phase 2 and entering into Phase 3. That also led to me moving to Bowral for Phase 3, where I’ve spent six months and will be here for several more to come, working two days a week in a GP surgery with my supervisor, called Dr Penny by several of her patients, as well as acting as her intern/assistant in the hospital, and working a half day a week in the emergency department. I also joined a gym (for which, I must admit, I have not *quite* achieved maximum value but I try), I’ve learned a bit more clinical medicine, I feel inadequately prepared for my next year’s thing which will be actually being a doctor for reals, and… yeah.

I sit my final exams for medical school this June. It’s a combination clinical (OSCE) and written paper, much like last year, and I haven’t quite ramped my study up yet, I’ve been a little too… lax? No, just hard to get motivated at home in Bowral, but I have a good plan sketched out and I’m finally beginning to follow it so that’s good.

Other stuff that happened in 2011 included entering into a relationship with Miss Butterfly, which I’ve mentioned before and will leave out of here in detail, buying a new computer, and watching a lot of bad television – these are of course in decreasing order of importance. 😉

How do I feel in myself? I’m balanced. I published a book of poetry in September last year that was quite pretty, I think, and I’ve written some more since but less so, as my mood has been more stable and uplifted. I hope to resume writing soon, and I think that I will… it’s just nice to be happier again. Plans for the year ahead? Write more of and hopefully finish elohim this year, my sci-fi philosophical work, write some more poetry, apply for a rural internship position through the Rural Preferential Recruitment process (I’m thinking Orange!), pass medical school, go to London (I’m working there for 6 weeks in September/October!) and do a palliative care elective to make sure the passion is still there in St Vincent’s in Sydney.

That’s on top of continuing to build a relationship with a wonderful person, trying to still keep up with friends and family as best as I can, and just enjoying life.

Wish me luck.


-Benjamin Andiyar


Okay, this post is likely at this point to be several things. It’s likely to be morbidly depressing, quite possibly irritating to read, will no doubt contain some absolute pure arrogance, will sound at times like complaining and perhaps wistfulness, and will definitely make less sense that I would like it to. I apologise in advance, there’s just one or two things I need to get off my chest by writing them down, and, well, this is I suppose my forum for that.

Oh, some of the initial subject matter may be a little unfamiliar for some – for others, may sound like a broken record. I do apologise, again, for the quality of this post, its potential tone (as I think it through) and its potential for repetition. All right? Wünderbar.

The past few days to weeks have proven quite difficult for me in a specific way, and that is a way tied into personal identity and identification. It’s a constant source of amazement to me how unimportant this can be for some – possibly one of those NF personality things yet again – but for me, actualisation of self and being able to point at a (possibly arbitrary?) concept and say this is me is an absolute vital thing.

This came up in an email with a friend a while back, actually, when talking about apathy and the desire to improve. I’ll quote a few lines:

The easiest way to explain it is to say that I do seek to improve myself, but my mechanism of doing so is by helping other people grow. Thus, as your friend said it – I want to help others. Helping others helps me find meaning, and to people like me, we so desperately crave meaning. So when I say it’s not about me, it really isn’t. I’m merely a reflection of what I do for others.

The major reason I came unravelled a few months ago is I reached a state where I felt *no point* to life, and that I couldn’t find one – I’d lost direction and meaning, and in doing so, I lost my sense-of-self. That’s hard, Miles. I kind of anchor my world around that sense, and without it, I had nothing.

To expand on that: the sense of meaning is vital to a concept of who I am, and without that concept, I kinda unravel. I did that back in my psych rotation, as some of you know, when I lost my sense of self to the point that I felt like I was emotionally about to shatter. I came very close, actually, scarily close looking back. The reason behind it is neither here nor there, but had a lot to do with emotional attachment to certain people which were unavoidable and were eventually dealt with, through the magical means of poetic expression. Am I over that? No. Am I functional? In that regard, yes.

The current situation stems more from a word I’m uncomfortable with, namely, charisma. In the past few weeks, six of my friends (or similar) have referred to me as charismatic, or to my “personal charisma”. This has been difficult for me to process, not just because of the word itself, but because of the emotional reaction I’ve had to it – and the further reactions it has dug up.

Apparently, I have a great personal pull. I am likeable. I am ‘popular’. People ‘love’ me. I attract people. People listen and value me greatly.

What. the. fuck.

Okay, yes, I get on well with people. I admit that. I like people. But I have never, ever identified as popular, nor as a centre of attention, or as having personal pull or charisma. If anything, I have always felt the opposite and have considered the evidence, as someone pointed out, to be rather one-shot or aberrant rather than ‘a thing’. Being forced to face this has actually made me incredibly upset internally and uncomfortable – recall what I said a few paragraphs back about meaning and self? This little word has destroyed my current sense of self. Yes, okay, I admittedly must say “I suppose it’s true”. But I never really accepted or processed it, and so now I’m feeling existentially fucked over. A friend told me “you’re seriously complaining about being good at too many things. Seriously. You need to value other people’s opinions more, that’s really it.” For me though, that’s hard.

I identify as many things. I identify, firstly, as intelligent – I mean, this is probably the arrogance talking, but well, rather so. I identify as talented with language. I identify as caring & thoughtful of others. I identify as a loner and someone who needs space. So I’m going through a crisis of self here, brought on by a very positive comment in every instance.

It’s affecting me elsewhere as well. I’m feeling like I’m becoming emotionally unstable again – this afternoon, for instance, I was at a family barbeque, had a great time seeing everyone for Father’s Day, was feeling great, drove back to Bowral and got out of the car and felt “wow, it’s amazing to be home, weather’s fantastic, love it here, etc” and then half an hour later was feeling absolutely shit mentally with no reason nor rhyme, and just could not get back on top, until I had dinner with a house mate who gave me a big boost and then I did the ironing while singing love songs and feeling great, and now… I’m sort of in the middle.

There’s no major life stress I can blame right now for it. There’s no real agonising decisions to be made, I don’t have a major issue occurring in the next few weeks (apart from my birthday which I plan to ignore as much as possible as god I hate them) and… that’s it.

I’m just not sure what’s going on upstairs with me right now. I was almost morbid before, as… okay. Sometimes I’ve described living as me as a bit like acting – I put on a different mask for every group I’m with, just about, and it’s rare that people see through them – there’s two people I know outside the immediate family who have actually punctured those masks, which is damn well horrifying at times to a control freak like me. That said, I begin to wonder how much of me has become the mask – and how much of this charisma bullshit is because of people seeing the external face and thinking it’s the inside… and then I tunnel down and it’s still there and I freak out because I’m losing control of me. It’s like wearing someone else’s skin, but the skin is changing the inside, rather than the inside hiding away behind the mask.

The only bright spot was a touch of idle googling finding me this:

INFJs tend to question and examine their own motivations constantly. In moderation this is admirable, but some go so far as to decide that any “selfishness” (which often translates to taking care of themselves instead of others, for once) in their desires is completely unacceptable. Needless to say, this can cause a great deal of stress for the INFJ in question, which they sometimes resolve in a rather convoluted manner: by deriving a Higher Principle from the “selfish” need. (“It’s not OK to object to the proposed menu for the company dinner dance because I don’t like it *myself*, but it *is* OK to do so because it’s not nutritious, or doesn’t take into account ethnic preferences, vegetarians, etc.” — all of this subconscious.)

Like all NFs, INFJs care deeply about people, both as individuals and in terms of humanity as a whole. INFJs are notable for their exceptionally strong empathic, even psychic abilities, which can sometimes cause them discomfort and even pain in their dealings with others. Perhaps because of this, INFJs truly open up to only a few intimate friends–usually very long-term relationships or obvious “soul mates.” Paradoxically, INFJs often appear to be extroverts to most of the world; they are almost always friendly, sympathetic, and interested in people, and sometimes positively charismatic. This can be puzzling and disappointing to those (usually I’s) who are drawn to them in search of a non-surface friendship, and find they just can’t get very far.

So… it’s not just me? Doesn’t make it any easier. Maybe I’ll start looking under rocks for how I’m supposed to put my worldview together again when it managed to fall off a shelf and break. Who knows. Might find something else there I’m apparently like. You can read more at Signal River.



so very. damn. tired.

It’s 10:30pm, and at this point I’ve been awake for nineteen hours, and taking out the two hours of sleep I managed last night, I was awake for some 15 hours the day before with a horrific migraine. So two hours of sleep out of thirty six, and a migraine gently reminding me in the background why it’s a good idea to take domperidone during aura phase.

Ah well.

Life in Bowral is, at the moment, kind of awesome, despite the tone of my prior post. Oh, there’s still some melancholia ticking along but it’s mostly backgrounded now – my dear friend who was away and was my closest person in the house is back, and I have someone I can talk with again, instead of spending all my time talking with Ben Upstairs.

Incidentally she asked about him. He’s doing fine, although he’s discomfited that other people realise he’s about, and he needs to shut up sometimes so I can get some damn sleep. Seriously, thoughts going over and over in my head is not a productive method of producing sleep.

It’s interesting, actually. Apparently this is abnormal, but I almost always have a conversation going in my head, normally with myself or with aspects of myself, where I will talk through what’s happening, give myself my opinions about things (especially things I’ve done), etc. This goes away when I’m working/focussed – for instance, typing this now – but when I’m just lying there trying to sleep, or walking down the road without music, or sitting idly about, my mind never shuts up. I’ve been told by several people now that “that’s weird”, I’ve been told by several INFJ people online that “yeah, completely normal”… so yay for being odd in yet another way?

At least I try not to reply to myself out loud when there are people around. That always gets me the “crazy?” looks. I used to joke that I was talking to the most intelligent person about… but hey, that’s a little narcissistic, and I dislike being narcissistic.

I’m alive and I talk with myself. All the time.

Ah well. Isn’t that fun. I was going to talk about women here… but I won’t at the moment. Suffice to say: dammit, etc, butterflies, etc.

One day, Jessica. One day.



letters and stories

Hello world.

It’s been a few weeks, really, hasn’t it? There’s been a very rapid period of change going on, change that yes, we can believe in. I’ve moved house, I’ve started working in a new place, I’ve spent money, I’ve read books, I’ve done some singin’ and dancin’ and actin’. All told, it’s been a mostly good month.

There’s been emotional rollercoasters, of course, it’s me. But it’s been mostly good.

I’m some four weeks in to Phase 3 of medicine now, and am loving the hell out of it. Two or three days a week at the GP practice, a day of ED a week (second one tomorrow, scary fun!), some clinics, some hospital work, and living in Bowral again which is just delightful. I feel like I’m actually contributing to care and patient work up here, as I’m involved in the practice and the hospital and my opinion actually matters – scary a little, but still it’s pretty damn awesome.

My two GP bosses, Penny and Mark, are phenomenal teachers too. Penny’s a GP-Obstetrician so that’s nice (delivered a baby on Friday with her!) and both of them have hospital as well as GP patients, so I’m doing a mixture of things that’s proving pretty damn cool. No real time for proper study study yet, but I’m working on the next phase of the textbook I’ve been writing over medical school, and the plan looks kinda cool. Glass Houses. It’ll be great.

Today, as last Sunday, I wrote a letter. Last week I wrote two, one to a friend in Wollongong with whom I hold extended facebook conversations and swap poetry, the other to my sister Gracie. Today, I wrote a letter which I stuck in the draw, for a couple of reasons – the biggest being I’m not sure who it’s written to. Maybe one day, she’ll enjoy it, when I figure out who ‘Jessica’ actually is. Too many fragments, not enough people – yep, there’s the rollercoaster. It doesn’t help that I’m exposed to people for whom I hold great affection on a fairly regular basis, nor does it help that I swap poetry with someone I’m fond of, nor does StalkerBook make it easy not to pay attention to people who are interesting… ah, me.

ENFJs. You’ll be the death of me, all of you. I swear to God.

More to come soon, I promise. Have a fun week. 🙂




Sometimes it’s a mistake. Sometimes it’s not. And sometimes, just sometimes, it’s both at once. I’m talking at the moment about people and how they come into and out of our lives and how it can be hard to know when they’re really gone. The past week or so has been a little like that for me – if there’s anyone who’s read through my archive here, they may recall my first entry of the year where I summed up 2010; it’s here if you want to read – that’s cool, I’ll wait for you to finish.

Done? Great!

A big part of 2010 was getting over a very serious relationship and as events of the past week have proven, that was a difficult thing, largely as I reconnected with said ex-partner which was overall a positive experience. It was good to talk and such, and although it may not have been a smart thing to do I’m glad it happened. What it has also taught me is that bonds are sometimes harder to break than we realise, but that they can be broken in ways you didn’t think they could be. It also reminded me of a lot of things about both her and myself that I missed – and a lot of things that, truth to tell, I don’t like to recall. I’m hopeful that we can move forward as friends and perhaps life will fold that back in without too much insane difficulty. There are of course issues there that may make it not smooth and easy, but life never is. At any rate – I feel, oddly, that I have a lot more closure on the past relationship now in multiple ways. What happens moving forward, well, let’s wait and see.

Touching, isn’t it?

For those following my travails, I’ll put a brief note in here that the lady formerly known as Miss Butterfly isn’t particularly so a few weeks later, but that’s okay in its own way – prepare for the fall, and believe in the shatterstorm potential. It’s odd how you can sometimes talk with someone more after an event has occurred than before or during. How’s that for cryptic, Jessie?

I spent a chunk of the past week at Global Health Conference (GHC) at UNSW in Sydney, which was both interesting and stimulating, while also being boring and uninspiring. Sadly, there was a lot of backslapping going on (self-administered) that seemed out of character, much of the workshop/skill material was not geared at someone with multiple years of medical knowledge and training, and there were quite a few agendas hanging out for the world to see, and being relatively blatantly misrepresented. Add in the fact that for the one social night I decided to attend I was trapped on a boat for four hours where I was feeling like curling up in a ball and hiding for a good two of them, and… well. I’ll give it an overall positive grade for a conference, but I probably enjoyed around 60% of the time.

The boat mentioned just then… I’ve never been on a harbour cruise before. That was fun. The fireworks on Darling Harbour were lovely until everyone rushed outside to watch them and took over my little hidey-space. There were a few people I adore on the boat that it was nice to chat with and spend time with. I met a very interesting young lady from Deakin who had the most insanely captivating accent (Denmark, moved to Australia ten years ago, a subtle blending) who had a former life in HR before med and was a stimulating conversationalist. So, I’d have to say that I did have fun… but let me share a message thread (via SMS) between myself and another GHC attendee who skipped out on the evening:

Me: I always forget how much being introverted sucks when trapped with crowds of people!
Them: And that’s why you should adopt my strategy of just avoiding places that would put you in said situations
Me: Well, the speech is entertaining enough, and there were fireworks. Still, I need to get away and am stuck for hours to come. Ah, life.

I’ve been called a social butterfly. I’ve been told I ‘act like I need people’. I’ve been told I ‘must be an extravert because you get on with people so well’. Maybe it comes across that way, but well, as the ‘extraverted introvert’, I can safely say that the past two days of no people have been entirely and absolutely crucial to my wellbeing.

Time off from people? I love you but please. Go away.

Otherwise, I started moving up to Bowral today, have my house key, have my room picked out, left a chunk of clothing and bedding there (to be fixed on Friday after the carpet cleaner comes tomorrow), had a delicious pie and coffee, and tried to visit my sister and niece only to find the roads were still cut off due to excessively speedy winds and fallen trees and suchlike. Tomorrow, I’m thinking of making a roast dinner and maybe reading some Stephen Donaldson. Perhaps.

Need to work on some fiction too, but that’s another story – pun fully intended.