My Worries - A Reflection
As I grow older, I find myself inevitably consumed by worries. My therapist once taught me to write down all my failings and insecurities in the form of a list, and though he later used this information to blackmail me, it nonetheless provided a useful framework for approaching my problems. In no particular order then, I have listed the thoughts and fears that are currently keeping me up at night:
It’s no secret that 2018’s been a particularly tough year for the NHS. We’ve already spent two thirds of the budget on Prince Phillip, and going on Love Island is now a more reliable way to access a doctor than A&E. Will the NHS turn a corner and survive another 25 years, like my grandma? Or be denied the cash injection it desperately needs, like those of us in her will? Working for the NHS can be stressful, especially at the moment, but there are fun parts too – I often like to amuse myself by watching TV medical dramas and pointing out all the little inaccuracies, like the way they have staff.
Two of my housemates do not get along, and have the habit of unnecessarily winding each other up to the point of near-conflict. It’s very much like Trump and North Korea; just as the situation looks to have calmed down, Janelle says something provocative on twitter, and Darren reacts by inexplicably throwing things over the Japanese family’s house next door.
This is the NHS term we use for “fuck me it’s all gone mental”, which is the extended period of time between October and February where all hell breaks loose, and A&E looks like that bit in World War Z where the zombies try and get over the wall. I’ll be working on ‘Acute Medicine’ this year, which is the hospital equivalent of being Jon Snow, muttering “Winter is Coming” and watching glumly as an unstoppable army of the near-dead make their way towards the hospital, complaining loudly.
Being a lazy Christian
I feel guilty about my faith, as I am technically a Christian, but in the same way that some people are members of gyms and never actually go. Can I honestly say I follow the bible? I don’t covet my neighbour’s wife, but she is in her 80’s, and while I haven’t had a lot of sex before marriage, I certainly tried my best. I worry that when St Peter opens the gates of heaven it’ll be like university clearing, and I’ll have to wait until someone with a better application turns down their place. Also I’m not looking forward to Judgement Day because it sounds like a lot of queuing.
Fitness and social media
I hate people who boast about their fitness on social media. My uncle broadcasts his Fitbit steps to his Facebook page, and seems to have become obsessed with late-night running, either that or he forgets to take it off while masturbating. Instagram is full of models trying to sell me their ‘magic weight loss secrets’, but I’m not insecure or needy enough to believe everything I read online. Especially with so many single women in my area keen to meet me.
Getting into trouble at work
You have to be very careful as a doctor, as even minor errors can have major repercussions. I once caused undue panic by writing “patient hard of hearing - has aids” on a medical summary, and have been criticized for using the waiting room Tannoy to break bad news. Even actions in your personal life can find you quietly disowned from the profession, and retrospectively written out of patients’ notes like Kevin Spacey.
I can’t say I’m happy about Britain’s descent into isolationism and economic turmoil. But then again, I wasn’t a massive fan of La La Land either, so maybe I’m just a big grump. Can May negotiate a fair deal with Brussels? People are rightly dubious; with several high-profile resignations, the Tory government is now the largest collection of anonymous wankers since Chat Roulette, and probably the flimsiest cabinet a European country’s produced since the Ikea Mälm.
My vegan flatmate always lectures me on how meat-eaters are bad for the environment. He raises a good point, so I’ve started doing my bit by shutting off the heating and electricity to his room and free-letting his bike to all our neighbours. Now I can enjoy my imported veal steak without worrying.
Approaching 30 can be tough, because you start to realise you’re not going to achieve all the things you dreamed about as a kid, like being an astronaut, or leaving the rental market. Are the best years of my life behind me? I miss being young. My teenage years were one sex-fuelled fantasy after another, especially once we got Broadband - whereas now my hairline has receded so rapidly that if I hold my thumb in front of my iPhone screen, it recognises it as my face and unlocks.
I’m aware that many of these thoughts are incoherent and of little consequence, but then again, so are a lot of my life choices. So that's fine.