Sunday, February 28, 2010

Why me?

That's a familiar statement that we make.

And it seems that each time we're in a rut, or don't get what we pray for, or get by passed during a promotion, or end up being broken hearted - we ask the proverbial question - WHY ME?

Failing seems to be an anathema in our lives. Worst part of it is that many (if not all of us) pray so hard that not getting an answer to our requests through prayers does not come well for those that don't get what they pray for. Why me? we ask...and then we lose our faith.


In 1983, I almost lost it all. From the time I stepped into kindergarten, I knew I was intelligent. Straight A student, top of the class, top of the heap, Dean's lister, gold medalist, you name it, you've got it.

During the oral revalida for my final year in medical school, my tribunal thought I did poorly. In a class of 400 students, I was the only one in my class that failed. It was devastating. My parents would not see me graduate.

Tatay had always wanted me to be a doctor. It was not part of my plan in life. But we compromised. I finished my mathematics degrees, and went into med school. And I saw Tatay and Inang scrimp to the very last centavo. Even when I found med school utterly boring and brainless, I did my best to make sure that my parents would see a doctor in the family. We were not poor. But we were not rich either. And every centavo counted. It came from blood, sweat, and tears.

I did not want to disappoint my parents.

I did not want to disappoint myself.

It was the year that I wanted to die. After the miserable failure, I swore never to go back to med school. I smoked 2 packs of cigarette a day. Didn't want to eat or get out my bedroom. Cried all day and all night. I was up all night asking God - Why me? Of all the idiots in the class - why me? Of all the nights I was up bringing parts of the cadaver home or poring through voluminous chapters of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Medicine, Anatomy, Neurology....why me?

I gave up my social life. My love life. My sex life. My night life. Anything that had to do with life and the life thereafter, I gave it all up. Why me?

One week after feeling shitty and sorry for myself and my parents feeling bad about "forcing" me into med school, a good friend told me that "I deserved to fail". It's people like who make the worst doctors. And the tribunal was right in their decision. How I accept that decision, would be my fate...and mine alone. Seven days later, I walked back into the emergency room for my pediatrics duty. Everyone burst into a loud clap. And life would never be the same again.

Fast forward.

Why not me?

These are the words that rarely come out of us. We think that the world owes us everything. Even in prayers, it is always the I and rarely the WE. And when we do not seem to get what we wish for, we are full of anger. We forget the good graces and opportunities we have been given. We are disappointed and we feel abandoned.

I blog about this today, because a very special person in my life is depressed over the "why me" situation. If she is reading this blog today, I can only tell her that life is never fair. For every sunshine, there will always be rain. For good times, there will always be bad.

There are moments when we are at our lowest. We have no friends, no family, practically no one to turn. Or that even the most comforting of words will not drown our sorrows. But it's alright. We have the right to feel this way. Even if our prayer is not answered today, I have found out that God has given me a trial that I needed to surpass on my own, so that I can always remember my crucifixion...die a resurrection...and say why not me?


c said...

Why me?

Ayoko na maging depress. Paano ako hinde magiging depress? May sagot ba dito?


Kid at heart said...

C, we have moments in our lives that we are really at our lowest. We cannot be always at the top of the heap. But sometimes we need to make painful decisions that will help us be better persons. are you willing to make that leap of faith?

Anonymous said...

i had a similar experience. early on, i know i am driven, determined, smart, very well read and borderline arrogant, and i also know i need to be humbled but good god, why did it have to be on my specialty board exam? the only consolation was that at that time everybody was willing to bet their houses that i am going to TOP it. it certainly was the most bitter pill i had to swallow and up to now, many years later, the after taste still lingers...

Kid at heart said...

anonymous, time heals all wounds. that is a chapter in our lives that needs to closure. and while the memory lingers, it makes us realize that as humans, we will always have our ups and downs and it is during these lowest moments that we learn to make the best out of life.