Who do we turn to?

I woke with a yell and staggered out of bed. I dream that I had died and my soul rose to the realization that there is an afterlife. In my dream, I felt a stab of fear as I died, wondering about the great unknown of death. In my dream, I felt that there was an afterlife, a continuation, and a freedom in death. I awoke feeling considerably distressed. I am unafraid of death in my waking life, and I have no fear about death because I know that death is nothing more than an end, a cessation of biological activities. I will cease to exist when I die, and it will be the same as not existing at all. I didn’t exist in 1940, and I didn’t exist in 1980, and it made no difference. I will probably not exist in 2050, or 2080, and that is all there is to it.

Life is a party and death is nothing more than leaving it in silence. I am not afraid of death as I sit contemplating death and morbidity in my Hotel room. I am more concerned about the fact that I have nightmares every time I close my eyes to sleep than the philosophical or ethical conundrums of death. Are my nightmares the manifestations of deep desire? Do I desire an afterlife, do I want a perpetual life, one that stretches into eternity? No, all I want is to be able to sleep peacefully.

I went to a lecture on an obscure topic in an obscure subject and esoteric though the material was, I understood it. I sat in the lecture hall thinking more deeply about my social isolation than anything else. It is so lonely now that I spent a major part of last night sitting in the Reception, hoping that the ebb and flow of people coming and going would soothe me. It didn’t help.

People in my career path have no one to turn to in times of crises. We have rotations, duty hours, laboratory work and research assistance work that eats into our time, and all the while, we must be up to date with our subjects. I study as much as is humanly possible, but it isn’t enough. The fatigue creeps on me and grabs my shoulders, forcing my shoulders to buckle. There are times when I wonder why I chose this career, and I wonder why I didn’t listen to my mother and study something simpler. There is no money in this field of study, only long hours of hard work, and the worst part of it is the loneliness. It is a lonely path to becoming what I want to become and this is as true as it gets. Estimates and research have shown that any point in our lives, students of this field will suffer from major depression, social isolation related problems sometime in their student lives. A dedicated percentage will seriously contemplate suicide, and a few will commit suicide.

Drug and alcohol problems are very common. Am I part of an expected percentage already?


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