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  • Writer's pictureIvy

My doctor advised me not to pursue my master’s degree, I didn’t listen

2017 was a tough year, I had a health scare and all my plans and many things I took for granted vanished before my eyes. Among these goals was pursuing a master’s degree. When my doctor told me he advised me against it because of the amount of stress and anxiety studying could cause me I was heartbroken and dipped even further into the depression I was carrying along as a consequence of my poor health.

I’ve always been a little bit anxious, if not obsessive, about my profesional development. Since highschool I’ve carefully laid out a plan for my future self: finish highschool with a high score, go to college and get the highest notes, while in college get into the workforce and practice among different roles and workplaces in order to find a job I could fit in, discover my passions, practice new hobbies, learn another language by the time I’m 28 years old , in the mean time get into short courses about art, history and literature, save, travel, experience.

Of course I was open to the idea that some of these plans and deadlines would change as I went but I was hoping my plans would look more or less like that.

But then things didn’t go according to plan, far from it, I was shook to my core. Everything felt surreal, I was frozen and didn’t know in which direction to move, what used to feel familiar and safe now was gone. I was depressed and going through a lot.

I had been wanting to pursue a master’s degree in art for quite some time but for one thing or another hadn’t had the time. It then occurred to me that the time was right and could do me good to distract my mind from what was going on. In one of my medical appointments I suggested this to my doctor to what he responded in a very negative way, he told me it was a bad idea and advised against it since it could make me stressed and anxious. I was devastated and my already depressed self plunged even deeper into the sorrow.

And thus I stayed for a couple of weeks until something clicked inside me and made me realize my doctor was very wrong. He didn’t know me, he didn’t know what my mind needed and what was best for me. And this is the problem, when a disease is present many doctors treat the body alone, at least mine did, not acknowledging the huge difference menthal health can make for a favorable outcome. So, I decided to ditch his advice and do what felt best for my body and mind.

I enrolled into my master’s knowing that due to my health, the check-ups and treatments, I might not be able to attend all of the lessons and give my very best. I made a bargain with myself that I wasn't going to obsess about it.

And it turned out I did knew better, within a year my health was restored, my mind was happy, I was fulfilling my goals and was back on track. Oh, and I ditched my former doctor and got a new one who saw me as an integrated body and mind person and who completely supported me and trusted my decisions regarding my personal well-being.

With this I’m not advising everybody should just not listen to their doctors when they give a medical instruction we disagree with, what I am trying to say is that we should trust ourselves more. Why do we listen to others when they tell us what’s best for us and not ourselves in terms of peace of mind and personal development? Have I listened to my then doctor I would've stayed home obsessing about my health and the things I had to let go of, maybe even more depressed and sicker. The right decision for me was to do what my gut/heart was telling me and find a physician I felt more comfortable with; but that was my own particular case.

We should learn to listen to ourselves, what our minds and bodies need. In my case my mind has a greater weight over my body, if my mind is ok then everything is easier. I know this because I know myself; I've made it my goal to get to know me better through the years and learn what works and doesn't for me. It took me a long time but now I can say I have a great relationship with myself and know how to take care for me (having someone to talk to, like a therapist, helps a lot in this self discovery path). This looks different for everybody, some people need to do a lot of insightful quieter work, some people need to try new things that launch them into action, some people need to carefully plan their days/lives and others have to learn to not be that compulsive and let go which, by the way, it’s a valuable lesson I learned from my experience: I now don’t plan everything, I learned to make room for the surprises. I still have a raw sketch of where I want to go and what I want to achieve but there is a lot of room for changes and u turns.

I also realized the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself because your life depends on it, you cannot be ok with the world if your are not ok with yourself, no one can take care of you, only you know what's best for your own self.

another great tool to know ourselves are our instincts, what our guts/heart tell us; if something feels odd or not ok then that means it is not for us and we should let it go (even if we deemed about it, sometimes we can be wrong, but no worries, we can always trace back and correct the course); this is how we learn what’s good, what works and doesn't for us, by trying.

So, if you have an idea of something you might want to achieve start step by step and see how you feel, this will mark the way.

It’s always a try and failure kind of thing, but the more we try and succeed, the more on track we’ll get and the closer we'll be to that we want to attain.

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Comments (5)

Felicidades!! Muy lindo todo , gracias!!!🥰🤗❤️👏


May 15

Muchas gracias!! Que bonito !!!😇🥰


May 15



Jul 27, 2023

I was in tears even before playing the video! Recently started watching Bluey and to be honest I am saviouring every episode, making sure not to rush through them. Luce as a kid would have love it too! Without all the sometimes extreme drama cartoons such as "Candy", "Peline" and the anime series called in Spanish "La Ranita Demetan" displayed. I also remember feeling sad and stressed after watching some of them...But Bluey is so not like that. I am sure this is appreciated by kids and parents equally. Cheers to all healthy, innocent and non invasive copying mechanisms! And thanks for sharing this one! 😍

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