On Setbacks.



Good God, I thought, taking in the scene before me. A sizeable mass was covered by the floral quilt on the bed, moving only slightly. I noted sardonically the surrounding food boxes and empty junk food wrappers; tragedy stricken though she was, her appetite didn’t seem to have gone anywhere.  Amidst tissues, used and unused, lay a few textbooks. At least she hasn’t rendered herself completely useless, I was relieved to see.


The mound remained still.

“Hadia, let’s at least talk about this? ”

A muffled groan was emitted.

“You have to be sensible about this, Hadia,” I continued. “If you don’t face it with a clear mind-”

The somewhat hostile, whiney (not to mention, incomprehensible) response to my words was enough to test my patience.


“Get a GRIP, Hadia!” I yelled, exasperated. “It’s not the end of the world!”


The mass before me quivered, then trembled, before finally erupting, an avalanche of crumpled tissues tumbling down and off the bed. She emerged, the red nosed, puffy eyed wretch, in a condition which could only be called a hot mess. Her hair settled in a nest around her head, her clothes unchanged since the misfortune had happened.


“I am a FAILURE!” she thundered, enunciating each syllable clearly to get her point across.

The trumpet like noise she made while blowing her nose thankfully was loud enough to cover my stifled snort of laughter.


“Just listen to yourself,” I started again, this time more patiently, watching her ruefully crumple up and propel the used tissue onto the ground. “You sound ridiculous.”



“Is it the end of the world?”


“IS IT?”

“….no. I suppose not.”


She looked defeated. Sighing, I shook my head and then proceeded to do what had to be done. In one swift movement, I got up and pulled the quilt off the bed. Ignoring her shriek, I tossed it on the floor.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The above, my dear readers, was my internal struggle about a month ago. I didn’t clear my Second year finals and had to give a *dun Dun DUN* supplementary exam. It’s been tough, and its been tiring; a blow to the self esteem and a drainage of energy, all at once. The vast majority of those who have been through medical studies are no strangers to this phenomenon; the examination being tough and gruelling and the amount to information to process and remember, vast.


Failure, (though it is, in fact, more of a temporary setback) was hard to swallow. I spent a day moping, rather pathetically, at intervals mentally shaking myself to remember “ITSNOTTHEENDOFTHEWORLD”. The week that followed, I felt lost. Was I to continue trying to keep up with everyone? Or should I have dropped everything save the subject I was to repeat? Thankfully, I got back on track eventually. There have been bad days in the middle. Some worse than others, where I could berate myself endlessly. But, I’m managing.


I guess this was life’s way of knocking me down, and seeing if I had the strength to get back up.


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston Churchill

Author: emphadiate

Med student, chai lover, avid reader. Daydreamer extraordinaire. Slightly imbalanced.

17 thoughts on “On Setbacks.”

  1. That sounds Hadia to me , buck up love. You are a wonderful person and wonderful things will come to you. Don’t lose hope , All good things to come InshaAllah and this post was so relate-able in ways i can’t explain. Much love to you ❤

  2. Keep chin up hun, you will get there. If this is your dream then you will get there. You are intelligent, caring and stubborn. So keep chin up and keep going xxx

  3. Oh, that’s just another experience in life. Our exams are the worldly equivalent of hell I’m -almost- sure, but every single time, every single semester, when i feel i’ve messed up bad, i remind myself that even if I fail, it’s going to be another -experience-, something new, lol. Failing an exam is something you can never start judging yourself for, I’d glad you got over it & realized it’s definitely not the end of the world, it’s like burning your first roti, or getting your first tooth cavity 😉

    Let’s say you have this affair off your bucket list now! Don’t let it bring you down. What is life without setbacks eh? Good Luck! Love you loads!

  4. OMG! Hadia you should have came to me and we would have talked about it and I would have told you how to manage because tadaa you know why!
    So babe you’ll do great and in shaa Allah you’ll pass your exam. Long gone are the days when I used to judge myself on results. It’s just a little failure and little failures can always be overcome. ❤
    Love you! 🙂 God bless.

  5. Pfft! You are one hell of an amazing person to let something like exams or resit bother you. Get up and twirl for me… I mean, for the inner Hadiaaa. Also, this picture and your writing, why are you getting this awesome-r at this abnormally fast rate? :p

  6. And, you did have the strength to get up! You always did, I wonder why you’d ever doubt that, you, amazing person, you!
    And need I say, how effortless you make writing seem? Wonderful write-up. Writing can work as a wonderful tool for catharsis and I really hope it did something for you 🙂

  7. I thought I was the only one struggling and fighting with myself!
    I had to give supplementary exam too in first year!
    I can totally relate to this!
    i had same words going through my mind: “THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!”

  8. And this was my REACTION!
    Mishaps do happen in life!!
    So What?I will fight with it!
    Need no sympathies,I am strong enough!!
    They think they can put me down?Oh I pity on them!!!
    #notacoward #staystrong #upsanddowns #ihavemyownprestige!!!

  9. I can somehow sense what you went through..I m engineering student and these exam days and plus results..huff..they couldnt turn one normal person to psycho…
    Got a advice for you…usually sy same thing to my friends when they going through bad patch of life…
    Things can be worse.n u may b hesitant to start over..just say to yourself..YES I CAN,this my sound stupid.but it helped my friends and surely will boost internal confidence.best of luck 🙂

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