Finally finished tracking cells!!!

I have finally finished tracking cells!!!

No more blasted Cell Tracker EVER AGAIN. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HAPPY THIS MAKES ME!

Another couple of days of Excel and Prism and I will have finished the grunt work data analysis for my thesis.

The next two tricks will be figuring out what it all means, and writing the Introduction Chapter. No biggie.

Night folks.

I’m still alive!

So apparently it’s been three weeks since I last posted. Oops. Hope things are going well for you lot?

Mainly writing today just because I feel guilty for not having written in so long. However, as I’m sure you all know, guilt/shame is not the best motivator. I do have a reasonably good excuse for not posting but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Let’s start with the good news – I turned 26 last week! I know some folks get funny about getting older but I’m totally okay with it. I liked being 25 once I got over the shock of being *old* – not that 25 is all that old really. I’m sure I’m going to like being 26 as well, if only because it’s the year I’ll finally get to put the PhD behind me.

My birthday was really nice. Continue reading

An Up-and-Down Week

More musings of a personal nature I’m afraid. You never know, I might get back to the social justice side of things one day.

As of last Tuesday’s post, my feelings had been more than a bit mixed after my trip to Cottonopolis. Monday was a positive and productive day but Tuesday was its antithesis. God, I felt so low. The day started off with another anxious dream and it went downhill from there. The only things I ticked off my list were 1/ get up, 2/ eat breakfast, 3/ take meds. I spent the rest of the day zonked out in front of the TV aka my laptop.

Wednesday was much better. It started the same as Tuesday – anxious dream, get up, breakfast, meds. Then I bathed and painted my nails. Then there was a highly stressful, upsetting phone call with the NHS IAPT service. The lady I spoke to was nice, and we talked through my answers to an assessment questionnaire, my current circumstances, what I’m doing to cope and what my support network is like. The conclusion was yes, they can help, someone will call within 28 days so I can be booked in for Behavioural Activation therapy. From my brief googling, this boils down to highly specific, timed appointments with yourself to do specific tasks, including both things you like doing to relax and some of the tasks you’ve been avoiding, in order to build up your ability to do stuff even when you don’t feel like it, or are actively anxious about it. It’s less about “working through your feelings” than “tricking yourself into working anyway, seeing as you’ll feel equally bad whether you do the dreaded task or not”. This sounds eminently helpful Continue reading

Just a Minor Rant – lol, people who think they’re being helpful!

I had a trip up to Cottonopolis last week – Wednesday to Saturday – which is why I’ve been quiet. It was in fact really positive, and I will come back to the good points shortly. First however, I need to get a few things off my chest.

My male Supervisor was as ever, super helpful. What he had to say essentially boiled down to “why aren’t you coping? Everyone else finds doing the PhD tough. Other people had much more difficult and complex/bitty projects than you and they were all fine. What you’re going through is totally normal and I don’t see why you need all this extra “help” and allowances.” He said ” It’s normal to be stressed; the PhD is the hardest thing you will ever do.”

Once again, I realise he really has no clue how bad things are/have been.

Does he realise he’s essentially implying it’s perfectly okay for PhD studies to make the majority of students mentally unwell? How is that okay? Continue reading

Hello!

Hello, new people who are landing on my homepage! I have no idea where you’ve come from but my stats are doing crazy things. Anyways, hello and welcome. Hope you find what you’re looking for.

I’m mainly blogging about PhD woes and my shaky mental health at the moment, so welcome to the inside of my head. I also have side-lines in Feminism, Social Justice and pop culture. And my post on dealing with self-conscious feelings about large boobs is highly popular.

100th Post! Dealing with Overwhelming Feelings

So! This is my 100th post! I was intending to do that fun post with pictures of ships and boats and other exploits but that will have to wait. I haven’t even rescued the photos off my camera yet.

Also, and more importantly, I need to blog about feelings right now. I’m feeling quite overwhelmed.

*deep breath*

The Introduction Chapter of a Thesis is a big deal. It sets the tone and the scene for the everything that follows, and without a good Introduction, your examiners will question everything else much more critically. A poor Introduction will make them doubt you, while a good one will put them in a better mood for reading the rest of your weighty tome. It has to explain the background and context, and describe why you chose to do this particular work. It sets out your hypotheses and gives them a guide for what’s to follow. It positions you as an academic within a particular field, and if you are crossing fields (as I am), it has to cover each of those fields in enough depth for you to make your case. The Introduction also has to be clear and concise, whereas I am a wordy mofo in general. I will have to pick and choose carefully to ensure what I include is relevant, while also not leaving out some key detail they need to follow my train of thought.

I’ve been looking over my Introduction – the one I wrote in Second Year – these last few days, and oh dear God, it is a disaster. Or that’s what my brain’s telling me. It’s following up that thought with: There is so much to do! You’ll never get it all done in time! You don’t even know half the things you need to know in enough depth to be able to talk about in the Viva! Your referencing was TERRIBLE! Where are the original sources? These are all mostly review articles! It reads like a list! God, I thought you had more to work from! Continue reading

Liebster Love

Well I said I would, so here’s my follow up.

Firstly, thanks to Kasey over at Valprehension!

Trouble is, my blog feed is very short on other small(er) blogs. The ones I was following have all gone very, very quiet. So instead, I’m linking to a handful of blogs that have meant the world to me in last couple of years.

The Reluctant Femme for reminding me it really is okay to like girly stuff, and for getting me into nail polish.

Diary of a Goldfish for general awesomeness, but also excellent writings on disability, abuse, depression etc.

The Pursuit of Harpyness – these women gave me an excellent grounding in lots of aspects of feminist thought, covering things like abortion, domestic violence, poetry, fat acceptance and the diet industry. The archives are still available if you want a good read.

A Damsel in this Dress – historical costume designer, mainly focusing on medieval, but also the Regency and Victorian eras. Beautiful corsets and underpinnings and detailed step-by-step posts on how to make the clothes. Always a good read/oggle.

An Ex-Academic Follower of Fashion – currently quiet but excellent posts on dealing with mental illness while in academia. She reminds me that I’m not alone in this mess.

Spanked, Not Silenced. Pandora Blake – Kink, porn and politics. Definitely NSFW. Instumental in accepting my kink side and learning about sex positive feminism and how porn doesn’t have to be degrading.

Random list of facts about me:

  1.  I translated all the runes inside the Lord of the Rings books when I was 12 – it’s actually an amazing summary of the history that preceeded the War of the Rings.
  2. I know the first scene of the first act of MacBeth off by heart and got to say a few lines on the stage of the Globe Theatre as part of a school trip in Junior School.
  3. I used to be scared of heights because I climbed too high up a tree in the dark, and overcame my fear by climbing 36 m or 125 ft up to the top of the mast of a Tall Ship.
  4. I loved the Famous Five as a kid and wanted to be George because she was awesome. I also wanted to be Darrell Rivers in Malory Towers. Who doesn’t want a feast at midnight be the sea?!
  5. I plan to have a garden some day, with roses and lavender and other herbs that smell nice and can be used in cooking. Also strawberries, and hopefully a Plum tree.
  6. I used to do Irish Dance when I was a teen and wish I still could, but it didn’t agree with my knees. At all. These days I just dance freeform in my living room to music.
  7. I love Clannad, Enya, and also now, Julie Fowlis. And sea shanties.
  8. I play the piano (to Grade 6 standard) and nowadays, I actually practise. For fun. Turns out scales aren’t so boring after all but arpeggios are still a pain.
  9. Ludovico Einaudi is one of my favourite pianists and seeing him perform at the Barbican in London is one of my better memories.
  10. I’ve done a skydive, and can’t wait to do another one. It was mind-blowingly awesome! Best feeling ever!

Depression, Anxiety and Meds

So, where to start? Big news first I guess. As of today I’m on an anti-depressant for the first time in my life. I have a feeling I should have looked into it months ago. As you might have guessed from the previous couple of posts, things are not so great in my head at the moment.

(Apologies, this is going to be long, rambly and possibly incoherent. I need to rant today.)

Mind you, they’ve not been great for a while. Kinda seems like I just swing from one crisis to the next, you know? There’s no denying the PhD’s been hell every step of the way, but also I am a terrible procrastinator? Or a lazy fuck? Who can’t be arsed? Who is making excuses for her own failings, when she should just. be. working. already. for. fuck’s. sake.

And yet, if I said those things to a friend who was struggling to work, I would be a horrible person, so why the hell am I accusing myself of those things? I think this might be a serious case of the Sneaky JerkBrain? Because only a Sneaky JerkBrain would think that being a jerkoff douchecanoe will help motivate me? Because what I really need right now is a bag of guilt pulling at my heels at every step? Continue reading