I finally got around to watching Frozen and yep, I think it’s as good as everyone said! “Let It Go” moved me to tears. There’s so much in the lyrics that resonate with me and ugh, all the feelings.
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.
I’ve spent all my years feeling this. Inside, I feel like a mess but the external façade has always been of the perfect good girl. My terror is that the mask will slip and those ever-present them will see.
Can’t hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
I don’t care what they’re going to say.
Let the storm rage on…
And the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
But this? This freedom from fear and shame? Is where I want to be.
The shadow weight I carry whispers “you’re not good enough“. Without ever specifying what “good enough” even is. Except that it’s never how I am right now. There’s always more I could be, more I should be doing.
Elsa sings “I don’t care what they’re going to say”. If only it were true. I do care, so very much. I fear judgement and rejection and although no-one has ever said anything as harsh to me as the things I say to myself, they might and then what would I do?
Where do I want to be?
In a place where I am enough. Where I am okay, just as I am. Where, fundamentally, who I am inside is all right, is aceptable.
I want to be able to sing this love song to myself and to believe it.
Where even the darkest parts of me hold no shame for me any more so that I can rise, courageous, like the break of dawn and say:
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.
My bisexuality has been on my brain a lot recently. In looking for stuff that maybe some what captures how I feel, I stumbled across this post at the Vegan Abolitionist.
I have often questioned my sexuality, because I have been in relationships with men, but not really women.
My sexuality is fetishized by most of the people with whom I engage in a relationship. Its true validity is negated by nearly everyone who expects me to just end up with a hetero man (and if I do, then I was never bisexual at all!). It is erased by straight and queer people alike. I’m “too straight”, never queer enough.
Things it is very good to read about at the start of the writing-revising process. There’s a difference between revising and editing and multiple revisions are necessary in nearly all instances of long form writing. Those who can produce a successful text in one go with very little editing are a rarity!
Creative writers are accustomed to the idea that their writing must go through several drafts. However, much of the advice on offer to academic writers proceeds as if all they have to do is produce a draft which is then edited, tidied up, everything made neat and clean. I have seen many a thesis completion timetable come unstuck because doctoral researchers have not grasped the fact that by and large this is not what happens. Most of us have to do more than one draft of a piece of academic writing. In reality, very few of us write the scintillating introduction, the elegant conclusion, the persuasive argument right from the start. It takes several iterations.
A few people do of course produce brilliant prose early, and consistently. Prolific writers and those who just happen to be good with words seem to be able to gallop off a chapter or paper…
In writing the first chapter of my Thesis I decided it would be a good idea to read a few books about how to write a good thesis. A lot of the books cover only the basics – IMRAD structure, how to produce informative clear graphs, how to do a literature review etc. Now I could improve in all these things but none of them were new concepts. Apart from one new idea in one book, “Surviving Your Dissertation” (2nd Ed. Rudeston and Newton) which concerned authorship, Voice and their importance to the writing process.
So what are they and why are they important?
Authorship is the confident ownership of your written words. Voice meanwhile is Continue reading →
“Nearly 40% of graduate students reported feeling hopeless during the previous year, 78.5% said they had felt overwhelmed, 27.2% said they had felt depressed, and 54.5% said they had felt stress over the past year ranging from “more than average” to “tremendous.”
A 2006 report from UC paints a similar picture. About 60% of graduate students said that they felt overwhelmed, exhausted, hopeless, sad, or depressed nearly all the time. One in 10 said they had contemplated suicide in the previous year.”
Today was a day to take time to talk about mental health. So here goes. I’ve been depressed twice in my life so far, each time for about 6 months. Neither of those times did I realise how bad it had become and it was only after I got better that I was able to look back and see the depression for what it was. I only realised I had been having suicidal thoughts (TW!) after a period of time had gone by without them. I expect it may happen again in the future but I hope that I will be able to spot it earlier and get diagnosed and treated. I hope that next time those close to me will notice when my health is taking a nose-dive and more importantly – will say something about it.
I’ve also been so chronically stressed I had to take two months off work. I’m still recovering from that and trying to build better habits so that I can lessen my chances of it happening again. Given that I’m in the end game of my PhD, this is not going to be easy.
The stigma surrounding mental health prevented me getting help when I was depressed because I was convinced I “wasn’t that nuts” and that I “was stronger than that”. I was too embarrassed to seek counselling the first time round. The second time round, it helped a lot but it wasn’t enough on its own. When I was off sick with stress, it was something I couldn’t talk about with everyone because I was afraid that it might colour their opinion of me, especially those at work.
These are just some of the reasons why mental health discrimination sucks.