Motivation vs Guilt

Welp, you know you’re having a bad day when you don’t even want to binge-watch your favourite TV shows.

Turns out, texting my beloved friends and family to say “I feel awful and I can’t muster up the energy to do anything” results in phone calls with conversations that make me feel better. Who knew?!

I spent more than two hours in bed this morning after I woke up and it wasn’t the fun kind of staying in bed where you’re glued to the pages of your current novel, but the bad kind of staying in bed where you stare at the wall thinking “I should get up”. “I ought to get dressed.” “I need to take my meds”. “It’s a lovely day outside, I could go for a walk” – “But that involves getting up, and putting on clothes, and eating food, and going outside”.

I didn’t even want to read my latest Terry Pratchett novel. I read a few pages and then was completely underwhelmed with disinterest.

I didn’t want to play the piano. I didn’t want to bake a cake. I didn’t want to go outside. Hell, I didn’t even want to blog, even though writing down my feelings and my thoughts makes me feel better, every time. I got as far as the opening sentence above, and gave up. Continue reading

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The Freeze Response to Chronic Stress – a Description

I know, I know, I said I wasn’t going to blog until I’d submitted the thesis but today has not been a good day. At all. Stream of consciousness coming up…

I have been on the verge of melt down pretty much for the entirety of today. I did an hour’s work this morning after I got up, which = win!

But then, oh then, the anxiety, fear and panic manifesting in the freeze response.

I’m not entirely sure how to describe this but there goes nothing.

It feels like a damn is about to burst and I am about to be drowned in panic. And in order to avoid that, I’m squashing it down as hard as I possibly can. So I’m aware there are all these really strong feelings just waiting to get out but because I can’t deal with that, I’m keeping a lid on the pressure cooker.

And instead my mind goes blank. I’ll stare at whatever’s in front of me but not really notice it. My eyes are unfocused and everythnig outside the tiny pinprick in the middle might as well not be there. I’m aware that I’m hunched up, tense, completely unable to relax, that I’d be in tears if I wasn’t keeping a lid on it. But I can’t do anything to stop it and make the feelings go away. Continue reading

Under Pressure

Well, somehow or other it’s the 18th of December today and it’s Christmas Day in a week. As ever, I’m not sure where the time’s gone.

I’m stressed about Christmas, because since my parents separated three years ago, it’s complicated Christmad Day celebrations no end. I know I’m not the only one in this situation, given what the divorce rate is, but I’m the only one in my close social circle who’s been through it. It hit me again today just how sad it makes me that my parents aren’t still together any more. It’s like bereavement in that regard. It’s been a few years, you think you’ve adjusted to the loss fairly well, and it doesn’t occupy your thoughts most of the time, but on special occassions and at certain other times, it trips you up when you least expect it. It sucks, and it doesn’t really get talked about. Especially at Christmas when a key topic of conversation is what your holiday plans are. Continue reading

How Christianity Damaged my Sexuality, Part 1: Sexual Assault

This post is further to a post from a while back about a dream about church. I’d had some songs by Delirious? rattling round my brain for weeks so I decided to listen to the tracks again and see what that did for me. It had the anticipated effect of removing those songs from my brain but it had some un-anticipated effects as well. This is a personal post about how Christianity fucked up my sexuality and is part one of two.

It describes various sexual assults and victim blaming thoughts. Content Note for everything after the cut. Please take care of yourself.

In listening to those songs and recalling how I felt when I listened to them as teen, and in paying actual attention to the lyrics, subtext and implications, feelings were aroused. Anger mainly. Fury and Rage. Pain and Regret. And finally, Heartbreak. Sorrow for my teenage self and disgust for the adults who had care of said teenager. Continue reading

Musings on a Captain Awkward Post: Conversation Styles and Politeness

#648: “On dates, I feel like I am making all the conversational efforts.”

Oh. My. GOSH.

Things I just did not know. This is one of the reasons I love Captain Awkward. Such as good discussion going on about conversation styles and differences of opinion in what counts as “polite”.

So many thoughts on this!

Mainly that I have a similar conversation style to the Letter Writer. I do the polite thing of taking an interest in the other person and I do this through asking qusetions. Not ones that I consider overly nosey or that can lead to difficult topics of conversation. I might volunteer some stuff about myself but that so depends on how much I trust them, and I tend to hold off on trusting folk because you don’t know if they’ll reject you or not.

Apparently there is a whole style of conversation based on you initiating by offering up tidbits about yourself. Like, eek, what the hell? Beyond the politeness of “what did you do at the weekend? I did x.” Continue reading

Perfectionism as a Bully

I’ve been thinking about the comment I left on Olivia’s blog ‘We Got So Far To Go’, aboout “realistic expectations” and how mine are but a shadow of their former selves. Realistic expectations for me as an undergrad included me pulling 8 hrs of revision a day for 5-6 days a week during the exam period, which usually lasted about a month, and submitting every bit of coursework on time. I’m currently not really capable of that. I used to be able to write a 2000 word essay in two or three days, some of that time including all the necessary reading, but not any more.

Thus, when I worked out my plan for getting my Intro written in time for my deadline in January, it entailed me writing 500 words a day, 5 days a week for 4-5 weeks. It seemed so sensible but in the first week of that plan I wrote… no words. None. I couldn’t face sitting down to write.

The massive irony being I can churn out a 1000+ word essay on my blog in the space of an hour. 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

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