Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Getting Back in the Game

I’m trying really hard right now to re-engage in my life. The longer I sit on the sidelines, the harder it is to start because things keep piling up and minor worries become full blown anxieties as the problem compounds. I can be a very stubborn person, which can be a negative, but in this instance it really is a benefit. Through sheer stubborn will I drag myself through each and every day so I can be a semi-functioning depressive. Every small task completed is a victory for me- from brushing my teeth after breakfast, washing my hair, to getting dressed in real clothes, putting on make-up and going to campus. Anything other than lying in bed, sleeping, staring idly at a computer screen or out my window is a success.

It’s really difficult to fight myself all the time to do things which others find so easy and mundane. It can be exhausting. I lose more than I win on most days, but it’s a start. I know my behaviour is causing damage to my Ph.d and future success here. I haven’t been completing assignments on time. I haven’t been completing all my readings or even engaging the material. I haven’t met any of the other Ph.d candidates aside from the two who are TA’s with me. I should be lining up my summer reading course, investigating what I need to do for my comprehensive examinations next fall and working on my French. At some point in the very near future I need to successfully write a French comprehension exam so that I’m certified as bilingual as part of my degree. At the moment I am so far from being bilingual that it scares me. If I let things slide any more I risk either being kicked out or having to drop out; neither of which are an acceptable choice.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Jokes on Me

We don't have cable at the house here in my Uni town. We make due with the hand full of channels we can get on regular old-school television. I checked during the week to see if we got the Oscar's on one of our channels and I could have sworn we did. I come to find out tonight when I sat down to watch the pre-show that we don't get one of the channels televising the Oscar's! So, my plans of a quiet evening, curled up on the couch, critiquing the fabulous and not so fabulous gowns, have been thrown for a loop. I love watching the big categories and seeing if they match up with my expectations or not.

Plan B is to finally watch Babel. I tried to watch all the movies up for best picture. After watching Babel the only one I missed was Letters from Iwo Jima, which I will watch shortly. There's only so many hours in a day and I think I watch way too many movies and documentaries as it is.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Start

Someone on campus is doing a study on depression and exercise and I've signed up to participate. I have a meeting tomorrow with the person running the study to make sure I qualify and to give me more information on the project. If I make the cut I'll be put into one of two groups. The first group will do yoga/stretching for an hour, three times a week, while the second group will do cardio (cycling, rowing machine, treadmill) for an hour, three times a week for the duration of the study.

I'm hoping that this will help, or at the very least begin to pull me out of this. The next step is to ramp up my medication or try a new combination, which ever is more effective.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Coasting & Crashing

Driving home from the grocery store this evening I was suddenly struck by the realization that I’m extremely depressed. It shouldn’t really surprise me anymore, but there it is. I’m having trouble showering and washing my hair on a regular basis, finding any kind of energy or motivation to do my schoolwork, and I’m especially finding it hard to care about things in general. I’ve also started trying to anesthetize myself with food. I indulge my every craving and whim- from chocolate bars to chips, fast food and cookies. I eat when I’m not even hungry, because at least when I feel full I’m feeling something else for a change besides numb.

I’m also extremely agitated mentally. I’m restless and unable to settle my mind into any kind of coherent, logical train of thought. Bits and pieces of future and present projects march endlessly through my brain. Ideas on how to expand my MA thesis into a publishable work; Edward Bernays and the rise of marketing in a Canadian context; the Farmerettes of WWI; changing my Ph.d thesis, various trains of thought on my family history on both sides. I’m starting to feel like the tighter I try to hold on the farther away it gets from me.

I don’t want to start messing around with my medication, but obviously things really aren’t functioning as they should. One of the major problems is that I don’t have a doctor at the new university. I don’t know how the health services work here and I’m loath to start discussing the PTSD, depression and anxiety with yet another doctor. I seriously need to get myself together before I crash and burn. I already feel like this doctorate is spiraling out of control. I am absolutely coasting through my classes, doing the absolute bare minimum of the readings or not doing them at all. It’s pathetic really.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Congratulatory Surprises

Last week I spent a gruelling 48 hour period completing the final edits to my Master's thesis, getting 8 copies printed by Business Depot, and running around the old campus signing paperwork and taking care of all manner of administrative details. I'm convinced it's harder to graduate than it is to get in to University. First, you pay to apply, then you pay to stay in and to add insult to injury you have to pay to graduate and get out of the place. I think all told, between graduation fees, book binding fees and copying fees amongst other things I spent upwards of $400. However, it is all done and over with. All I have to wait for now is my Convocation in June and the return of my thesis from the printer's which should be in the next two weeks or so.

It was after midnight when I finally rolled in the door that night and I was exhausted. I was greeted by the above sight in my room. One of my house mates had left me a card and the balloons to congratulate me on finishing my Master's. It was an incredibly sweet gesture, especially since I just met everyone here in September. Inside the card was the following message:

You Deserve A Big Gold Star!
Congratulations!! You're done!!
2.5 years...'there is no telling how many miles
you will have to run while chasing a dream'
Congrats, now get some rest!!
~ house mate

I guess they were more aware of my late hours than I originally thought. I was always the last one in bed, long after everyone had gone to sleep, and always the first one up in the morning. I'm trying to adjust to a more normal sleeping schedule and a balanced work schedule. Hopefully I can get a handle on that soon or I'm really going to be burned out. The Ph.d is now officially underway and I'm hoping I can get through this in 4 years or less. I don't want to be over 30 and still in school because even I can't handle that much school.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Thinking About Life

I'm tired of being alone.

I'm especially tired of being alone while seeing someone.