Oh, The Possibilities…..

here comes the sun

It looks like another sleepless night for me. I lay in bed wishing for sleep to come for about two hours when Ewok came in and decided my face would be a nice place for a catnap. Thanks kitty. That’s when I decided to give up and do something else….like blog!

I feel like I’m bursting with possibility at the moment. Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep. At least its a good reason this time. Possibility leads to hope and hope is what makes life worth living. I’m not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I have hope that I can pull myself out of this black hole I’ve been in for most of the year.

The first set of possibilities involves a bunch of creative projects I have on the go. A couple of them I owe to Christy over at Normal in Training. If you haven’t been to her blog yet, you really should stop by. As a psychologist who has both depression and anxiety, she sees both sides of the proverbial mental health coin, offering a unique perspective.

Back to the creative projects…..I never dreamed of doing any of these projects because I’m not good enough, but being creative is something I enjoy. I think that’s what I need to focus on right now, enjoying. It is likely that these projects wont amount to anything and, I am ok with that. That is not my goal. I just want to have something to enjoy, something to look forward to doing. For once in my life I am going to focus on the process, not the outcome.

More possibilities…..a new Ph.D. student has started at the lab! I completely forgot he was starting until he arrived. This means someone to work with, someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to consult with and someone to share the responsibilities of the lab. This has already started to lift some of the dread I’ve been having surrounding work over the last few months.

I also mustered up the guts to talk to my supervisor about the state of my mental health and how overwhelmed I am. She was sympathetic to my being depressed and unable to sleep and she took the time off prescribed by the psychiatrist well. I’m still not sure if I want to take time off. I can’t take time until I get the new guy settled and do my conference presentation in mid September, so I have time to think about it.

Have you ever taken sick leave? How long did you take? What did you do with your time?

As for being overwhelmed, she understood that too. She emphasized that I am a Ph.D. student first (my dissertation comes first) and a lab coordinator second. Easier said than done. She said that as a lab coordinator it is my job to organize the lab and delegate tasks. If a project failed because the other lab members weren’t participating enough, it was not my responsibility. I was relieved to hear that. I don’t know if I could just let a project fail because of someone under me, but I’ll keep that in mind for when I get stressed.

My supervisor also renewed my confidence in my own dissertation. I was starting to think it was poorly thought out, a bad idea and not worth it. She reminded me of how excited she was about my research and about the other professors that wanted to be involved when I presented my proposal to the department. She also pointed out that people from the granting agencies who didn’t know me from the next guy had read my proposal and thought it was do-able. She said to not have faith in myself after all that was insulting to the professors and granting agencies. That hit a chord, lol. She was using my low self-esteem to get me to see reality. How could I be right in thinking my research was garbage when these experts thought otherwise? There’s no way I could be right over them. Are you following my twisted line of thought here? I am now feeling better about my dissertation. So much so that I was able to make the final corrections I had been putting off for the last month and resubmit to ethics. Phew.

And now that I’ve rambled on for a bit here, I’m going to try to sleep again. Thanks for listening 🙂

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