Friday will mark eight months since the start of my PhD. I have to admit that the relationship is a bit strained, and has been for a couple of months now.
PhD stresses have combined with worries over family and finances over the last few months, and it all seems to have finally taken its toll. Came down with an illness yesterday; thought it was just a cold, but after 10.5 hours at uni, I got home and all but collapsed, aching all over. It’s been a long time since I’ve been exhausted to the point of uncontrollable tears.
Inconvenient timing, of course, but when is illness ever convenient? I was due to send another draft off to my supervisors on Friday, which didn’t happen because it wasn’t ready (they want a complete document, and it was still missing some sections). I postponed it til Monday (yesterday), and felt like I was on track to send it off by the evening. Somehow, I managed to potter through the day despite feeling increasingly ill. But as soon as I got home, something finally gave way and I didn’t have the energy to fight. From bed, I emailed my supervisors to let them know the draft would be postponed again, hopefully only until the morning.
Though I am feeling better today, I can feel tiredness throbbing in my head, though it seems to be staying away thanks to painkillers. And again, the draft is set back and I feel derailed once again. In spite of my obvious exhaustion and need for a break, I can’t help but feel guilty for taking the day off from writing. I think I am slowly going mad…
Gotye - “Somebody That I Used To Know” (Feat. Kimbra)
Gotye owns the musical universe. I hate waiting for the new album, except for the fact that I know it will be awesome and unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. That’s the level of amazing I’ve come to expect from Wally de Backer.
randomrantings replied to your post
Stay strong! I totally feel you though. I hit a rut about a week ago and just had to walk away from it for a bit…it was better when I took a break. Hugs! You can make it through!
emilyslc replied to your post
I agree—I know that same feeling (am I also hitting it this morning?), and a break usually helps!
Thank you both for your replies! Evidence of the PhD Tumblr Support Group coming through yet again :) A break would definitely help; I feel in need of a week or two off, but that’s not feasible right now. Trying to get some mental restoration happening by taking full weekends off; it hasn’t quite done the trick yet. I’m sure I will look back on all this in a month or two and laugh at all the whining.
I haven’t added any substantial writing to my confirmation documents in about a week and a half. I know it is due, in part, to the fact that I have run out of things to write about; so I have been reading to plug gaps in my knowledge. But I’m still floating by, not particularly motivated or focused, but working nonetheless.
Every now and again, I am asking myself, “What’s the point?” I knew coming into this project that it would be largely theoretical. But right now, while I am in the mire, I am questioning why am I theorising when I could be practising.
The rational side of me knows that I can do this and do it well. I wouldn’t have the support of my supervisors and my school if they, with their extensive experience and wisdom, did not believe it. I just feel like I’m flailing.