I’m not okay, but that’s okay.
Still not doing well, but what else is new? The point of this project was to focus on the journey to my PhD. To talk about my education and to share the things I learn along the way so others can survive the journey themselves. This wasn’t a blog so much about me as it was about the things I’ve learned. Well one of the things I’ve learned is that despite my desire to remain anonymous and share purely my education progress, it is difficult, if not impossible, to seperate myself from my education. And right now I’m not okay, but that’s okay.
Balancing your mental health and education is hard. During grad school you get pushed to be more productive, to do better, to do it faster, and to do it right the first time. The amount of stress that puts on a person is mindblowing. It’s probably why so many people drop out, not because a PhD isn’t their dream, it’s because that dream is so inaccessible. Sometimes literally, for those of us with disabilities attending class, even before the pandemic, could be nearly impossible. There are systems in place to help, but those systems are designed to help the school first and the student, if they are lucky, second. This creates the environment we’re faced with today, where not even including the fact that we’re living in a pandemic, so many people are forced to work past the point of breaking down.
Then of course there’s the pandemic and things are just, well the callousness towards the death rate from COVID was, well disappointing. I don’t have a lot of faith in humanity, but this really drove the point home that no one (in the general sense) cares and it’s just sad. The amount of people highlighting the survival rate is mind boggling considering the amount of death, 640,000 in the US alone as of this writing. Keep in mind that this says nothing about the morbidity rate of COVID. Which for those who don’t know what that means, morbidity rate is the rate at which COVID-19 causes acute and chronic disease(s) to occur. We are going to end up with generations (with an s) of people who will have possibly lifelong disabilities because as a society we didn’t care enough to do something about it.
Anyway, it’s a really rough time to be alive and I was having a hard time living to begin with. Some days it’s hard to see the point. I just feel exhausted all the time and don’t have any real reason to want to keep going. There’s just a lot, life is a lot and the whole getting a PhD thing is hard, then the pandemic had to come along and make it harder. The education system has made the act of getting your PhD into a test of pure will. Can you survive all the shit that gets thrown at you? Well congratulations here’s a list of new mental health problems you have because if that journey and a fancy degree with your name on it. Now go find a job.
I have always survived by just pushing forward. Feeling like crap today won’t stop that, but it does help to talk about it. As I’ve repeatedly said around here, keeping quiet about mental health struggles helps no one and probably hurts a lot of people going through the same things you are. So I try to be overly open about my struggles on the off chance that it helps someone. Maybe it’s silly, but here we are and if I plan on writing daily, I might as well sprinkle in a good amount of mental health issues in the mix. Mental illness sucks, especially when there’s no real way to fix the problem. I will push on though, like always.
I’m not okay, but that’s okay. Maybe it will get better, maybe it won’t, only time will tell. Let me just say though, brains suck, fuck you brain.
I think the more I realise that my feelings aren’t ‘me’, the better I can handle the bad days. It’s hard to keep that perspective though. I admire you for pushing ahead despite not feeling okay. Thanks for sharing this!
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September 1, 2021 at 7:22 pm
I like the way you phrased that first sentence, that’s a great way to think about it. Thank you!
September 2, 2021 at 11:46 am