Storm in a Bottle

I am trying to keep breathing. I am trying to keep myself motivated and awake and moving.

Long story short: the semester started this week. This means several things: first, I’m teaching again; second, I have to force myself back into something resembling a regular and reasonable schedule; third, and most horrifyingly: I really REALLY need to stop avoiding the problem and find a way to get my mind and soul into a place where I can actually work on my dissertation.

The longer version: The first week of the semester went mostly okay, in a weird way. I discovered on Monday that I could somehow switch a part of my brain on for a little way and be this version of myself that was cheerful and energetic and even gregarious. But afterward, when I was done working for the day and heading home to make something for dinner, I was suddenly so exhausted and so depressed and so despondent I could barely make it up the stairs to my room. I hadn’t turned off or worked past the bad stuff, just stuffed it to the pit of my stomach for eight hours to build up and gain momentum like a storm in a bottle. If this is the only I can manage the semester, it’s going to be very long and very painful. But hypothetically it could work.

That last one though, the one about my dissertation? Yeah… that is SO not happening. That particular storm has been building for MONTHS and is not likely to resolve itself any time soon. And judging from the email I just got from my dissertation direction this morning… that situation is gonna become untenable any day now.

Silent Sister


2 thoughts on “Storm in a Bottle

  1. I don’t “like” what you’re saying but can relate all too well. My semester starts Monday and in anticipation I’ve felt all the progress I made this summer completely unravel. Facing each day one at a time is the only option we have. Somehow this is making me think of that song “American Tune” — Just try to get some rest.


    1. Thank you very much. I wish no one else had to understand how it feels. It sucks. And, of course, I made literally NO PROGRESS over the summer, so the threat of the semester has only made me more painfully aware of my lack and more desperate and panicked.


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