About a year ago, I stopped posting on this blog because I felt that it had served its purpose, run its course. I wasn’t updating as I should and I had worked past the worst of my depression. I thought about continuing with the blog but last year ended up being very busy and I just never found the time to return.
But now, here I am.
2016 was a busy year for me: I attended an academic conference in March. I was voted Representative of an international student organization in April. I went to New York for the first time ever in May. In June and July I taught at a prestigious summer studies program. In August I attended the World Science Fiction convention in Kansas City with my best friend. And then the Fall semester started. And in October I moved for the third year in a row.
At first, it seemed that 2016 was going to be a good year for me. I was doing some great things. Experiencing new and exciting things. But then in July I took a nosedive. I started becoming increasingly anxious about everything: my teaching, being alone, travel, everything. My teaching position in July became a source of pain for me and I spent a lot of nights crying and thinking about quitting. By the time the Fall semester started at the end of August I was barely holding it together. My anxiety and depression were becoming so bad I was thinking about quitting my full-time teaching position and damn the consequences. The move in October was excruciating. I went so far down hill that by the end of October I was suicidal again. I was a little better over Winter break, without the threat of teaching to fuel my anxiety, but just barely. I nearly refused my teaching position for the Spring semester, but finally decided I couldn’t afford to refuse the job when I didn’t have another job lined up.
So here I am.
I’m halfway through the Spring semester. I’m on Spring break. And my depression and anxiety are still so severe I’m barely functioning. I manage to teach twice a week, but every other day of the week I sleep until 11am and then I crawl out of bed and onto the sofa and stare at the television for hours. I’m behind on all my grading. I haven’t worked on my dissertation in months and months. I daydream about quitting. Quitting everything. My job. My PhD. My life. Everything.
In the midst of all of this I have a conference to attend next week. And I have so many responsibilities for this conference I don’t know how I’m going to manage it. Executive Board meetings to attend, and panels to organize, and student organization events to manage, and on and on. I did this to myself, of course, but when I signed up to be responsible for all these things I was feeling much better about my life. Now I’m not sure how I’m going to hold it all together. But somehow I have to. People are counting on me. I have responsibilities. Duties. Somehow I have to do this. I have to. I have no choice.
I thought that returning to this blog might help like it did last time. Give me an outlet. Or something. I can’t promise I’ll do much more than come here to vent every once in awhile. In any case, here I am. Again. For whatever that’s worth.