Long post coming... In the process of getting my PhD, somehow I've stumbled upon how important it is to take care of yourself. Believe it or not, you are the most important research project you will ever have. Recently a Psychology PhD friend of mine told me that in life your story only has one main character. I couldn't agree more, although it is so easy to forget this fact. We only get one story, but luckily we have many, many, many chapters. What chapter are you on?
As PhDs, we often let our research become us, and in the process our body and minds take a hit. So, now, I'm taking time to develop my main character and choose which scenes and co-stars are the most important in my story. My current chapter is more important than any lit review I will ever write. This chapter is about pressing reset on my health.
I'm currently working to lose my SPSS baby. Other PhD students know what I'm talking about. I spent the last year staring, and often yelling, at SPSS (a statistical analysis software that will nearly kill you). In my case, I became so frustrated at numbers that I reached out for my old friend, the cookie jar. I've lost a lot of my SPSS baby weight and hope to soon lose the PTSD (Post-Traumatic Statistics Disorder). Just the sight of SPSS triggers mental and physical flight or fight responses. I fought for a full two years and am now taking time to fly away from it. I'm so fortunate to live and study in Sweden where life balance is a core value. My supervisors are amazing and this is not the case with every PhD. Burnout is real and so is the need to take some time to edit our most important chapters. Keep hope alive. We got this. 💚
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Long post coming...Depression during your PhD process is real. I'm halfway through, on paper, but often find myself feeling like I'm just starting, or starting over, and over again. Things to know about a PhD process: it is one of the most lonely, vulnerable, and isolating experiences one can go through. For me, it's been made even more so as I left my American world behind, not such a bad thing in the era of Trump, but finding your way through a new country, culture, and trying (unsuccessfully so far) to learn the language is a lot of work. Work that is on top of the unstructured chaos that can be your research. Having ADHD also makes the chaos that much harder to sort through. The PhD process is also one of rejections. Recently the article I've spent two years writing was rejected by two journals within a month. This is academia they say, and I say I'm not quite sure I am about that kind of life. Regardless, this has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me and I've seen the world. I have to keep reminding myself that it's amazing that this southern boy from Clemson, South Carolina has somehow made some amazing things happen and is not only halfway to the doctorate, but halfway to EU citizenship. That's pretty freaking crazy awesome. So the battle is to somehow, some way, find the inner motivation to keep going. To make yourself get out of your warm bed and enter the cold outside, full of rejection and critique. I'm making it happen for sure, but damn it is a hard time along the journey. I share this to not only help me get out of this funk, but to share that depression is not something to be ashamed of, it's something we go through, I'm convinced we all do at times. It's particularly common amongst PhD students, and having conversations about it is important. So to the other PhDs out there: I feel you. Keep hope alive. 💚 #phd#phd #phd #doctoral#phddepression#mentalhealth#phdstudent#phdcomics#hope#gay#gayteen#gayfit#gayuk#gaylondon#gayphd#gayparis#gayfrance#gaystagram#gayboy#gaysingle#instahomo#lgbt #gay #gayusa#gaypride#gaynerd#gaymodel#gaystyle#wanderlust#gayitaly#gayhealth#gayberlin