Last month I was really depressed. I was burned out. I wasn’t excited to do the things that people do. The dark thoughts were there.
Unfortunately, a lot of that is still true this month. I’ve been taking steps to mitigate these feelings. I’ve kept going, despite not wanting to. And there are projects that I am making progress on. It’s slowly moving me towards a better version of life, but I still am not able to break out of the depressive thinking– at least not fully.
I submitted a manuscript. I’m not excited about it, though.
I co-wrote an article for the National Postdoc Association Newsletter. I’m a little more excited about that.
I wrote one of my more ambitious posts on Quiet Branches, linking the past to the present. I sought input from an author of a study and did a lot more research than I have put in the past. I’m pretty proud of it.
And I got asked to have my blog brought into a blog network, which is exciting. It does feel validating, that maybe I am a “real” science writer.
I went to the Future of Research Conference for a day in Boston, which was really good. I networked! (I got a free book on storytelling in scientific publications from Rafael Luna of Harvard Med School!). I’m glad I took a long day to go.
I even applied for something, putting together a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample in a few hours. Whether I get the gig or not, I feel like putting that together that quickly is real progress.
These are the good things that happened last month and a half. I’m sure there are others, but as you can see, a lot of them still revolve around work, side projects (that I do love), and little outside of that.
How do I move forward from here? Where do I go? I’m still frazzled.
I’ve tried taking care of myself better with some success. I’m not exercising enough, running hasn’t happened other than a few short runs and one short race on a perfect fall day.
And as both commenters to my last blog post here noted, this is a long battle. Self-compassion matters. Having access to a therapist is important too (I am lucky in this regard). And taking time off, which I have done a bit of, feels more like my body telling my brain to take a break. And I even have a tiny in-real-life social life.
I have gotten better about asking for things and I don’t really fear rejection in most contexts, it’s just something that I find likely to occur still and am pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t.
Hopefully, I am learning. I hope I’m putting better content into my brain than bad. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say. It doesn’t help that the garbage can come from inside my own brain at times.
Am I just being busy for the sake of busy? Am I just distracting myself from what I should be doing? Am I just stubborn (tenacious maybe the more positive spin on that)? These are questions I keep asking myself.
Life goes on. I am trying to keep up. And keep swimming.