27 and a PhD

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It’s still here. Alive and kicking

Welcome to my blog!

Hello there, awesome reader. My name is Dr. 27. I'm older than that now, but I'm staying faithful to the origins of the blog.

This blog started 2 months before completing my PhD in a pretty southern university back in 2009. It was a way to practice my writing and take a break from all things thesis. My PhD is in a branch of structural biology where I studied some rather impressive stuff.

After completing the degree, I packed my life of 6 years in 3 days and moved to Canada to do a postdoc in a completely different field. Two years later, and after attending a lot of seminars, workshops and doing some much-needed soul-searching, I ended up getting out and looking for an alternative path to academia and industry.

The blog chronicles my mishaps, ideas, musings and tips on entering, staying and finishing grad school. It also talks about some (or a lot) of personal stuff. For a while, the blog became a place to talk about the frustrations of not knowing what to do after PhD. I wanted to explore alternatives to the traditional paths of research (academia, industry and goverment) whilst going back to my field of training (if at all possible). Eventually a job materialized. Follow my quest as I navigate the waters of being a staff scientist at a core facility.

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I didn’t know how long it would be since my last post admitting to myself and to the world that I have depression. I don’t know how far along I’ll get. I still get my bouts of not feeling, or sometimes feeling too overwhelmed by what I perceive as being too many stimuli. I guess the easiest way to compare it is to an insect that has been sprayed with bug killer. Constant signaling that eventually fries your brain. I feel a little fried. I’m not in the highest highs I was immediately after I came out of the intensive treatment, but I am not not feeling. So, in that sense I think I’m in a bit of a better place. But I sure can tell that I need to see a therapist soon (it is happening in the next few days).

I haven’t had anything major happen. I haven’t seen too much of my trigger (it’s a person, actually). And even when I’ve seen them, our interactions have been minimal and cordial.

I’ve been trying to keep busy at home. I’ve cooked a bit, and not just for me, but for the hubs too. I’ve managed to go outside and into the world and enjoy some things. But just like I mentioned above, sometimes the stimulus seems too much and I retreat. I remember seeing that in my husband, as he was getting better from his own battle with depression. And I’m hopeful I’ll get there.

I’m also getting support from another lab and its members. They’ve welcomed me and we’ve talked about the last few days and it’s been good.

But I can tell I’m not totally recovered and that this is a hell of a long trip to recovery. I’m a bit afraid of who I’ll become at the end of this (even though I’m well aware that depression is more of manageable thing, that it doesn’t completely go away) and of course, I am afraid of being in touch with my feelings. I can tell that today is a difficult day. There’s nothing in particular that I can think of that’s causing it to be difficult, but I recognize that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Luckily I’ve talked to the hubs and I’m also reminding myself that I need to fight this battle little by little. I need to celebrate my accomplishments, because I’ve come a heck of a long way since a month ago. But it sure is a long road to recovery.

Apologies for the spottiness in appearances here and on Twitter. I’ll be OK, but I need a bit of time for me to regroup. Thanks.

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3 Comments

  1. DrTryingToFigureItOut says:

    You’re blog is eerily similar to my life! I’ve just wrapped up my first year as a postdoc and I’ve been incredibly down about it. As soon as we moved, my husband battled depression, but he has since found a great job. I, however, am struggling each day. I worked so hard to get where I am today only to get paid $43,000 and dislike my lab/ project/ and PI. It’s so incredibly discouraging. It all makes me question every decision I’ve made since deciding to pursue a PhD. I have an interview with an incredibly prestigious lab, 1,200 mi away which I am super excited about, but I can’t help but have a pit in my stomach. Can I really be so selfish to take my husband away from a job he loves? Ask him to move with me for the 2nd time in 15 months? To a state that’s way more expensive then the one we’re currently in?
    I just feel like no body wins.

    Thank you for your blog!

    • DrDad, PhD says:

      I’m actually in the same situation, Dr. TTFIO.

      My decision was to not move and take a local research associate position while I look for an industry job. It’s not necessarily the right move for you, but make sure you involve your husband in the decision. What does he think?

  2. DrDad, PhD says:

    I don’t have much to say, other than to let you know you’re not alone. Although I’m WAY behind in my reading, I’m glad that you were diagnosed, treated, and working your way toward recovery. It won’t be easy or quick, but lean on those who support you. And please continue to share, at your own pace – you are helping more people than you realize 🙂

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