Forum: Advice / Support

I need a good kick.
By SwordInStone
On Tue Sep 12, 2017 03:55 PM

Too many things happened this spring:

There was a problem with my thesis, so I had to practically rewrite it in a month. Somehow it succeeded, but the opponent thought it was so much improved that he accused me of...not writing it myself. I showed him the thesis in different stages of completion, my handwritten notes, emails to supervisors, and said that I will answer any question he asks about it, in front of whichever audience he wants. In the end it got a high mark, and I graduated. My parents didn't congratulate me.

I ran away from my parents when I started graduate school, so this graduation really means quite a lot to my friends. But after that there was the rush to prepare a phD application, but there was only one position this year, 24 applicants, and I was either runner up or second runner up. So then there was a scare about whether I'd be able to stay in the country at all, but luckily the government changed immigration laws, so I got to stay. After graduation I went to a conference, got an award and publication offers from two reputable journals, and my department asked me to stay as an unfunded doctoral student. So I accepted.

But at the same time I found out a few things very bad things about our department. Then my best friend made a move on me, and now we're a couple.

By summer I was very much burned out. My parents got really, really mad at me for not getting into phD, and called me lazy. They called me other things too, mainly things I grew up hearing (I have PTSD). We decided not to speak to each other again.

I took a vacation for the first time since 2002. Went to the Caucasus with friends, then bought five new pieces of clothing (now I have 20 in all, including the winter coat, slips and nightgowns, two shirts that are really falling apart...). They're not impulse purchases at all, and I really enjoy being to go out whenever I want, because having clothes that suit the weather is a pretty great feeling. I really don't mind wearing the same thing almost every day, but I want to feel pretty.

Recently a roommate moved in. I mean that we actually share one small room. We also share a wall, kitchen and bath with two loud girls; there's no living room, and the kitchen is so small that three people cannot comfortable stand in it. The university library was closed for renovation over a year ago, and isn't set to open anytime soon, maybe in a year. Roommate and I get along well, but we're constantly in each other's way. And I don't get along well with the flatmates. Also, the dorms have bedbugs.

Over summer, some other relatives started calling me to ask whether I got into phD. I told them I didn't get in, and would need to find a job, but they'd congratulate me for getting into phD and getting department funding and a job, and that everything is going perfectly in my life. Then a week later the same relatives would call with the same questions. I'd give the same answers, and they'd disregard them the same way, congratulating me for things that never happened. These calls got more frequent until they were asking these questions every day, and then these turned into video calls, then they started calling in the middle of the night, and that was when I felt suicidal again for the first time in months.

The thing is, I lack initiative. I'm living off of savings. I haven't focused a bit since everyone moved in (by calculations, I have less personal space and privacy than a kommunalka resident in the USSR). I haven't started working on those papers, and in fact, even reading is difficult. Jobs here require knowledge of the language, and I haven't studied it in months. I bookmarked a bunch of integration courses for foreigners, but have not filled out a single form. I stopped going to therapy because unfunded phD students don't have state insurance, and I'm trying to save money. Two university staff members and the psychologist all recommended calling the social workers, but I'm too ashamed to admit that I spent money on vacation and clothing.

Today another student posted an apartment listing, and I caved in and made an appointment to check it out. Not having to share rooms, a window that doesn't face the town's biggest street, a proper kitchen with a window and a quiet flatmate just sounded too tempting. But the rent is 230 euros a months, so I'll need to pull myself together, start actively applying for work, learning the language, writing the papers, and being independent.

I just feel so broken down. But sometimes one can't afford to be broken down, and for me, now is definitely not the time.

I could really use some--well, whatever you feel is necessary.

2 Replies to I need a good kick.

re: I need a good kick.
By ChristinePremium member
On Thu Sep 14, 2017 07:33 AM
One step at a time.

Is it possible to look into a customer service job you could do on the phone? Amazon, and several other international companies have this kind of job. I don't know how to secure them, but if you could handle stuff on the phone (in English) you could get work going before learning a new language.

As to the papers..... the journey of 10,000 miles starts with a single step. Pick a time every. single. day. where you MUST write. Even if it is gibberish in the beginning. JUST DO IT.
If you wait for inspiration, for everything to be right and in order, you aren't going to have time to get this done. It takes A LOT of time and the sooner you start the better your chances of getting the job done. Make a plan. Do you have an outline? Materials? Do you know what you need to seek out? If you don't, this is a good place to start. A good old fashioned "To Do List".

Nothing feeds accomplishment like accomplishment!

If you just get one page of something done a day, that is 30 pages a month.

Hugs... It sounds like you have many distractions and burdens. I hope you are able to sort them out.

Keep On Dancing*
re: I need a good kick.
By schuhplattlerPremium member
On Thu Sep 21, 2017 04:46 PM
Christine gives some very good advice and comfort words.

We all probably could give better advice if we knew where you are headed.

What is your field of study?

More important, how do you plan to apply what you have been learning? Yes, you have situations that need handling right away, but keep your eye on your goals.

Here are a few rules that might make your life safer and more rewarding, but don't accept any of the following if it is contrary to anything you have observed. What is true for you is what you have observed for yourself, and I firmly believe that when you lose that, you have lost everything.

Never regret yesterday. Life is in you today, and you make your tomorrow.

Never disparage yourself or minimize your strength or power.

Never need praise, approval or sympathy.
This one undoubtedly will draw flak from some who insist that these are natural human needs, but do you really need anyone's permission to survive?

Never compromise with your own reality.

Do not give or receive communication unless you yourself desire it.

Your self determinism and your honor are more important than your immediate life.

Your integrity to yourself is more important than your body.

Don't desire to be liked or admired. Many don't understand this one, but how many are liked or admired for entirely the wrong reasons? Does humanity want to go in this direction?

Be your own adviser, keep your own counsel, and select your own decisions.

Be true to your own goals.

Also, keep in mind that we are rooting for you.


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