Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Unnecessary Complications

Yes, I’m back…And to rant…

Life as of late has become increasingly complicated. I don’t usually have difficulties with expressing how I’m feeling or talking about what is going on with my life on my blog. But the past several weeks, I have been pretty busy and feel like I’ve been bad at blogging, maybe even bad at everything.

And illness isn’t even a factor. No, I take that back…Illness is always a factor, and that might just be part of the problem.

I feel like I’m being pulled in a thousand different directions; in order to do everything and please everyone I feel is worth pleasing, I can’t take care of myself (or I can’t be sick).

My “To Do” list keeps growing longer and longer, and less and less is getting crossed off at the end of the day because I’m exhausted and in pain. Here’s just a smattering of what needs to get done over the next several months; hosting Grand Rounds, several doctors appointments and blood work, arthritis walk, DePaul conference, teaching my own class, studying for my preliminary exam, presenting at the American Sociological Association conference, taking and passing my prelim…And oh yeah, did I mention eating, sleeping, and breathing?

And all I keep thinking is:

Can I hold out and not flare until August?

Can I hold out and not flare before tomorrow?

I’ve had several serious conversations with my mom recently about possibly leaving school. I don’t necessarily want to do that, but yet again, I find myself at a place where I feel like I can’t be in graduate school and stay healthy. I can’t do everything I want to do, plus attempt to have a life outside of school, plus take care of myself.

That’s the whole point of what I’m trying to do, advocacy-wise, right? I’m trying to help other students stay in school while coping with illness. But what if that’s just not possible? I’m not a quitter. I live for people to tell me that I can’t do something so I can prove them wrong. But I’m not sure how much fortitude I have left in me.

I keep asking myself:

Do I need a PhD to do what I want to do?

(Do I actually know “what I want to do?”)

How will having a PhD help me or hurt me?

How will NOT having a PhD help me or hurt me?

How bad will I feel abut myself if I “quit” school?

Aside from illness, there has been another situation in my life recently when I was very frustrated because in the end, “I had nothing to show for it.” I had come through it, but there was nothing tangible to suggest that it had ever happened at all.

Sometimes it’s better not to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes the status quo is a good thing. Sometimes boundaries were meant for a reason. There are some lines that just shouldn’t be crossed. Sometimes change is a bad thing.

If I’ve learned anything from illness, though, it’s that there are important imperceptible changes; changes on the inside that mean more than any changes on the outside (“literal” changes) ever could. I became so obsessed with proving my friends wrong and giving others the benefit of the doubt that I lost sight of what was really important…me.

So I can only hope that there are changes that have taken place inside of me that I simply haven’t been perceptive enough to notice yet…

Because right now I’m in a place that I really don’t like…And I really only have myself to blame…

I hope this doesn’t sound like a “poor me” post, because it’s not meant to be. This is more of a “gosh, why do I always have to be such an idiot?” post. Because I’m at that point just between “normal” and flare when I feel like I’ve been fighting off a cold/flu-like thing for four days. And I have the power to set things in the right direction. But will I? Probably not…That says it all…


  1. Those sound like very legitimate questions you're asking yourself - I cannot believe how you have managed thus far and still have your health actually improve pain-wise. It's scary to see that list of yours - not that mine is any better- and reading it is making me stop, breathe and consider my own self-imposed expectations.

    Thanks for venting - as you try to help yourself pinpoint your direction, you are helping me, too, friend.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.