Just a little update so I don’t disappear into oblivion. I feel like I have made it out of the tunnel of depression of these last 3 weeks. Like Claire at Ditching the Wine https://gettingsobernow.wordpress.com/, I halved my antidepressant medication two or three weeks ago, and am on my way to being med-free, probably sometime around the end of July. The drinking cravings have gone too. I have digested my advisor’s feedback about my last chapter, and although I still feel my heart sink whenever I face the work still ahead of me, I do a little bit every day and just keep going, stop by step.
Actually, I’ve been tricking my brain and I can’t believe it’s working: if I tell myself that I’m just “pretending” to work- i.e. that whatever changes I make to my chapter are “temporary”, or if I write something, that it’s “just to see what it would look like, but not real, actual changes” (i.e. if I remove all the pressure I’m placing on myself to write something good)-, then I find myself being able to get a LOT more done than if I’m just staring at a screen, trying to make it perfect. Sigh. Good old silly brain. My faithful companion.
I’ve also stopped obsessing about food so much and of course, that has dramatically reduced the bingeing tendencies and temptations. As I let go of body-image concerns, I have started to practice yoga more consistently, which is almost ironic.
In brief, I’m realizing how beneficial letting go of the ideal of perfection is for me (duh!), and how I need to constantly remind myself to do so. I don’t need a perfect PhD, or a perfect body, or a perfect life. I don’t even know what those things ARE, but I DO know they are unattainable in real life. And that with such goals, I am merely causing my own suffering and perpetuating the cycle of my own misery.
Instead, I am trying to practice radical self-acceptance. I am trying to accept my life, my situation and my self just as they are, without worrying and planning for the future, without trying to improve them constantly. I am trying to stop considering myself as a work in progress ,as being in need of progress.
It’s not always easy, and it certainly doesn’t feel natural YET, but I manage to let go of unrealistic expectations, I feel tremendous waves of relief. I am amazed, like always, at the multiple ways in which letting go can happen. Best of all, feelings of gratitude and appreciation return, and now I can feel joy and enjoyment again. So yeah, it does sound like I’ve made it out of a baby tunnel of sorts.
Oh and my boyfriend/friend/partner/whatever and I are getting a matching goodbye tattoo on July 1st. It’s one of Picasso’s Constellation drawings:
It’ll be a way to remember our years together here in the U.S.A. and our beautiful, tumultuous story after I leave. Everyone thinks we are weirdos for breaking up just because I have to move our of the country, but deep down we both know that we are better as friends than romantic partners. A tattoo is something we both wanted anyway, and a nice way to honor all the growth and work we’ve both done on ourselves together during the last 2 years.
Hope y’all are doing well ! xxx