Holy sh*t, I’m a (sober) Doctor!

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I did it friends!

I successfully defended and submitted my PhD dissertation to my university, and I am now a doctor!

The two hour long defense was so intense, I had promised myself to rest beforehand but I ended up revising until the very last second. During the defense, which was on zoom (and even led to technical difficulties where I had to log out in the middle of a committee member’s question), I looked perfectly (lol or somewhat) calm and composed, but on the inside, I was so stressed that I could understand neither the members’ questions, nor the answers coming out of my own mouth! Thankfully, one of the committee members, who is a  sweet retired French man specialized in nineteenth-century literature, thought that asking a question meant rambling on and on for 20 minutes about what I talk about in my work, which gave me the opportunity to rest, while I vaguely tried to follow the flow of his words. At the very end of it, I couldn’t remember any of what the committee and I had talked about, I had spontaneous amnesia, and just when I thought I was out of the woods and it was over, my advisor asked one last follow up question. That was the awkward moment of the defense… By then, I was so tired that I really struggled to even begin to understand what she meant, and felt like I had done my duty (survived a 2 hour long interrogation^^). I had her repeat her question three times before apologizing and saying my brain was no longer working. The committee was really nice and smiled and said it was no problem, and they let me of the hook. I’m glad I decided to be honest rather than come up with some b****sht answer.

After everything was finished, my advisor and I had a private zoom chat for half an hour, where she said some unbelievable nice things. (She said she had never seen such enthusiasm and consensus in a defense about the work deserving publication, and that if I do choose to publish it, it would have to be 2, even 3 books, because of how rich the 600 dissertation was. She also said it deserved to be published at Harvard University Press or Oxford University Press. We thanked each other profusely and both ended up semi-crying, it was very cute. For now, I can’t even begin to think about turning it into a book, I’m just happy I survived and they didn’t fail me). 

Since then, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my chest. After waking up with a sense of impending doom for the last year or so, it feels so freeing to wake up and have “nothing to do,” and to rediscover life anxiety-free. I’m still a bit tired, but I’m finally able to feel my body and experience joy again 🙂 WOOHOOOO 

Now I need to find a job, asap. I’ve already applied to several remote positions, such as French translator-voice for a yoga app, and editorial manager of an online recovery journey community/blog/training program. I’m going to keep fishing in the world wide web pool of remote opportunities, and if I don’t find anything in the next month, I will go the traditional route of handing out CVs in all the shops that need extra help during the Christmas season (France is supposed to be a secular country, but its rhythm is still very much centered on the Christian calendar). 

I went to have Sunday lunch at my parents’ house yesterday. My mother was drunk and aggressive with my dad, but I was able to detach and even laugh at the absurdity of their situation (which is truly hellish, but has been going on for so long that I don’t think they will ever come out of it. It truly is a familiar Hell).  Still, they both agreed that they were proud of me and to lend me $3000 so that I can pay my first couple months of rent, and survive while I am job hunting. For all its flaws and dysfunction, I am truly grateful for having parents that are able to support me in this way (They went through some financial hardship in the past, and I still feel guilty accepting their help, even though I know they are happy to do it). I am very aware of the privilege this entails.

It feels strange, to be “in their debt” and not to be able to diabolize them completely and write them off as “bad” = they are humans too, they are trying their best (as we all are), and it’s very sad if their best involves self-destruction and blindness to how their life could be/could have been if my mother didn’t choose to drink herself into oblivion rather than work-through her difficult past. I am trying to practice feeling grateful, rather than guilty for accepting their help.

As for baby-Anne, well, she is now in the hands of grownup, Doctor-Anne, and ready to take on the world and the new chapter in her life. I couldn’t have survived this whole process (sober!) without your support here, my dear, dear, WordPress friends. ❤ Deep thanks to each and every one of you for your kind words and your encouragement, that helped me get through this intense last month.

Now onwards and upwards !


xxxxx Adult-Anne

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

43 thoughts on “Holy sh*t, I’m a (sober) Doctor!

  1. Well done! 👏👏👏👏👏👩🏻‍🎓👩🏻‍🎓👩🏻‍🎓 – so pleased for you a PhD is a massive achievement and you’ve done it! Onwards and upwards I’m sure – good luck with the job hunting 😘😘💞💞

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much Nelson! I’m trying to enjoy it a little bit before moving into “ok, now what’s next”mode. I need to remember to slow down 🙂 Big hugs and thank you so much for commenting!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on your very hard work and many sacrifices, Anne. You must know I’m beaming inside for you with much pride and joy❤️. And like you said to top it off you are now sober. Beautiful freedom. Please soak all this in. Sending many whoop whoops to my super hero 🦸‍♂️💫🎈 💥

    Liked by 1 person

    I just knew you would do it and wow, what amazing compliments from your advisor. You absolutely have to publish it and can do that in your own time, when you are ready. This is a phenomenal achievement and I hope you take some time to relax and rest as you need a good few days to let your body catch up. Yoga and walks, coffee and sleep. That’s what you need. Good luck with job hunting. Oh Dr Anne, I am just so very proud of you. ❤️❤️❤️❤️🥳🥳🥳🥳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yessssss yoga is KILLING me I’ve done a couple of classes and I’m so sore hahahaha My body is exhausted but my mind is so happy ❤ Thank you Claire, as I said on instagram, I couldn't have done it without you 🙂 xxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations!!!!! That sounds so incredibly stressful I can’t imagine how relieved you are! (Ok I can a little bit, I went through a Masters program in engineering and couldn’t WAIT to be done with school) What is your Dr. in? Do you plan to be a professor / researcher / something else entirely?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg engineering, now that’s REAL science, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard a masters in engineering must have been! Congrats on doing that! Mine is in comparative literature / philosophy. I don’t plan on being an academic, that’s for sure (the whole public speaking, conference giving, ego displaying aspects of it are just too stressful for me and in the last 10 years have caused me more anxiety than joy, so I’m letting go of any desire to be famous, and focusing on building a more meaningful career- aka. that helps others). Teaching high school (which I did for 4 years before my phd) is not off the table though – I genuinely enjoyed connecting with the kids, and I have a teaching job waiting for me next year with the French government if I want it. I’m taking this year to explore other options, as teaching is EXHAUSTING and I’m not 100% sure I want to go back yet. And last but not least, I also am a licensed hypnotherapist, and really enjoy helping people one on one, so maybe I’ll do more of that this year. So many options! But right now I need to focus on making some $$$ to eat 🙂 xxx big hugs xxx Anne


    1. hahahaha it WAS horrible 🙂 Which makes me think: I am so fortunate, that THAT’s my “horrible” in life. In the bigger scheme of things, it’s nothing 🙂 But I’m still so relieved, like my life was threatened and now I’m safe… very strange feelings that run deep and go waaaay back to childhood I suppose. Anyway, thank you so much for commenting, it means a lot! xxx big hugs xxx Anne ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. From Baby Anne to Dr. Anne! Such an amazing woman you are! So proud and a well deserved congratulations to you! Sending much love and all good vibes for fortuitous job hunting. Onward and upward, indeed! 💕🥰👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. awwwwww thank you so much Collette ❤ Like I said on instagram, your warmth and all your support means the world, and it helped me get through the last couple weeks. I am truly grateful ❤ xxx Big big hugs xxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing, brilliant and inspiring, but let’s talk about you for a second 😉 Joking aside it’s a fantastic achievement. Arise Doctor Anne. Oh and now you’re a doctor any advice about my dodgy knee? X


  7. That’s quite the accomplishment! Congratulations! You can fall apart now that it’s over, lol. I’m curious about what kind of doctor you are now? I never went to college so I’ll learn a little something from your answer perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not a “real” doctor 🙂 I can’t cure or help people in any way except maybe by talking about books 🙂 I’m a doctor in comparative literature 🙂 The most useless of healing skills lololol xxx Anne


      1. ok, interesting. What do you do with Comparative Literature? I’m sure it is not useless. There are many things that we need to survive in this world, and you only need a MD when you are sick. It sounds like you do things that help the mind, and this interests me. There is so little I know about the world of Academia, but I want to learn. Tell me more please. If I get annoying, let me know and I’ll stop.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. well mostly you teach English classes 🙂 and otherwise, you can have a career in editing, translating, Human Resources, or anything to do with books 🙂 You can also do some kind of technical straining and learn a “real world” skill 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wowwwww… I love love love hearing how this all worked, how you dealt, what you’ve been up to, and your job hunt methods/plans… all wonderful, and so grateful you shared it as it is very inspiring. Dr. Anne… so lovely. Huge and heartfelt congrats gal. Much much love to you. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah..oddly i went in and checked and you were no longer on my following list!! i re added you…sometimes i swear the internet just does stuff to mess with us…lol..anyway- back on track:)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww yes 🙂 Thank you Ceejay, your comment means a lot ! it’s such a blessing to realize we actually CAN get through the hard stuff without a crutch xxx big hugs xxx Anne


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