This is a tough post for me to write, y’all. I have been cooped up for the last couple of months – working on my dissertation. I’ve got two chapters drafted, only four more to go, which is super exciting. In these last few months I have made a lot of progress, and I plan on making more.
I know this is one of the things that you can’t really plan for once you become ABD (all but dissertation), but when you’re not in coursework anymore, when you’re not stopping by the office to say hi to your colleagues or to do a spot of work before heading to teach or to class, it’s incredibly lonely. Some people thrive on that – when it’s just you and the screen all day long.
I am not one of those people.
I thought I could be, but I am most certainly not.
I spend my day obsessively making and drinking tea, researching, and writing. I’ve been trying to be better about getting out of my lovely apartment (much to the chagrin of my needy, needy cat), but I’ve been largely unsuccessful.
So… that’s why I’m writing this today. I want to be better. I want to find a way out of this little lonely hole that I’m putting myself into through intentional isolation. I don’t want to be isolated, or at least to feel that way. There have been days where I don’t see or talk to anyone pretty much all day (luckily my wonderful husband comes home from work in the evenings!) and it’s gnawing away at me, and making it harder for me to concentrate on my work.
This is my public promise to myself. I will try to treat myself how I would treat my friends and loved ones – by following my own advice. I will get out to the climbing gym to do what I love and what helps to keep me focused. I will make it a point to talk to someone, every day, even if it’s just a text or email. I will try to take care of me, and to care as much about my mental and physical health as I do about that never-as-much-as-I-want-it-to-be word count.
I will slip. I will have some days where I utterly fail. That will be OK. It’s the trying again that matters.
I’m also trying something new – I love living the quantified life (woo Fitbit and Garmin!) but I’m a little iffy on gamifying my life… but we’re giving it a go with SuperBetter. It’s a super positive app that wants to help you to make yourself better (by your own definition) in some way. It will give you little bits of encouragement along the way and is bright and colorful and happy and all of those things that I love in an app.
Wish me luck, I’m trying to screw my courage to the sticking place.
Combating Loneliness by courtney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.