[12 June, 2011]

perhaps the breaking point

This year has been (and continues to be) utterly horrible. I am still not done with it, even, so my absence here is only a testament to my exhaustion. I am too tired to reach out, like I am the one drowning so I can't throw myself a lifejacket. Each year of grad school has been worse than the one before so far. Maybe because each year carries the weight of the last and then snowballs exponentially (I don't even know if a snowball can snowball exponentially, that just might be a mathematic improbability, but I'm going with it at this point, because if there is one thing I have learned in grad school, it's that I need to be gentler with myself because no one else will be). Each week that passes carries with it disappointments and critiques and traumatic experiences. I have no time to recover, and I think that people around me are waiting for me to break in order to pull back a bit from all this craziness. But how do I know what the breaking point is until I reach it?

Perhaps having fever for a week, getting joint pains in my wrists and ankles, and failing an exam that I really should've could've passed because I was just that exhausted, burnt out, anxious, and incomprehensible (I am retaking it next week) is just it?

So. Old rule out; new rule: even though this summer I will still be working ~50 hrs/week at two mental health agencies simultaneously while also volunteering on crisis lines and possibly running a domestic violence support group in Russian, I am making a conscious self-care plan for myself: therapy 3-4 times/month, energy-focused massage once/month (I've never had one of those before, but this is Berkeley and they are all the rave!), rowing team because I loved it when I did it in the past, and yoga as often as I can because I miss my meditative mental space*. This all costs money (and time), which has been one of my biggest hesitations, but you know what, the other way of living is costing me my health (and I don't even have health insurance, so go ahead and chew on that irony!)

And goddam, this better work.

* I'm aware of the fact that this list makes me sound obnoxious and ridiculous. (Though better obnoxious than loosing my mind, perhaps?) But mostly, I hope, I sound like I've discovered where the resources are (because it's true!). And now I'm telling you: there are resources, in every community (I'm willing to bet). You don't have to be super wealthy or super fancy or super cool or super relaxed or super anything to use many of them. You just have to be super. Which you are. So go ahead and enjoy what your community has to offer.

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