Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Again it feels like forever since I've been here, and in the past few weeks I've noticed the consequences of being lax about keeping up with taking care of my mental health. Unfortunately I am finding I still need quite a bit of "maintenance" - time for reflection, adjustment, acknowledging what I did right and what I could do better, etc. - and I wasn't giving that time to myself.
The good news is that I've been keeping up with activities. I've still been playing in the water a fair bit, and have mostly gotten back to running (my distances are not what they were before, but I'm running shorter with more frequency, which is fine as I don't have any races I'm signed up for or anything that really require a specific type of training). The other good news is that basically all of my activities also double as good social time with friends.
Anyway, I'm here because I just crashed and burned. The past two weeks I've been a bit more on edge because of extra pressure at work to get stuff done for a summit where our international co-workers were to come and do presentations with our team, and also because the new school quarter is starting again, which meant several things (tuition fees, lack of communication with my advisor, trying to reconstitute my thesis committee after one of the profs left, making my new school/work schedule) were shoved in my face after I'd been trying to ignore them for a while. Long story short, having issues with financial aid and basically now incurring late fees for tuition payment just caused me to flip out unreasonably. Maybe it was like the straw that broke the camel's back. I basically had a panic attack, huge urges to self harm and ended up bingeing... over this $50-100 late fee. I just really didn't handle it well and I was surprised at just how poorly I did react to it.
In any case, I reached out to a support friend and I am going to get out of my place soon to go work at a tea shop to kind of reset and try to ground myself.
Somehow I need to figure out how to make time for everything. I would really like to be back here more regularly. As I'm waiting for traffic to die down a bit before heading out...
+ I have been practicing the "opposite to emotion" skill in e-mailing my advisor even when I want to avoid him. Even if he doesn't respond, at least I am doing my best to try and establish contact with him (and starting later this week he is teaching so I know he will be on campus).
+ I had a fun trip home. My sister came down for her 2 week summer break and we spent some time with our parents, and then she also came to visit me where I live. We had a fun time going to happy hour and watching the Riddick movie (it's cheesy but we still had fun with it).
+ I joined my friend spearfishing and have had a lot of fun. It will be a miracle if I ever catch anything with my polespear, but I'm grateful for the new activity and the new people I'm meeting through this sport. I love eating fish so I hope I will actually catch something eventually. We are also getting ready for lobster season! Last Friday I went on a night dive with a club to go and just observe some lobster and learn about them.
+ I am going to sit in on some more applied math courses during this fall quarter. What I study is more theoretical, but I think it will be useful for me to be exposed to more applied mathematics, even if I can't really focus too much on it as I need to really buckle down on my own work.
+ I went to another orienteering event last weekend and my friend brought her husband who was an Army Ranger. I think he was just there to have a nice walk while we tried to find our way, but he did give us pointers. It was a beautiful day in the mountains and we couldn't have asked for better weather.