Writing a thesis while being depressed, mission impossible?

If you read the title of this post and expect to find an answer for the question I presented, I’m sorry because I will disappoint you, I’m getting good at disappointing people. I haven’t excelled in writing my thesis, no matter what the high expectations everybody had on me, but once my dissertation was in the mix together with severe depression, that’s when I really lost sight of how to do what needed to be done to get where I wanted to go.  Some days I don’t even know why I keep trying. On the bright side, this is not happening every freaking day like it used to, now the really gloomy days appear to come less often than the grey ones. The bright, happy ones are still a gift I’ve yet to receive.

It’s funny I should be thinking of this issue today, writing about it, when I actually managed to get a lot of work done. Well, a lot compared to my other days, because it was nothing compared to what I used to produce when I was more functional. Maybe that’s just the point, I feel intellectually tired and ready to pop a movie and just relax, like I had an incredible amount of work finished, but the fact is when I looked at what I did, I felt completely miserable because of how little it seems, and it’s not difficult to go from there to self harm for me.

Today I had pretty strong thoughts of doing exactly that instead of going to therapy, fortunately it wasn’t like other occasions when I can’t think of anything else and I end up falling for what in that moment seems like the easy way out… in the end I dragged my ass to shrinky’s office. Maybe I’m not being completely straightforward, I was feeling miserable in the first place because I didn’t go to work. I have a deadline due on Friday and I knew there was no possible way to get my chapter finished and my pending stuff from work if I didn’t force my schedule a little bit (working as a teacher means you’ll always take a lot of work home). This makes me feel like a complete failure, like I’m failing all around my responsibilities, and well, that’s sort of the train of thoughts I was riding when I wanted to cut myself.

Shrinky told me some stuff that I didn’t want to hear and didn’t help much at that time, but now is making me feel a little better. He said I’m too hard on myself, verging on cruel, and that for me it’s always about being the best or being nothing at all. There’s no in-betweens, and when I dare to not be the best, my self-hatred is so strong that all I can think about is hurting me. He reminded me of everything I’ve dealt with in this past month and how it’s perfectly natural if I can’t meet my deadline…still feels like I’m an utter failure, but it’s helping me get a hold of myself.

Back to what I was talking about before I started rambling, I guess I’m just wondering out loud how I can deal with these two things that are eating me up. One is my Frankenthesis (a term coined during T, because my own creation is turning against me), and the other is my depression. Somehow, they’ve become bff’s, allies in putting me down and keeping me from moving on. And don’t get me wrong, I know I am doing just that, except that it’s not at the pace I’d like to, not at the pace everyone expected from me. Generally speaking, I am better than I was months ago, it’s just I’d like to be free from these plummets and get on with my life!

So if you have any thoughts as to how I can deal with writing a thesis while being depressed, do let me know! Pretty please?

Related posts:

If you found this post by googling key words such as “dissertation depression”  or “I am afraid of my dissertation”, these readings might help (thanks to @carmenmccain for bringing them to my attention):

The nightmare before, during and after Halloween

The-thesis-that-must-not-be-named keeps haunting me like the worst kind of Halloween spook. I simply don’t know why I can’t get on with it, and what’s worse is that I’m actually starting to imagine a life without graduation…after all I already have a job I moderately enjoy and that keeps me from begging for money on the street. What I don’t think I could live with is

The past few months have been a rough ride, and if I were a little sympathetic with me I’d accept I’m still healing from the mayor crisis I went trough, the real problem here is that the rest of the world is not going to be as nice, and it’s  more likely to keep pushing and pushing and pushing until I break or bend. I like to write, and tough I don’t have time to sit around doing nothing I could certainly manage an hour or two a day to work on my it, so why the hell I run away from it like it was the plague is beyond me. And it’s not even like I forget about it, because I get absolutely no moment of peace, my mind is never really free from it and I can never say, like I used to when I was in college, “well, I’ve worked x amount of time so I’m gonna relax for x amount of time”, come to think about it, I never truly relax because I have this huge weight on my back that I could but won’t lift from myself, it’s freaking masoquism!

On a totally related note, perhaps becuase of the cramps it’s causing me, here in Mexico we’re a month away from Enrique Peña Nieto’s ceremony to officially take office. I say officially, because the current president has basically stopped pretending to have any authority left. I remember six years ago I was hysterical because I had no doubt Calderón’s election was a fraud; this time around I’m quietly watching the political changes go by, not because I’m happy with them, but because I cannot honestly claim without the election was a fraud.

Peña Nieto’s party bought the election, that’s definetely truth, but is was the mexicans who decided to sell their votes for groceries, and since everybody knew beforehand that our electoral institutions are a sad joke, it’s no surprise there was no punishment for these actions.

On December 1st, when EPN becomes Mexico’s president, I will not be angry, I’m just gonna be terribly sad because my country got the president it deserves…

Stray Bullet

I’ve managed to do it again. Self sabotage is apparently something I can never get enough of. I was supposed to meet my tutor today to show her my progress on the chapter I’m currently working in. The meeting was just an hour after I leave work so I had to run to get there…just to tell her I had left at home the above mentioned progress (not that it was anything to be proud of in the first place). At first I hoped it wouldn’t matter all that much since we had to get into the corrections I thought she was going to give me from the last chapter I handed in…but it turns out she’s only going to give me those after I hand everything in. So basically the meeting was pointless and I could see she was mad, and she had every reason to be so. Come to think about it, a lot of people have good reasons to be mad art me…including me.

I just don’t know what to do with myself… and all I feel like doing is listening to Manu Chao, maybe he can make things a little bit better tonight.

The lyrics on this song go more or less like this:

My life… little light with no candle

My blood from the wound

Don’t make me suffer anymore

My life…stray bullet

Through the highway

Slum puddle

I don’t want you to go

I don’t want you to move away

Every day a little more

My life…little light with no candle

My life…dark water puddle

Soap bubble

My last refuge

My last hope

I don’t want you to move further away each day

My life… little light with no candle

My blood from the wound

My life

Don’t make me suffer no more