Sharing the good stuff

The lovely Attachment Girl from The Boundary Ninja Tales has nominated me for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. I was glad and surprised that such a talented bologger whom I admire so much would consider me for an award, so thank you so much AG!!!!

For the first two awards this blog got, received when it was still wearnig diappers, I was excited and very happy, but didn’t really know what to do with them besides sticking them on my home page. Now I know a little bit better, and in case I didn’t, this one comes with a set of instructions, which are as follow:

The Rules

1. The Nominee of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award will display the logo on his/her post/page and/or sidebar.
 
2. Over a period of 1 week, the Nominee shall nominate a number of readers that he or she appreciates – this can be done at any rate during the week. It can be all on one day or a few on one day and a few on another day, as most convenient to the Nominee. – 

This is my list of Nominees, there are obviously some more readers whom I appreciate very much, I just based this list on people who have left over here comments I’ve particularly appreciated:

Buckwheat @ Buckwheatsrisk

Benjamin @ Expressions of my life

Melanie @ Deliberate Donkey

Purple Pineapple @  Purple Pineapple

Goldfish @ Fish of Gold

Aallegoric @ Always Allegoric

Inés @ Inesdelorange

3. The Nominee shall name his or her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during the 7 day (1 week) period.

4.  The nominee shall answer the questions, all in the spirit of fun!

1) Why do you blog?
I’m not really sure, I guess it’s some kind of exorcism. I’ve always written, but have only recently gotten fond of sharing it. Letting my thoughts out, wether they are deep or an absolute waste of time and space, has somehow helped me deal with my personal issues, including my mental health. One thing’s for sure, I love it, I think it may even be a little adictive, but hey! who doesn’t need a healthy addiction right?

2) If you were trapped on a desert island, what book, DVD, food, cartoon character, and childhood game would you bring?

Book: Following AG’s example I won’t, because I can’t, choose just one, but five: First of all The Little Prince a book that gives a lot of meaning to my life (I even have a tattoo that proves it!). Second, The Sea Wall by Marguerite Duras; third, the very gem of my personal library, my very own William Shakespeare Complete Works; fourth, my Selected Works of Virginia Woolf; and fifth, a little reading from my field, Latin American Women: Historical Perspectives, an awesome book that helped me define what I want to do with my life.

DVD: The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Food: Sushi
Cartoon Character: Candy Candy (japanese anime for girls, good times! :))
Childhood Game: This one took me a lot of time and I simply can’t say, how sad is that!? Can it be a childhood book? lol. Let’s say yes, in which case I’ll say Harry Potter. I’m part of the lucky generation that went from the teen years to young adulthood reading Mrs. Rowling, and I would have given up absolutely any game to get a hold of my Harry Potter series 🙂

3) Share a funny joke or one-liner.
Gosh I’m might have to google one, I’m terrible with jokes!

4) What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Mmm, my Tetris skills? Either that or my ability of being an observer.
5) What one word best describes you?
Curious.

6) If you could have a lifetime supply of any candy/candy bar, what would it be?

Technically it’s not a candy but I say ice-cream counts. I choose Ben & Jerry’s Cherry García, yummie!

7) What fictional character do you relate to most?

This is a tricky one, but I guess I’d have to go with Marguerite from The Lover and The Sea WallThe autobiographic novels by Marguerite Duras made a profoun impact on me, for obvious reasons like the tragic relationship ( don’t really know how to call it, but problematic seems like an understatement) she and her mother have or her affair with a much older man, but also for the way she transmits the pain that comes from family trauma or being a victim of emotional abuse, of not being able to feel loved and important, of remaining always a runner up in people’s affections. Duras is absolutely and without a doubt my favorite author, and I would advise anyone who loves literature to read her, her other works like The War are also amazingly accurate in transmitting pain; there’s another short novel called L’Amante Anglaise which deals with a psychoanalitic approach to a puzzling bloody murder (which happens to be comitted on MY birthday! Yet another thing I can relate to, however strange it may be)… ok ok I’ll leave it here, but only because Duras deserves a whole post, which I’ll get to later on.


8) If you were to write the story of your life, what would you call it?

9 lives

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):

Me, myself and I

3 in the morning.

Body: I need to pee. I need to pee NOW.

3:10 am, post-peeing.

Right hemisphere: Writy write write…writy write write.

Left hemisphere: But it’s almost 3 am and you have to get up early, if you start writing right now, you’ll be tired and sleepy in the morning.

RH: Don’t care. Writy write write, writy write write!

LH: Ok, we have to get up at 5:30 anyways, so I’ll get up, put on a pot of coffee, write for an hour, and I’ll just have an early start today.

Body: BTW, I’m hungry! Feed me now!

3:30 am, post-feeding.

LH: Ok, laptop’s all yours RH, go ahead.

3:40 am, post-minor writing.

Body: I’m sleeeepy! Let’s go back to sleep now!

LH: Sorry RH, we really have got to go back to bed.

4:30 am, post-minor sleeping.

Body: Can’t sleep anymore, think we should listen to RH!

LH: No way, I’m not gonna listen to you two irresponsible dumbasses anymore, we’re going back to sleep!

RH and Body: Not gonna happen dude!

LH: The hell it’s gonna happen, we’ll just lay here in bed until we get sleepy. We’re not writing any more!

5:30 am.

Body: I’m sooo tired, what a terrible night, let’s sleep until 6:00 just for today, pleeease!

LH: Ok, just this once, but we have to get up at 6 sharp and hurry up.

RH and B: Will do, promise!

6:37 am

LH: Damn it! I’m late, I’m super late! Can’t be late for work again!

——–

In the end, we made it, minus coffee or makeup that is. Let’s hope for a better understanding tonight!

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

Avoidance mode: off

Gosh, some dark stuff I wrote about last time! The good thing is I can always fall back on the bigger picture to have some sense of calm and feel a little better… oh, wait… except for the ongoing drug-war, the devastating economic crisis, and why not? Mexico’s demoralizing political reality. And while it’s easy for me to get my system jammed in the pessimistic mode, I also find it relatively common to find reasons to have a good laugh about things, though apparently that ability decided to take a hike for the past few days and it’s just timidly starting to return.

For the past couple of months I’ve been avoiding the fact that my country’s reality pretty much sucks, and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna get any better any time soon. Well, apparently my avoidance is over,  just in time for my conscience to fully appreciate the pathetic show us mexicans will receive on December 1st, when the legally, though not legitimately, elected president takes office. Just in time to watch the government announce they have killed the second most important drug lord…only to have to add that they “lost” the body, and the list can go on. That’s why it’s pretty darn important for that acid humor to come back soon if I’m to bear stuff like the European Union winning the Nobel Peace Prize!

Just to show you what I mean, on the left there’s the avoidance face I’ve been carrying around for the last months, and on the right there’s the face I intend to put on from now on.

The return of Monday

It was a Monday and for me as an elementary school teacher it was a day off thanks to Miguel Hidalgo and the Department of Education, but my time had run out. I had to deliver my fourth chapter, and it didn’t matter wether I was happy with it or not. I was already a week late and there was no possible way to get out of it with a plausible excuse. So I printed it and drove to UNAM’s Historical Research Institute, a.k.a. Mount Olympus, and handed it in. I wanted to see my tutor, but she wasn’t there, which in the end turned out to be not such a bad thing.

I spent the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself. My chapter was probably sh*t, and to top it all off, my morning off turned out to be a bitter reminder of the days when I could do whatever I wanted and especially GO wherever I wanted. Compared to that, now I was basically a prisoner from the moment I woke up until 3:30 or 4 in the evening! And it’s not that I didn’t have responsibilities before, it’s just that I could choose when and how to address them.

To make it all a little bit worse, instead of getting the usual I-got-your-paper-now-let’s-meet e-mail from my tutor,  I got an even shorter mail asking me to call her…and that’s when I flipped. Of course it had to be a different mail, given the less than awful text I had dared to hand in, she was probably pissed and disappointed, she might even tell me to find another tutor since I can show no sign of commitment to my own thesis. It was until Friday when I gathered the will to call. She was as nice as ever and just wanted to organize our schedules to be able to meet soon, and had probably asked me to call just to avoid all the coming and going of messages that usually takes for us to find a time to meet. I mentioned in the most normal voice I could find that I wasn’t happy at all with what I had sent and had expected her to feel more or less the same, and I got a silence that felt as: “What on earth are you talking about, crazy girl?”. She eventually said that it wasn’t the case, the progress could be seen, and we could work on the bumps I had encountered when we met. The call left me feeling as crazy as ever, but still definitely a little better than before.

Mondays are pretty sh*tty on their own without your crazyself pitching in, so I hope I can control her tomorrow. Let’s see.

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Writing Ghosts

Ever since I can remember stories have been holding me together. Wether in the form of small plots or entire novels I would create for myself, mere day dreams or elaborated fantasies, there has been a world inside of me with varying levels of importance depending on how much I’ve needed it to survive.

The first elaborated story I remember writing was some sort of foundational myth with gods and wars and Creation, and it all resumed in the Universe creating me and my mother. I was 6 or 7 and have no idea where my story went.  But though the imagination has stopped at times, the writing has been a continuum. My narrative certainly became scarce when my adoration for literature grew more and more, making me realize I had no job competing with my idols; however, the physical action of the writing in itself gives me a sutil pleasure I’m not sure I can effectively describe.

The futile action of holding and using any kind writing device makes my heart beat in a different way. It can be a pen, marker, preferably a pencil, and even a keyboard… anything goes; and when I’m feeling low, the very words that are ripped out of me through the chosen item seem to have a life of their own. The therapeutic sound and the feel of the tip of the pencil sliding rhythmically as I write, or the touch of my fingers dancing through the keyboard making what to me sounds like music, is sometimes good enough to uncover and free whatever demons have been feasting on me.

The thing is, those are the exact kind of writings I seem to be unable of sharing because they expose me in the deepest way. That’s also the reason why I think most of my idols were not only amazing writers but absolute heroes, because they were brave enough to share themselves and their inner world with outsiders, with strangers who might praise on their work and whom’d tear it apart in a second. As for me, I think I might be something of a Gollum-like writer, holding my precious close to my heart while hiding it in deep dark caverns that no one should ever find.

Aaanyhow, that’s the reason why my attempt of a blog wasn’t updated lately, and so before this turned out to be just another thing I started and never saw through, I thought I should write about NOT writing, well, at least not writing for anyone else except me.

And my three faithful readers might be asking just exactly what has gotten me off my blogger mood in the past few days. Well, to keep with my Lord of the Rings analogy let me just say that I feel like the war against the Dark Lord has just been lost. No one came in our help and we were simply outnumbered. As I see it, Mexico has been lost to Mordor and we are just gonna have to learn to live under the regime of dark wizards and their orcs, while knowing we had the chance to end it all for good and we decided not to.

Election day came and went, and after the electoral prosecutor’s office has basically declared that anything goes and nothing’s gonna be made about it, Mexico’s gonna have to put up with a president 60% of mexican voters did not choose. A man accused of murder, a proven repressor, with no political career and who could not mention 3 books read by him, is going to rule over me, woohoo!

Sure, AMLO is a bad looser, if it means not putting up with fraud and resisting an election which was bought vote by vote. Being a “good” looser would then mean to act as the female PAN candidate, who recognized her loss with only 2% of the votes accounted for and who has not spoken a word against the proven vote-buying and constraint.

Ha, I think I managed to trick myself, started talking about me and my demons, ended up talking about my country’s demons… guess mine have locked themselves up for the night, and I’m gonna let them tuck me in ’cause I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow, and so does Mr. Sylvestre Bombon, who left the realm of the awake a while ago.Image