I don’t understand myself. I feel like I’m going crazy. Seriously, I feel so weird and I was trying to just take the simplistic step of listing out all my emotions right now and I can’t even do that. It’s like saying what color is this Pollock painting?
Maybe my brain is swirling around like that too right now. I just don’t know.
I dumped chapter 4 on my advisor on the 13th, I believe I told you ---- well it was a really strange day. I got to school and futzed around on the chapter a bit and printed copies for everyone and then when I turned it in I was just full of fury, just so overwhelmingly enraged that I had to just drop everything I had planned to do for the day and go home. And then I couldn’t stay home, but I couldn’t really walk off the anger. I went and threw things for a couple hours (rocks, mostly) but although it tired me out eventually it didn’t calm me down in any way.
I’ve always kinda laughed at the term “free-floating anger” but really I could not have told you what exactly I was so enraged at or who I was directing all this anger towards. It was just like a fog of red all around me, like swatting out at an enormous cloud of gnats. I really didn’t understand it at all. I haven’t looked back at any of my journals or notes but I think that the feelings I had for previous finished chapters were pride, or relief, or exhaustion. Sure, I’ve had overwhelming urges of the desire to just kill someone or destroy something — but before they have always been provoked, you know?
I was really confused by all this and then eventually I went to sleep and really slept it out for a long time and then took a couple days of only doing the bare minimum on the diss. I felt back to my usual self. But after really bearing down hard on this last chapter and really grinding it out to have something to turn in, I made my deadline for my advisor (sorta) and turned in the last chapter to her first thing on Monday — if by “first thing,” as I had promised her, you mean, “before the office mailroom closes at the end of the business day.” And I left off the intro paragraph; I left a note for her saying I’d bring it the next day instead of writing it because I was too tired to bring it together in any coherent way.
So I was feeling worse and worse and more tired and tired as Monday went on and when I went to drop off the chapter I was worried that something like last week would happen and I’d just flip out and try to strangle someone (so I made sure not to run into anyone immediately before or after the drop-off; I’m considerate like that), and this time I had a total breakdown. I mean tears, sobbing, incredible sadness and depression, everything. And I went home and felt miserable off and on most of the evening and today.
Supposedly today I was going to write the intro and bring it on campus to add to the chapter, and supposedly I was going to get into some of the oodles of more items on my research list done and was going to start tackling the immense list of prep for filing the dissertation, but I don’t think that’s going to happen today. It was rough just getting out of bed. And again, I don’t really understand why — you’d think I’d be happy I am so close to finished, or at least relieved that it would soon be over. But instead I feel like shit. And not just “whoah, I am so tired” shit, I mean, “why did you even waste any time on the shitty experience that is grad school,” “why even bother living” shit — I’ve thought about burning everything I own and moving to Yugoslavia, about just walking away from the entire fucking degree, about moving back home or jumping off a fucking bridge. Luckily I feel too tired to even get out of bed so instead I just look at random stupid stuff on the internet.
I don’t really know what brought all this on or what I’m supposed to do about it. And I’m not done, not anywhere near being done, and yet I feel like I have absolutely nothing to do at the moment; absolutely nothing is within my control or ability to change at the moment. I feel like a fly trapped in amber, suspended. I feel both incredibly restless and incredibly lethargic. I haven’t been sleeping.
So, yeah. That’s been my week so far. And I don’t know what comes next.