Thesis writing has officially come to an end. For real. There is nothing more I can do. I have finally finally handed it in yesterday!
And yes I totally bought this shirt just for the sake of taking this picture! Months ago! Also I cut off my head because I looked like a complete lunatic. A side effect of months of stress or so I tell myself.
I have taken you all on this wild ride of endless struggles I was going through in the last 11ish months. It’s save to say that this was one of the most stressful years of my life. I have taken a step back from this blog for the better part of the year. Mainly this was because I wasn’t able to spend more time on it. But this was also because every week when I showed up here I felt like I was throwing myself a pity party. And I just couldn’t stand it anymore.
I am a complainer from the bottom of my heart. But the truth is that I usually only complain about the little annoyances in life. And with every complaint I am actually truely grateful for the insignificance behind my ranting. When something really affects me I usually don’t talk about it much if at all. I make jokes and I am sarcastic. That’s what I do. Usually.
But the last year has been hard. Much harder than I would like to admit to myself. This is not me throwing myself a pity party. This is me acknowledging my struggles and then pushing past them. At least this is my firm intention. Let’s say this is me making a game plan for the next months as I go, or write for that matter.
But one step at a time… to sum it up I have lost touch with myself. Both mentally and physically. I haven’t been able to recognize my needs very well.
My appetite is basically gone. I have lost the excitement food once held for me. There are days when food seems super repulsive even. If I could just chuck a pill and there was no more need to eat I’d happily do that. I did eat. I just didn’t enjoy it anymore.
Maybe that was also due to the fact that I had to prioritize other things over grocery shopping and cooking. I bought an aweful lot of meals at the supermarket and they were not really balanced and albeit yummy also not very interesting. I mean how many pretzels can you eat before it gets boring.
In the past week I have started to cook again. I still eat eggs for at least one meal a day but I think the only suitable answer to find joy in food again is to get up and cook. I just really hope I will get back to enjoying to eat and getting excited about food. There has always been a lot of joy for me in eating and I hate to have lost it. It’s like I have lost a part of my identity. And I want it back!
I have experiences anxiety pretty frequently. It actually even took me forever to regognize that. I came up with coping strategies but some days it was so bad that I couldn’t do anything against it. As a side effect I’ve had insomnia. I was falling asleep like a dead in the evening and waking up in the middle of the night, my brain so full of thoughts, worries and doubt that I couldn’t fall asleep anymore until crashing for a restless hour in the early morning.
I think and hope this will fall into place eventually by itself. Now that the stress is gone there is nothing that keeps me up and leaves me worrying. At least nothing huge. Nothing I shouldn’t be able to cope with. About the anxiety part I think I will just have to see where it goes. I hope it will eventually fade away. If not I will have to take further actions, however they may look. But I will cross that bridge when I get there. Not worrying about worrying seems a good first step.
I don’t like the me I have become. I used to be a fairly happy person, I used to be funny and I used to be pretty self-confident. But I have lost it all. I never felt less like myself than in the past year. On many occasions it was like watching myself from an outside perspective. Like when you’re watching a movie and yell at the person on the screen that it’s not a good idea to go alone in the house of the killer. But they go anyway.
I have shut people out. It was just hard to keep up a smile and crack a sarcastic joke – which usually is my preferred coping strategy. So I shut a door and almost never talked about how things really are. In fact I felt stupid for how I felt. And on the rare occasion that I tried to open up I felt worse afterwards. So I crawled in a shell. I stopped talking about personal things. Or kept it very shallow. Eventually people stopped asking. I was glad and it made me sad at the same time. But this shell is a comforable place.
I couldn’t cope with any of that really well so in all honesty I behaved like an asshole. A lot. And the worst part is that the people that mean the most to me had to deal with it. In times of stress I am a horrible person to be around. This is one of my worst character traits.
More than anything I want to be carefree. And laugh again. I miss being bubbly. I want to be funny and fun to be around. Happy. Unworried. Outgoing. Not so self-centered. In the moment. Good enough.
And when I am sad I want to be sad for a reason and not the sadness being my empotional baseline.
I guess the only thing I can do is try. So I try hard to come out of my shell again. I try to actually contribute something meaningful to a conversation. I try to really answer a question properly and not brush over it with a generic and vague answer and then go silent again. And I try to say yes to invitations and suggest to meet with people myself. The time for excuses is just over and I need to participate again. This is all self-inflicted and I must break that circle. I must stop being emo-me!
So I met with my mum and then with my sister. We had dinner out with our friends. We babysat our nieces and then spent quality time with Stefan’s godson. I went to Crossfit. I have brunch with two girlfriends a work date with a friend lined up. Random chatting with strangers happened as well. And I smiled a lot. I think I am on a good way.
It’s weird and scary what stress was able to do to me this year. But I also think it’s an opportunity to grow. Maybe I need to see this all as growing pain. Maybe I just need to get over myself. I don’t know but I will figure it out.