I have had a lovely Easter break. I’ve spent time with friends, caught up on sleep, cuddled the cats, pottered around the house. I have no idea, therefore, why I seem to be crying for no reason at the drop of a hat. I drove in to work for a few hours to catch up on some of the backlog today. Driving always seems to be good thinking time for me. And still I was teary…overly emotional. The only reason I can come up with is post PhD blues.
It is always difficult to finish a big project successfully if you don’t have something else to occupy your time. The emotional high of success and completion can all too easily turn into a slippery slope where you end up in a dark place, asking yourself “now what?”I remember my grandmother telling me when I was visiting her in North Wales at Christmas 1994 – “You need something else to look forward to when you go home.” She was right. Having achieved that goal of visiting her after so many years, I needed something else to look forward to.
I have worked on making sure that I have things to do, people to see…but I am honestly struggling at times. It’s a huge accomplishment and I am very proud of myself. On the other hand, absolutely nothing seems to have changed. I had a strong sense of that the day I submitted my thesis for examination too. Driving to work, knowing it was finished and on my desk to be submitted. The world keeps revolving. I am working out, bit by bit, what it means for me…how I want to shape my life now, all those things I let slide while I was finishing it (particularly around the house).
I do have something to look forward to – the trip planned for the Christmas break to the US to visit George and hopefully a few other friends too. However, the end of the year feels a long way off and work is crushingly busy. At times, I feel like I can’t breathe…but I keep moving. It will happen. I will make it happen. And I need to plan something nice for every day between now and then…little things to look forward to, goals to achieve.
I’ve been in this dark place before…I know there is a way out…