helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

  • Mood:

Back at work.

I have officially started back on my PhD. Apparently I didn't manage to tell you that I was eventually successful in getting my project changed, probably because my head was all over the place at the time. I also have a laboratory assistant who is presumably going to be paid out of Disabled Students' Allowance money, and who has been working for a couple of weeks.

Today I did about 4 hours of work. Not what you might consider "proper PhD-level research", but work with textbooks and online sources and mechanisms nonetheless. Revising things I'm supposed to know and learning new things that I haven't been taught.

I need to stop getting myself down/beating myself up because of everything that I don't have energy/spoons/tuits to do, and start celebrating everything positive that I do manage.

I need to stop comparing myself to other PhD students and postdocs who either have no health problems at all, or have everything well under control. Most human beings do not need to rest and/or sleep for literally half the day every day. It's no wonder I can't work at the same rate as other people when I need so much downtime in order to function.

What I really need is some role-models with long-term chronic illnesses which wax and wane and sometimes require them to take several months of leave of absence, but who have managed to achieve to a high level nonetheless. Anyone know where to find such a thing? I often feel as though I am THE only scientist in the world with my kind of health problems. And don't mention Stephen Hawking, he's exceptional. I have neither his brain nor his energy level.
Tags: chronic fatigue, college, disability

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