Thursday, March 10, 2011
So .... maybe I have finally hit a breakthrough when it comes to working on that darn dissertation. Let me explain: Given my last blog entry, it is probably no surprise that I spend some time each week working with a therapist (especially on the eating disorder issue) and then on Thursday nights, I attend a group for folks affected by cancer. I started attending the group last year right after I was diagnosed when I started having problems with just coping in general. Folks in the group have a range of cancers and some people are still in treatment and there are a few, like me, who are technically finished. Anyway, once I started going to the group I noticed that I would emotionally fall apart each time I talked. Brian, the facilitator, said something to me eventually about "that" place being a space in which I completely slowed down, something I don't do very easily. And when I slow down, I am open to how miserable I am about a lot of things in my life (i.e. cancer).
Anyway, I still attend the group because I don't think I am done with what I need there. It's hard to explain but when I think about the crap that I was thrown into since late May, I know that cancer opened up some other crap (sort of like a Pandora's box, I suppose).
And here's my point -- finally. I hadn't realized how connected the parts of my life actually are. It's hard for me to exactly explain what I mean but the whole "I can't write a dissertation because I am stupid" mantra I hear in my head is absolutely related to the whole "I'm fat" and "I'm not a very good teacher/ scholar" discussions going on in my head, too. This was an "aha!" moment for me: If I can work on the eating issues, for example, then perhaps I can tackle those other voices as well. And it was this realization the last few days that has somehow given me the confidence to work on the dissertation.
Goal number one is the literature review. So right now I am reading like mad and trying to organize the many articles and books I need to somehow bring together. It does seem a little overwhelming to bring all this information together but I am just trying to look at it one step at a time.
PS: I need to find a shirt like the one above! :D