No news is never good news

You might think that I haven’t been posting because I have been too busy writing my thesis or that maybe I went on vacation or some other, positive reason.  You would be wrong.

Inevitably, when I fall off the face of the earth it is because my mood has taken a dive and I’m either in the midst of a serious depression or I am trying to recover from said depression.  This recent disappearance from the blog is no exception.  Fortunately,  I am now on the mend.

I can trace this most recent relapse into depression to a very specific cause:  decreasing my medication.  As you know, I have been wanting to get pregnant.  So, with my doctor’s approval, I started tapering down on my medications in preparation for that.  I peeled back one medication after the other until, suddenly, I went a little too far and I collapsed.  This collapse was somewhat different from my previous breakdowns because instead of being confined to bed and sleeping all day and all night because I couldn’t face getting up , I was consumed by anxiety and paranoia and couldn’t sleep at all (mostly due to a horrible, horrible attack of restless legs syndrome which limited my ability to sleep to about two hours at a time which probably contributed to the crazy).  Which then made me depressed because I was scared to leave the house and I know this is not a normal state of being.

In fact, I was in the middle of writing a post to the blog describing the anxiety I was feeling and what went through my mind everytime I tried to leave the house and how I was feeling like I had accomplished something pretty major since I had managed to go to the pharmacy to pick up the one medication I was still taking when I realized how absolutely off my rocker I sounded and I contacted my doctor and said, “We’ve got to fix this.  NOW.”

So, back on the medications I went.  And, here I am–mostly stable, frustrated with my brain chemistry, and with very little progress on my thesis since last I wrote because the funny thing is, when you are feeling like you lack the wherewithal to make it five minutes in the world outside your apt., you don’t spend much time writing your thesis because it is simply a given in your head that you will never pass your defense.  So, why bother?

Now that I’m stable, I’ve been working on my thesis about three hours a day on the weekdays.  Which is pretty damn impressive considering I was only managing about a half an hour a day prior to this most recent breakdown.  Which also indicates that I wasn’t doing so hot before the breakdown anyway.

So, what does this mean in terms of getting pregnant?  It means the baby-making is on hold.  If you’ve never tried to get pregnant, you might not realize this but trying to get pregnant is stressful.  You’d think it would be fun, at least in the beginning, if it doesn’t take you too long to get pregnant.  And, maybe it is for some people.  I’m just not one of them.  I’ve wanted a baby for too long, and, at 35, I’m worried that my window of opportunity is narrowing (please don’t tell me that 35 is still young, the fact is that the older you are, the harder it is to get pregnant and the greater chance there is of something going wrong).  So, right off the bat we were planning sex according to when I might be ovulating and getting my period seemed like the end of the world.*  Finishing my degree is stressful enough without the pregnancy stress on top of it.  And, while I won’t be going off my meds in preparation for pregancy the next time, I might try going off of them for the first trimester and that really will not be conducive to writing, as I have already discovered.  So, we are waiting for a few more months.

As for thesis writing, I’ve set a deadline for myself.  The thesis has to be done by mid-Feb. at the latest.  By done I mean ready to hand to my committee.  To do this, I think I need to have a first draft to my advisor by mid- to late Jan.  I think I need to make this deadline in order to push myself to have a hope of ever being finished.  Without a deadline in my head, I haven’t felt the need to push myself to work more and harder.  Consequently, I have just been floating along.  The reward structure I set up helped me a little, but it wasn’t getting me in front of the computer enough.  I find I’m much more productive now that I have a deadline for myself.

So, that’s where I’m at.  Now that I’m feeling better, I suspect I will be posting to the blog more frequently (probably bemoaning how I hate writing my thesis).

*I may have said this before, but, I really, really wish we had started trying to get pregnant earlier in our lives because then we could simply stop using birth control and not try to plan so much and maybe be a little more relaxed about getting pregnant.

11 thoughts on “No news is never good news

  1. I had actually been wondering what was up with you and thinking about commenting on an old post.

    Glad to hear you are back with us – and writing a lot! wow!

    Good luck with the baby-making, too. I will say, though, that most people I know weren’t very relaxed about it, even if they were younger. Maybe it’s because I know mostly scientists who like structure and planning things, but it still seemed tough and sorta stressful.

    Also, had to tell you that I got a Diva cup and used it the first time a couple weeks ago! Loved it!! Didn’t take too long to figure out and while my menstration isn’t very heavy, I loved being able to just put it in and not think about it for 12 hours. I HATE having to remember to go change a tampon or pad. I’m an absentminded professor and I usually forget until I’m on the near edge of catastrophe.

    Hope everything continues to go okay!

  2. I’m so glad to see you posting. I was thinking about you the other day, hoping that things were okay.

    Happy to hear that you’re back on track and stable – and 3 hours a day of thesis writing! That’s great! Having a deadline for yourself will definitely help.

    I’m sorry that you have to put off trying for a few months. I agree with what Kate said – I think a lot of scientists are rather methodical about it, regardless of age. And I hate when people say things like “you’re still young” or “it’ll happen when you relax and stop thinking about it” – UGH.

    Anyway, nice to have you back, and good luck with the writing!

  3. I’m so sorry you had such a rough patch, but I’m glad you’re through it. And at three hours a day, you’ll be done with your thesis in no time!

    Good luck with all of it.

  4. I’ve also been thinking about you. I figured no news was good news, but this post is encouraging. It really sounds like you are on track (3hrs/d is excellent) and admire the way you are handling your circumstances head on. This takes courage. Or maybe just depressive realism? (ha ha, depression humor 😉 Let’s go with courage.

    A deadline is a very good idea. At the very least, you are very unlikely to finish the thesis earlier than your deadline. The sooner you have a complete draft in hand, the more time you have to deal with revisions. It can really to remove some of the time pressure from the revision process.

    I stress out about the baby thing too. In fact, we haven’t even really tried yet, so I am just stressing out in anticipation of the stress of actually trying. I am heading towards that certain age, and I have personal medical reasons to believe that preggers won’t necessarily come easy to me. But for the time being, I don’t think we can even try until the husband and I live at least live in the same state. Mostly I just try not to think about it. As my mother used to say, “avoidance is your friend.”

  5. Stumbled across your blog while searching through google. I read the beginning and its fantastic! I do not have time to read it all now, but I have bookmarked your site and will read the rest tonight. : )

  6. yo should gather lots of references before you start writing so that you don’t feel any difficult while writing


Comments are closed.