What’s up with me

So, you’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to.  Well, I graduated.  There was a hooding ceremony and since Advisor was otherwise occupied, Husband hooded me.  It was pretty awesome and I was very happy I participated.

That was a month and a half ago.

That was also probably the last time I was happy.

So, what’s been going on?  Well, as you know, I’ve been trying to get off of my meds so I can try to get pregnant.  I had gotten off of my sleeping med.  I wasn’t sleeping so great, so I tried Benadryl.  Not only did that not help, but then my restless legs started acting up making things worse.  From a restless legs website, I found out that sedating antihistamines can aggravate restless legs.  So, I stopped the Benadryl, but my legs didn’t go back to normal.  My sleep got worse.  My depression got worse.  My doctor recommended going back on my sleeping meds which was a step backward in the whole trying to have a baby plan.  That made me more depressed.

I thought a lot.  I thought about how my medicine for restless legs is not approved for pregnancy and there are no human studies for it and how it seems less and less likely that I will be able to go off of it.  I thought about not going off of it and what that might do to a future baby and if I could handle having a baby with a birth defect which was quite likely caused by taking a medication.  I thought about the odds of us getting to adopt a baby.  I thought about how I was recently denied life insurance by two different companies because I take medication for depression and decided the odds of being eligible to adopt a baby were slim to none.  Plus, we couldn’t afford it anyway.

I thought a lot about how, when I was younger, I had so many hopes and dreams for the future and how now, at 36, I’ve come to realize that, due to a number of circumstances, many of those dreams are not going to be attainable.  Like owning a house.  And, maybe having children.  And maybe having a career I don’t hate.

And I came to the realization that I hate my life.  I hate just about everything about it.  I hate where I live for many, many reasons.  I hate the fact that the closest family is 1000 miles away.  I hate the suburbs.  I hate this town.  I hate where we live in this town, I hate my apt. complex, I hate my apt.  There are a lot of good reasons for living where we do, but that doesn’t stop me from hating it.

I hate my body.  I hate that I’ve gained weight since starting grad school.  I hate that I have a chronic illness.  I hate depression.  I hate restless legs.  I hate that most nights I sleep on the couch because I can’t fall asleep in the bed.  I hate that I wake up in the middle of most nights and have to get up and stretch my legs so I can go back to sleep.  I hate the fact that I simultaneously have fine lines around my eyes and zits around my chin.  What the hell is up with that?  Will I ever not have acne???

I hate that I’m 36 and still have no children and no idea if I ever will have children.  I hate seeing other people with children.  I hate hearing about other people having babies.  I hate making things for other people’s babies.

I hate that I had to get a new doctor upon coming here and that, after having gone through the trouble of finding that doctor, our insurance has changed and she is no longer in network.  So, I hate health insurance.  I hate that I’m so dependent on health insurance.

I hate that I can’t find a church that I like.  I’ve been to several and they all suck in some way and I’ve finally given up on going for the near future.

I hate doing housework.  I have never liked doing housework and now I feel obliged to do it because I don’t work.  Don’t even get me started on the laundry situation.

I love my husband and like living with him, but I hate that living with him means living in a place I hate.

So there you have it.  I officially hate very nearly everything about my life.  The amount of stuff that is wrong is so overwhelming, it’s hard to know where to start to fix it.  I’m not even sure it is fixable.

The end of an era?

This place has been dark for so long, I’m not sure anyone is still reading.  You’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to.  I promise to post on that soon.  For now, I’d like to mourn a little about what looks to be the beginning of the end for ScienceBlogs.

You most likely have been following the ScienceBlogs kerfluffle, but in case you haven’t, here is a brief rundown.  A while back, ScienceBlogs made the mistake of hosting a blog that was bought and paid for by PepsiCo. without making a distinction between it and the other independent blogs on the site.  They also didn’t tell their blogger employees about it ahead of time.  Outrage ensued and Sb first added the label “advertorial” to the PepsiCo. blog, then pulled the blog altogether.  This original breach in ethics was the final straw for many of the bloggers at Sb who started packing up and leaving.  I think some 18 blogs have left so far (a list of bloggers who left and where they are currently is being kept here) with others (most noticeably PZ Myers) now on strike.  Apparently, the PepsiCo fiasco highlighted the problems in communication between the bloggers and Sb.  Also cited as major issues:  no technological support and not getting paid (although the money issue seems to be relatively low on the list of issues people have cited for leaving).

It has been sad watching people leave Sb but the saddest of all for me were the departures of Bora and Zuska.  Many people have noted that Bora, more than any other blogger at Sb, was responsible for maintaining the Sb community.  I’m not sure it is possible for anyone to really capture what Bora has meant to Sb, science blogging in general and individual science bloggers in particular (although this is being attempted on twitter with the hashtag #iowebora).  I owe Bora as well, he linked to my blog early on (just after I posted about Imposter Syndrome) which helped boost my readership and he made it possible for me to attend SciOnline2010.  I first met Bora at the Science Blogging Conference of 2008 and he immediately knew who I was and made me feel welcome and wanted even though I was just a grad student with a tiny little blog.  I will never forget that.

I also met Zuska at the two conferences and both times she gave me excellent advice.  I love reading her blog and I always feel vindicated by her anger at both subtle and overt sexism.

Both Bora and Zuska are going to continue blogging elsewhere, but if not for Scienceblogs, I might never have found their blogs, never have gone to the science blogging conferences, never met such wonderful people there and in general, my life would not have been the same.  So, it is with great sadness that I see Sb dying a slow death.  I will follow the bloggers whereever they go, but it will definitely not be the same.  I enjoyed the one-stop shopping that Sb offered.  Sure, I have my feedreader, but there were many times in grad school when I had trouble sleeping and I had read through all of my favorite blogs, that I turned to the Sb combined feed and started reading those posts.

Reading blogs substituted for a IRL human connection when I was depressed and alone in my apt. in the middle of the night when it was too late to call a friend.  Reading the blogs, seeing the bantering between the SciBlings was comforting.  (This says quite a lot about how terribly lonely and depressed I was at that time.)

If this whole sorry debacle is sad for me, I can only imagine how the actual Sb bloggers feel (those that left and those that remain).  It must be heartbreaking.

Perhaps it is too soon to call it the end of Sb.  Perhaps some sort of miracle will occur and Sb will revive and find a way to thrive again (anyone know who the patron saint of science blogging might be?).  But, it is clear that, with the departure of some of my favorite bloggers, Sb will be a different place.  And maybe not one so important to me.