Before I start, Happy New Year everyone! May this year bring love, peace, safety, and happiness to you! The post below is not positive, but this is how I feel…
The silence needs to end. I’ve wanted to write here for so many days now.. I even have many drafts written that I haven’t posted. Why, you ask? Because I wanted the first post of the year to be cheerful and positive. I have had brief episodes when I have felt positive this year, but they haven’t lasted long enough. I’ve mostly been feeling numb.
2015 was a fabulous year, when I defended my Ph.D. thesis and graduated. I traveled a fair bit in US and Canada, and also enjoyed some new experiences on the professional front. I then went to India in December, and came back a few days after the new year. There were many good things that happened in 2015, and I would like to write about them. I wanted my first post of the year to be a reflection on 2015 – the good and the bad. Or about looking forward to 2016 positively, about the goals I want to set for myself and the things I want to achieve.But I just could not get myself together to write those posts.
I came back from India 16 days ago, and I am doing well, at least on the surface. I am trying to be productive in lab, and get serious about looking for jobs. I have started eating healthy. I am being social and talking to people. But I have been feeling numb, I feel a very strong disconnect with my emotions. While that helps me avoid the painful thoughts, it also affects how I feel positive emotions. I think about writing a post in my head, and instead of writing it, I spend hours scrolling through and reading stuff on WordPress or Facebook. Or Quora. Or Instagram. Or something else. I don’t feel like talking much to anyone these days. I feel isolated and numb. Yes, I know this is the third time that I used the word numb. I decided to free write last week, and wrote a couple of posts that I didn’t publish. But I am going to post this one.
I just saw this cartoon on Facebook. At this point, I can relate to it. I am still doing all that I need to be doing. I have close friends and family who support me and I feel connected to. I am trying to go to new events that interest me and I mostly have a good time when I am there. But I still feel weird and numb. I don’t feel like talking much these days, and am not sharing how I am feeling. Because I feel blah. I don’t know what it is. It seems like I’m observing my own life from a distance, and am emotionally indifferent, like in a movie. Though people’s emotions in movies or books used to move me. A couple of months ago, I was texting K about feeling miserable and he said maybe I am learning to be alone. But now, I don’t even feel miserable most of the time. Does that mean that I have learnt to be alone? Is this just a really bad case of homesickness? One of the things that came up with my therapist was if this is an effect of suppressing my emotions?
I was intentionally suppressing some emotions last year. First, when I was writing my thesis because I needed to focus on writing and manage the emotional drama in my life. After that, my parents were living with me for three months, so I was mostly trying to avoid getting triggered by certain things. While their trip was good for the most part, there are things that really bother me and I find it hard to accept or tolerate. And then I went to India and that again involved suppressing these emotions. Also, when I was in India, I met K after about three and a half years. While we are still texting and talking off and on, that’s another thing I need to suppress – I don’t want to text him often or to express how badly I wish that something could happen with us. Why, you ask? It’s not because we are playing some crazy relationship games, but because he doesn’t want to entertain the idea of a long distance relationship. And I don’t see any possibility of us ending up even in the same country, forget city. I love talking to him and find it very mentally and emotionally stimulating, and want to keep doing that. So, I’m trying to keep my emotions out of this, which doesn’t work very well in my case.
I have also been feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of looking for a job. In some part of my head, I know it’s not that hard. I know the strategic steps about starting with one job application at a time. Or do I? I have ~1650 unread job alert emails, and I am finding it daunting to start somewhere. I know that most of the emails are old, and the job postings would have expired by now, so I don’t have to worry about them. But it still makes me anxious. I’m also not sure about what kind of a job I want to do, and what I’ll actually get. I know that I won’t know until I apply. My current contract ends in May and is extendable by a few months. My apartment lease ends in July, and I am enforcing this deadline on myself by not extending the lease for another year. In my head, I want to leave early and take a break. Because I am tired. And I want to relax. And I deserve a break.
I think I’ll end here, and hopefully come back soon and write more! Take care!