UPDATE: I wrote this post almost one year ago (now October 2016), I kept it private because I was afraid of the consequences of this post. But, not anymore. I know by making this post public is not going to make me feel much better either, but it might help you. Yes, you who are actually having problems or you who know somebody who has problems. More stories need to be shared, more lessons need to be learnt. Now, here is the original post…
Today, a record was made. It was the second time that my supervisor asked me to rewrite a single paper draft, more or less from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with him mostly. My draft was not good at all and there has never been a history of my paper drafts being no-good-at-all. This is my all-time worst, even my supervisor said that it was not like my writing at all. Later, he asked.. “Are you okay?”
Before I tell you what my response to my supervisor was, I just wanna give you a little background. I have been having psychological problems for a long time (as everybody does), but everything became so much more intense when I started my PhD. I have been warned about the PhD problems long before I started mine. I have read about them everywhere too. The amount of stress that PhD might cause, the suicidal thoughts, the catastrophic failure, etc etc. But you know what, I have been an all-star student as I beautifully bragged here (PS: being an all-star student might be the source of my problems too). So, I thought that I could get through it unscathed and surely people were exaggerating. Man, was I wrong..
For me, there is this weird sense of pressure that PhD gives. That ridiculous amount of competition that you bear on your shoulders. That you have to do stuff as quickly as possible, otherwise people will do it faster and better than you. Just in that snap decision when you want to do your PhD, the world suddenly turns against you. Maybe just me, well at least that’s how I feel. Somehow, my mind got out of control. I started having this crippling anxiety eating me up inside, which leads to many things. I started developing an impostor disorder and also (what I feel like) depression. That suicidal tendency that I had had in the closet, started coming out like nobody’s business and getting stronger by the minute.
Last year, I tried to talk to a therapist. It was a bit tricky since she was in Indonesia and I was in France. The scheduling was hard and having therapy sessions via Skype was not the most efficient. Despite all that, I actually felt better discussing my problems with her. However, the scheduling became so annoying that I stopped seeing her. Sure, there was still ups and downs afterwards, but nothing unmanageable. Except for the last few months..
For some unknown reasons, the last few months have been really difficult for me. I have been having panic attacks more frequently. The suicidal thoughts I am having start scaring me. Life has been bleak and dark. But I am trying to get out of this. I am putting all my efforts to keep living, carrying out my daily life as a normal human being, hidden under the bubbles and laughter.
“To tell you the truth, I have been having some problems..” And with that sentence, I told my supervisor about what I have been struggling with. Not in detail, just the big picture. His response was very kind and warm, but too many things are replaying in my head that I couldn’t really focus on what he was saying.
Instantly after telling that to my supervisor, I felt like a little burden on my shoulders has been lifted off. Yet later, I became afraid that he would think I was faking it (negativity is also in the list of my problems). I was also afraid that it would destroy the whole dynamic of our working environment. Honestly, I don’t know what is going to happen now. Oh whatever. I should start accepting that what he (or anybody for that matter) thinks about me is out of my control. And I think this is why people who have similar problems tend to keep it a secret, because they are afraid of what people might think of them. But, they should not feel this way! More stories need to be shared and more lessons need to be learnt.
To be honest, I am not sure why I wrote this. I have been wanting to write this for a long time, but I was afraid that I would be writing it for the wrong reasons. I did not want to write this because I wanted attention, because I knew I wouldn’t get attention anyway, I would just get pity out of this. And I did not want this to be a cry for help either. Now, after telling my supervisor, I found out that it is okay. It is okay to be imperfect, to be broken. I guess I wanted to write this to share with people, to tell them that life is difficult, life is confusing, even for the people you least expect it to be. Some people don’t understand you, and there might be only a few who do. That is normal, but remember you are not alone. Hold on to those few. Also, start letting people in anyway for life is too cold and dark to get through by yourself.
Letting people know about your problems does not make you weak. There should be no shame in admitting your flaws. And there is no humiliation in taking some time to deal with things in your life.
More importantly, you should take pride in having that sheer willingness to show up and go on another day despite of your debilitating problems. You’ve made it through yesterday, surely you can take another day. After all, tomorrow is just the future’s yesterday!
PS: Watch this beautiful short about suicide. I hope it helps!
The things that I am thankful for this year:
- Moving to a new apartment that can fit all my useless things.
- Being able to afford living abroad without being a prostitute.
- Getting rid of bed bugs in just one month or so. Still going strong without bed bugs.😀
- Bluetooth speakers.
- Finding out who my real friends are.
- Finding out who my fake friends are.
- Healthy (afaik) digestive system.
- Other relatively healthy systems.
- French healthcare system.
In short, happy thanksgiving guys! Now, I am gonna go back being negative.
Mengutip dari blog ibu Gabriella yang judulnya sama persis ama blogpost ini. I just had a very great weekend. I went to Paris to see Pentatonix with her. And dayum, Pentatonix really blew all our minds. You can go see Gebi’s post about or watch the brief review here in this video:
And some extra fun stuff from the footage that I have:
As Gebi has elegantly put it, I think there is only one thing to say: thanks Ash Ketchum for letting these two pokemons run wild in Paris.😀
“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
.. Then again, it could be a permanent solution to a permanent problem.
.. Well, if you fuck it up, it could be a temporary solution to a permanent problem.
I don’t know what it is about being suicidal that makes people treat you like a fucking 6 year-old.
Cause to be honest, it is a bit shit.
Is it really that surprising that the thought of suicide crosses our mind every now and then?
That little voice that tells you to jump, those moments when you remind yourself how thin the line is.
And it’s easier to shut them down, to suppress them and to slap a big suicidal label on anyone who dares to say it out loud.
But are they not the most human thing? Reminding yourself that you have control over your fleeting little life if nothing else.
If you kill yourself right now, kids are still gonna go to school, get their lunch money stolen. DFS is still gonna have another one of half price winter sale. Pre-pubescent teens are gonna fuck up their first times and still brag about it to their friends. The clocks will keep ticking.
You know, in this great nation of ours, about 14 people kill themselves everyday. Is that what you wanna become? A number? A part of a number? A fucking tally on a fucking spreadsheet? Filed away somewhere deep in the office of national statistics. Until some entrepreneurial fuckwit digs it out and half beg attempt to convince all that we need to invest in this pricey safety initiative. Or stats on tejustic in their assembly slideshow, just to remind the kids that the school has a counseling team. As if ten minutes of circle table and color-coordinated leaflets on how dealing with stress is really gonna tip the balance.
Course you’re right. You don’t matter. Not in a grand scheme of things, I mean I’d miss you, but I’m gonna fucking move away.
Bill Murray, Mrs. Buckston’s cat, that racist man at the end of my road.
None of it matters, not in the end. Except Bill Murray, he is a treasure.
But still 100 years from now, you and I are gonna be nothing but a few faded photos in a shoe box and an abandoned facebook profile. Or maybe facebook would be dead.
Ultimately, it’s all pointless. But what does that even mean? As a species, we seem obsessed with finding our purpose and a point to everything. But maybe there isn’t one. Or maybe there is, and this is it.
Kill Peter Wright if you have to, but don’t kill yourself. Jump on the next Eurostar to Belgium, leave all this behind. Pursue a life as a chocolatier in the Rue of Tranquility, of Derby. And learn a new language, marry the local barmaid with massive tits and grow old in a thatched cottage. Can you imagine? Your grand-kids would love you.. You’d be like Willy Wonka to them or something.
No, but I’m serious. Is that NOT better than dying?
If you really were committed to the idea of saying goodbye, surely you’d have the conviction to pack up and start fresh.
I know you’re not religious, but the way I see it you have three options.
Either you meet your maker and find out suicide is a sin and good luck with that.
Alternatively, you’re reincarnated as a mosquito and find out that your best efforts were wasted.
Or.. you assume that this is the ONE shot we get.
Stick it out for a bit…
See what happens.”