Doctor of philosophy? What’s that? The need to unplug.

So I’m about a year and a half into my doctoral program, and I’ve been toying with the idea of starting another blog for “professional” reasons.

“Ain’t no one got time for that!”

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I enjoy writing, and I like blogging. The pressure of starting a more professional blog is self-inflicted. I do enough academic writing as it is with coursework. I read way too many studies from peer-reviewed journals that my brain and eyeballs hurt.

In one course (because I am an EdTech PhD student) we were urged to blog our assignments and give feedback to classmates there. I suppose it creates the online learning community educators are encouraged to do – professional learning communities is the term.

But this writing is personal. It relaxes me.

I don’t have to start another blog or create a dot com website to start branding myself, eventually I suppose.

But not now.

I am an EdTech student so why wouldn’t I be all up into the latest tech trends and social media stuff?

I am also an educator, so shouldn’t I be practicing what I preach and collaborating with educators around the world to enrich student learning?

Eh.

I’m inactive on Facebook. Actually deactivated the account, but friends and family balked, so its still active and remains dormant. I deactivated Twitter. Too much stimulation. Instagram started out as a great filtering photo app, but it got too social and too many people take better photos than me. Deactivated. SnapChat, Kik? Too middle school. Periscope? I’ve checked it out briefly. I’ll delete the App off my phone soon. Pinterest amuses me still… until all I saw was the pretty young people that got pinned because I follow my teenage nieces boards. Anyone tried Hello? Well, I said goodbye to that one too.

I’m not very social for someone into educational technology. I also don’t own a TV.

I suppose the PhD pursuit satisfies my curiosity and fulfills my nerdiness for being a “life-long learner” – that’s Educationese for someone who spends time in libraries or online constantly researching and looking things up for knowledge acquisition simply for pleasure.

And I needed the confines of higher education to provide the parameters.

Such is my doctoral journey…Sometimes you just need to unplug from everything else in order to focus on what needs to get done.

But yet….somehow we remain connected, as long as I don’t lose my phone.

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still functioning, yet feeling the onset of depression

It started when I was in college, back in the Nineties and I was living in San Francisco. Grunge was just starting and I was trying to transition out of my all-black attire, pre-goth mood. I managed to function still – eat, breathe, groom myself to a certain degree. But I remember never, ever leaving my apartment, except to fetch the mail downstairs.

I know my depression started way before then, back in high school, but today, I still recognize my current behaviors as stemming from back then. If I could choose to never leave the house, I wouldn’t go anywhere…. except that I know that it is affecting my son.

It really does help to have goals, and something to do.

Whenever the holidays come around, I don’t feel well. I don’t know how to socialize. It stems from fear, abandonment and rejection. I try to force myself to go out. And I’ve read all the articles about going for walks, getting sunshine to help with the depression and moods. I’ve been on meds (I stopped). I’ve tried talk-therapy (I stopped).

But I know I can be happy, and I am for the most part. Just not “on” all the time, because that gets to be exhausting. Maybe I’m just normal. This is normal, right? I admire those who are so open about their depression and mental illness. I try to be. And I wake up thanking God for another day.

From the blogs I’ve visited, these women writing about their form of mental illness have family support, and they write about their day-to-day musings and happenings. But I can only dwell on that they’ve got support. . .and I don’t. Or I feel like I don’t, but I do. Somewhere over there.

It’s the feeling that I don’t that hinders me. I don’t know how to get over that feeling. I’ve been advised to surround myself with people. But that only irritates me. Then, I’m afraid that I’ll grow up to be an old lady with no one around her. That my child will go away and never visit.

Yesterday, my niece called me over to be with the family. I went. This morning, I find myself in another mood. And I’m unsure how to get out of it right now.