I had hoped that the cloud above my head and the pain in my tummy would pass by quickly and the next time I posted, I’d be back to my positive, smiley self. Unfortunately, I was lulled into a false sense of normality before another wave crashed over me. I feel like I don’t even make sense anymore so bear with these awkward expressions of what’s going on in my world.
Settling into life as a PhD student is difficult, more so than I thought it would be. It’s very isolating, you just have to go off and do your stuff while also attending all these academic things so you’re seen to be a serious student. I guess it’s tough for me to get going because I’m doing something I know next to nothing about. In most cases, a PhD is the ultimate expression of your research interests so you already know a little about it and want to take it further. With me, I’m doing mine on something somebody else picked. I have no idea what I’m doing and have, like, zero motivation to actually do it.
The excitement of moving into my office lasted all of three days until it became clear to me that while sharing an office with my Best Friend is great in some ways, it’s also a giant pain in the ass. Great because he ignores my random habits and lets me pace around when I’m too sore to sit still. Pain in the ass because we are spending way too much time together and living in each other’s pockets. He’s actually started accidentally calling me ‘mummy’. :s
On top of that, he says things when it’s just the two of us in our office then says the exact opposite when we’re with other people. Mainly this is over conference organisation stuff, he takes credit for my ideas, takes on all the work when in reality we do it together and constantly contradicts me in front of the others. I don’t even think he knows that he does it.
On Friday, after our committee meeting, a group of us went out for lunch. Since I still seem unable to handle actual meals, I ordered the smallest thing on the menu. I ate my four chicken goujons while everyone else chowed down on burgers, pizzas and steaks. Then I felt that all-too-familiar twinge. After a while of fidgeting and squirming at the table, not even paying attention to whatever stupidly intellectual conversation everyone was having, I went outside. I had intended on just getting myself together for a few minutes and returning. I stayed out for twenty minutes. Eventually, someone came to find me. It wasn’t even Best Friend. It was a lovely American girl who got my bag for me, sympathised as she has a long-term health condition. She’d even heard of endometriosis and gasped in horror when I said that that was what was wrong with me. She offered to walk me to my car but Best Friend insisted that she didn’t ‘waste anymore of her time’. He walked me through the park to my car, barely speaking, letting me carry my bag and coat. When I had to stop for a minute and steady myself, he pointedly looked at his watch and sighed.
I was already fighting back tears from the pain but I couldn’t understand why he was acting like this. I thought we had moved on from the days when he didn’t get it. I thought he understood, or was at least trying to. I told him to go back and he disappeared without a hug or look back. He never contacted me to see how I am (though I got a lovely facebook message from the American girl).
I feel so hurt. What happened to the guy who not two months ago was asking me all kinds of questions about endo and how it affects me? It’s like he can only be sympathetic when he has the time to.
Anyway, I’m slowly lifting myself out of whatever fog has been gathering around me lately. Maybe things like this wouldn’t bother me so much if I were feeling myself. I’ve spent time with some friends and although I don’t like moaning and complaining to people, I’ve tried to be more honest about how I’m doing. I think that’s helping me a bit. It doesn’t feel so much in my head now. Feeling down is so exhausting, I want my optimism back now please…