As those of you have been reading here for a while know, I’ve got some mental health issues (manic depression and anxiety disorder for those of you who are catching up). The medications help, but not surprisingly they don’t make me feel perfect. I still get anxious and depressed (manic, not so much). Meanwhile my old therapist can’t see me anymore and I’m having to get used to a new one. (Stress)
Someone I had a disagreement on Twitter with decided to no longer count me among his friends. (Stress)
My parents are both staying with Paul and me, engaging in their loving but crazy-making behaviors (Stress)
I’m not working so not earning money and am leeching off Paul. (Stress)
I’m not living up to my promise / challenge to myself to go to the gym three nights a week. (Stress)
But the biggest source of stress (or WHELM) is that I’m on the academic job market in literature this year. That means preparing a lot of job materials about myself: CV, research proposal, teaching philosophy, sample syllabi, writing samples of varying lengths (so far they’re 20 – 40 pages — more than I can do with margins), and a cover letter tweaked and tailored to each university post and post-doc fellowship I’m applying to. I have help — my Ph.D. department offers a job workshop that meets weekly. We share materials among ourselves and talk about how we can make the documents better. It’s helpful but also stressful in that I find it hard to share my writing in a group setting, however much I need their help. I don’t write much about my academic work here, but I care about it a lot. I’d like to find a job as a university professor, ideally in the UK as Paul wants to return there. But to get there I have to jump through a lot of hoops, submit myself to a lot of judgment and, hardest still, be lucky.
I’m not overwhelmed yet, but I’m getting there.