Moving forward…

I submitted my qualifier/research proposal Thursday evening. I have an oral defense of it in front of three faculty the week on January 15th.
I hope this process goes well, because I almost worked myself up to a panic attack submitting it. And then panicked afterward.
Regardless of how this process goes, I fully intend to utilize the topics I introduced in this proposal as part of a faculty job search either at a four year college or a research faculty position at a university. I will have to wait and see where I end up on that decision.
Complicating all of this is my schizoaffective disorder. I am by means nowhere near normal. Between my anxiety, my work hours, and subtleties of my personality, I am not sure what I can handle regarding full-time work. All I do know is that I can not be a student forever. And after my current schooling is over, I will probably want to push myself again regarding a faculty spot.
Schizoaffective disorder is not something I can hide from and it will be with me for the rest of my life. Hopefully, I will continue to be moderately productive despite having it.

One step at a time…

Everything has been going great lately. Despite the amount of work that I am under, I am feeling good and getting everything done that I need to.
My qualifier project should be done on Monday, save for any edits/changes. This project will also end up being something that I utilize to look for faculty positions, when I get to that point. Hopefully.
I have never felt entirely confident regarding my science. But since this qualifier had me develop an original idea into a thought-out 15 page proposal, my confidence level has become stronger. Never in a million years did I think that assembling this project would have been possible just 6 months ago.
But here I am with the project nearly completed and it will be ready to turn in before it is due on Dec. 8th.
Between having schizoaffective disorder, and my anxiety disorders, I thought that this project was going to be the end of my science career. But, I’ve been able to handle everything thrown at me, including all my classes.
It has not been easy returning to school, but at least now, I know that accomplishing a second Ph.D. is at least a feasible for me to do. Having to explain why I had to go back to school for a second Ph.D., maybe not so much.
I am very open about having this mental illness. Hopefully it will not be held/used against me in a future job/faculty search.

One Day at a Time Works…

It’s a constant battle dealing with schizoaffective disorder. Fortunately, it seems that I am winning that battle… each and every day that I don’t drink or somehow give into the disease.

This past summer, I thought my graduate school career was going to end because of this research qualifier that I have to write. How would I be able to create an original research topic and then defend it in front of faculty? I thought doing so would be beyond my scope.

Here I am in the beginning of November with a topic decided upon, and I am getting ready to defend it and write it up into a 6 page proposal. It will be synthesis based, but with a pharmacological application towards Alzheimer’s disease.

I would have never thought I would be able to reach this point, but here I am. And the only way I am accomplishing this, is by taking things one day at a time… baby steps moving forward. By doing this, it appears I can accomplish what I put my mind towards.

Hopefully, gaining strength

I’m in a crappy mood. My Dad is not doing well, and I’m feeling it.

I’m hoping he continues to eat and do the exercises he is supposed to do so that he can get out of rehab and back to his routine at home.

Cancer sucks. The chemotherapy he used to be on knocked everything out of him, and probably aged him ten years in the process.

I pray that he has the strength and determination to recover from this and to be able to go back home at some point in the near future.

7 Year Anniversary

Today, I have 7 years of sobriety. Seven years ago, I decided I had had enough.

I had enough with the headaches, dehydration, nausea, panic and all the other good things that came with drinking.

Here I am, seven years later, recovering from schizoaffective disorder… back in school, and my life moving forward.

Onward and upward!

Coming up on an anniversary…

In many ways, I have been battling mental illness for 25 years now. It has only been during the past 7 years that I was aware of it. Before that, I drank alcohol to cope. A lot of alcohol. I am glad that that time is behind me.

On September 30th, I will have 7 years clean. Not a small feat, by any means. But for 7 years, I’ve avoided (abstained) from any alcohol consumption. In reality, it is because I know that I can not handle drinking. I can not do it responsibly in the long run… I will always want more and more to drink.

For me, finally quitting was brought about by a moment of clarity. Did I want to continue with the same old same old… the hangovers, the blackouts, the regrets? I decided I was finished and it was the best decision I ever made.

It has not been an easy road. I have had to deal with (everything) by not drinking the past seven years. I don’t have the luxury of a beer to take the edge off. I have to deal with life, on life’s terms… and hope for the best. It’s been a journey these past seven years, and it’s a journey that I do not regret.