This Past Week & Getting Back on Track

This past week has been a hard one. I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard this summer and it caught up to me for a few days there. The last six days feels like it’s taken several months, yet I don’t seem to really remember it at all. I know that I’ve done some writing on my paper backlog as well as writing on other projects and reading a lot of papers because I can look at my notes and my beeminder goals and see that there’s progress, but it all feels very distant like I dreamed doing it.

It’s the fun aspect of being mentally ill like this, having to pick up the pieces after reality falls apart on you. At least it happened last week rather than this one, since next week I start teaching again, which means that I have time to check over all my notes and reconstruct where I was before everything crashed.

There’s nothing I can actually do to prevent these mental crashes. I’ve figured that out over the past few years since I started acknowledging that they happen. As I’ve mentioned before, they used to be so much worse, like the four month long one that happened in undergrad. I’m just doing the best I can on the days I’m functional, and thus the next couple of days are going to be the slow effort of rebuilding my momentum. How do I do that? Well, first I’ll pour over my org-agenda and figure out what things I’d been planning to do, look at notes I’ve taken on papers lately, and look at the state of the various writing and coding projects I have open. The hardest part is always fighting the sense of despair. Perhaps that sounds melodramatic, but there really is a crushing weight to knowing that no matter how hard you try there’s always going to be a next time when your mind breaks under the strain of its illness and that the whole process of rebuilding will start again and again and again.

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