Help me be less sad, plz.
I can't believe I am about to say this, but here goes: I am a grad student, and I am depressed.
Shocked, you say? Well, I knew this was a distinct possibility when applying; I was wary of doing a PhD, so I am doing an MA in English with tuition remission and a little bit of funding (so no debt, at least). I moved to a nice city, near my boyfriend and lots of friends. Despite all the warnings, it was very hard to give up my dream of at least giving academia a shot, so I thought that doing a masters in this position would be a taste, with a shot at some teaching experience and a very finite end.
What actually has happened is that I am totally, totally depressed. I am NOT good at being alone for long periods of time and at doing well with large unstructured blocks of time (and I am already kicking myself for trying to take on grad school when I knew it would be hard in this particular way ... I thought I could handle it, but clearly I can't. I feel like I tried so hard to avoid falling into this trap of being depressed in the humanities, but here I am, despite my best efforts.) I am spending this summer taking classes, and the isolation is killing me. Though I was ready to move on from my old job and to take on a new adventure, I miss the camaraderie of an office environment and the regularity of having to be somewhere at 9 am each day. I am supposed to begin teaching in the fall, which should be great but still stressful. Furthermore, while I have a nice support network here, I so miss my old city (NYC) and the fun I used to have when I was there.
On top of everything, as my posting history indicates, I bulged two discs in my back, which are getting MUCH better but seriously, that has really put a damper on this whole experience (to put it mildly). I had to put a bunch of classes on hold while I recuperated, developed an ulcer from all the painkillers, and generally had the worst semester ever. I realize this is probably a large source of my depression, but I have a hunch there is more to it than that. My body is feeling better, but my mind is not.
MeFites, I would love to stick it out for another year, but I am withering away. I have lost an obscene amount of weight, cry often, and generally feel tired and un-enthused about things. I keep thinking that if I had a *job*, not long empty days in the library, it would be easier to get back on my feet. I *hate* waking up in the morning knowing I will have to spend most of the day alone. I am seeing a doctor, a therapist, going on meds, doing physical therapy, and plan to start volunteering soon, so there is definitely hope. Those things helped me when I was down before, and I am going to give them a shot. I don't want to make any rash decisions while I am so low, and I don't want to just quit only to spend months sinking further into depression while unemployed. I will talk to my advisor soon too, to get some perspective. I still think I would be a good teacher, so I don't necessarily want to give up teaching in the fall yet if I can try to stick it out. But I cannot go on like this. (And I am not planning to go into academia, so no need to lecture me on that front.) :)