Hello beloved GT,

I have to whine a bit today, so grab a glass, and have some cheese with it.

I decided that today, I need to grab the handbrake and pause for a moment, sorting my thoughts, worries and everything else out. Because I am stressed out, and unable to be happy, for a few months now. I am so overwhelmed with everything that has been going on, that I am unable to find anything to look forward to when I wake up in the morning.

I have a to do list for the next 6 weeks that is longer than my grocery wish list. I know I have been overwerked and stressed, but I did not come down since I handed in my PhD.
After I handed in, I took 5 weeks off, and cleaned the house, played PC games, watched criminal minds, started learning spanish on duolingo, and started to learn for my NZ learners (drivers) license. I went back to the Lab with a publishing bursary (two monthly payments up front, one when you hand in a report at the end) , and tried to get enough experiments done to publish my third paper. I also tried to find a job, but since I am German, I have the “I NEED A JOB OR I WILL SUFFER IN HELL” mindset. This, alongside with a healthy dose of pessimism, workaholic, and imposter syndrome...did not go well.

I had a handful of nervous breakdowns (I am 37, not yet mom, no idea what I will work, which country I will work, nobody wants me anyway, yadda yadda), three bottles of wine, and some good talking to by the godly Sobek, who came home just in time to take a broom to sweep the shards of me from the floor and put me back together.

Did I mention we have an arctic blast atm, and snow is everywhere, and my jojoba oil just froze in my bedroom? And that it is too cold to be motivated for yoga? That I had no sexy times for 8 weeks? That it takes more than two hours to heat up the living room to a humane temperature? That I worry about the power bill?

Basically, I am scared to open my email account. I need to write someone to tell him that I appreciate that he wants me, but leaving the country to start in 6 weeks in another is not a good idea atm, when I have to write a paper, have jury duty, my oral exam, a one hour exit seminar, a normal life, enough sleep, and find a flight, and a house, and a job for my husband, packing up my whole life here...for a job I applied to because of necessity and not for loving the project. And the guy just wrote me again before I was able to send the email, and I am scared to open it, and I feel bad for not replying on time.

I NEED to find a job where I can talk about nutrition, read about nutrition, maybe hold some seminars, lobby for nutrition programs, or for funding etc. Because that is what I love. I also want to write a book, which already has a title, and a couple of chapter headings. I only need the time to write it. And yet...I have the feeling I will not get any of it, because I do not deserve it.

I am talking to some amazing women who want to send me off to the headquarters of the UN to do an internship... and I want to do that, but I am scared of that, too.

My supervisors just sat me down today, telling me that they had the feeling I am a bit overwhelmed (no shit.) I need to concentrate on the oral exam, and the exit seminar, they said. And to forget about the paper, and the report necessary to get the last payment from my bursary. Okay, I can do that.

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Oh, and my sister finally confided in me that her middle child was, in fact, conceived during rape by her now ex BF. The child who calls his mother a whore, and her BF a faggot, his sister a lesbian, and who does not come home unless found and dragged. Who is violent, and is in therapy for his violence. And I noticed that my sister suffers from PTSD, and never got therapy for herself. Who gets blamed for being unemployed, her figure (BMI >41), and the behavior of her kids. Who is at the end of her ropes, because she tries to five them a good life, even though she is on benefits. She told me that when she went to the police, together with someone from a social aid group, and got laughed at by the officer, who was her abusers best mate. She told me of at least three other women who got raped by him. One said on TV that she lost her child because her ex kicked her into her stomach repeatedly, and who is now sterile thanks to the damage he has done. The only comfort my sister had is that she saw on FB that he is now in a wheel chair, because he slipped on ice and one of his discs crumbled into nothingness.

And I tried to avoid talking to her because I am unable to deal with so much shit, because I get so angry since I am so helpless. I can only listen. And it drags me down for weeks. And even though I repeatedly told her that she deserved better, and that she is so damn strong, and awesome, and that I am proud of her, and that I am thankful that she told me, and that I will be there for her no matter what...she once yelled at me that I am a career horny bitch, and that she does not want my advice, but my money. It broke my heart, because it was right after she was pregnant from that asshole the first time, and I had helped her move out because he had kicked her out. For the other woman (the TV one). And she moved back in later, after that woman was gone, for back then unknown reasons. And it makes me feel worse. I am bad in comforting others, and stuff like that winds me up for weeks. I now try to read a parenting book for extreme cases, to at least help there, because it hurts me so much to be unable to do anything.

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To sum all up, I need calm down, to read my emails, then reply to that person, then open the thesis reports and address the subjects one by one, and build my exit seminar presentation at the same time. Next week, I will go to court and hope they will not pick me. Then I can work on said seminar more. And start slowly thinking about the UN stuff, because they have a meeting on the 8th.

The things I have to delay are learning spanish, my sister, my drivers license, my paper, and the job search, and the books. One step after the other.

“Keep swimming” someone told me once. And I swim, but damn, my arms hurt.

Please post gifs. Or whine yourself. I am unsure when I will read your posts, if at all, since I have so little time lately. But hey, more wine. Or cider.