Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When You Get Hit with A Dissertation Topic

So, I go to my advisor's office with a paper idea for both publication and for her class this semester that she has indicated is a really good idea.  It's about gun control, which is something political scientists rarely ever tackle.  It's a comparison across states.  She tells me that's good, but that she doesn't want me to do that.  She wants me to choose a policy area that I will do my dissertation on and do a comparative study.

Ummm... wow.

So, I'm a second year.  She says I should decide early and then make it work.  So, I go home and cry.  Why would she put this pressure on me now?  It's too early.  She even admitted she hasn't told anyone else this, just me.  Because she wants to push me and feels like I have potential to figure it out now and just "do" it.


I don't know what to do.  I went in circles all Friday and Saturday.  There were tears.  I screamed into a pillow.  I ingested an entire bottle of wine and then set out the next morning to go to a local coffee shop just to sit and watch a blank screen until I found something.  The problem was that there was NO seating anywhere except those damn barstools that my 5' frame cannot cope with.  I went to the second hope and it was randomly closed.  Fuckity fuck.  I drove all around town to find something, feeling the whole time that the world was against me.

I was terrified until I had an idea.  I ran to the library like my legs were on fire.  No one has written on this - no one.  It's perfect, right?  And I can get TWO papers out of this because it qualifies for another class, too.  Yes!

Now I can just hope she doesn't shoot it down.  It would help me with grant applications for Canadian studies, too.  It's just hard.  And now I'm on an upswing mood-wise.  It frustrates me to no end that anytime I can be this creative, I am on a mood upswing.  Now, I'm not sleeping and am working nose to the grindstone all day.  Seeing the shrink tomorrow in hopes that I can adjust my meds and get back to where I need to be.

Now I know why people with mood disorders are artists, great thinkers, and inventors. I am so, so creative when I am hypomanic. And it leaves me with little incentive to control it because I always feel great until the crash.  I've had enough now, though, that I am terrified of them and want to control that mood.  That means tuckering myself out exercising, forcing myself to eat right, and taking meds that knock me out in hopes I get to sleep.  It needs to stop!