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I’ve been pretty quiet on the blogging front recently for a very good reason. I’m writing my dissertation. This is not to be confused with “oh yeah, I’m sort of working on writing…” because it’s actual productive this-is-the-real-thing writing.

This is a not-so-minor triumph of modern chemistry. At this time last year, I was stuck in a depression, combined with a hectic travel schedule, which meant I didn’t get any real work done for about 4 months. It was extremely stressful to be unable to produce much of anything. It was one of the reasons I kept trying to get help even though I was feeling fine in the summer and fall. I just couldn’t afford another cognitive shut-down like that if I was to graduate this year.

But now the meds seem to be really working and I’ve been pretty stable since the last round of changes more than a week ago. Even before that, I was starting to ramp up the writing activity. I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief. I have exactly two months to finish my dissertation manuscript. I still have three chapters to revise and three to write from scratch, but the fact that I’ve gotten two cases written up is making me optimistic about being able to meet my deadlines. I literally wrote a 35-page paper last week.

This productivity definitely isn’t hypomania, which I wouldn’t mind except that it increases my distractability so that I feel like I didn’t take my ADD meds. There’s no euphoria, and I’m not overly emotional in either direction. I’m not twitchy or somnolent. It’s all pretty good, if less intense than I’m used to.

Spending 10-12 hours a day writing is extremely draining. I’m absolutely exhausted most of the time and even though my sleep habits haven’t changed a bit, I’m much more tired. After that kind of intellectual work, I just want to veg out every evening. So that’s what I’m doing – just watching TV with my hubby, knitting a little, and still staying sober.

It’s not very dramatic, exciting, or glamorous, but it’s a really nice change of pace for me. Here’s hoping it sticks!

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